It’s the middle of August and last Monday morning a lone white car showed up, parked close to my house and the man inside it just sat there…waiting. Before long others showed up and before I knew it the narrow street that borders my house to the west was swarming with bodies wearing flourescent vests, ready to go to work. They brought with them all sorts of big machines that I can’t name properly but that were capable of cutting holes in the concrete street, breaking it up into huge chunks and scooping it into a dump truck to be hauled away. Crash, bang and rattle. The work was hard, looks dangerous and was loud enough that all of them wore earplugs. Soon they were busy digging deep into the street to reach the old water main.
That was the day I’d planned to haul away two big truckloads of branches from my backyard but the chances of even getting a truck into my driveway but I thought the chances of even getting a pick-up truck into my driveway were not looking good. I was wrong. The workmen were gracious enough to allow my friend and his truck to pull in and even helped us to load it, not once but twice. No doubt hey were happy to have us out of their way as soon as possible.
Replacing the 100-year-old water main on my street is going to take several weeks and during that time I will have no access to my garage. It is a tiny price to pay for the privilege of observing these workers from Connell Resources as they go about their business. They are on the job by 7 a.m. and don’t leave until well after 5 p.m. They pause only for a lunch break during a long hot day of strenuous work. When one of them noticed me hauling my groceries from my fairly faraway parking place, he offered to help.
They are self-sufficient, having brought along a porta potty, ice chest, and even a big trash bag. They seem so skilled at their work. Eventually they will remove all the concrete from the street and when the new water main is in, they will replace the surface with asphalt. I can’t imagine how all that process will go, but I am anxious to watch as it unfolds. By then, I’m betting we’ll be friends.
It seems like such a whole lot of work and effort to update this utility. And my street is only one block out of a whole city that must be suppied with a reliable supply of water.
I will never again take the flow of water from my faucet or my shower or my dishwasher or my washing machine or my toilet for granted.