Backstory pt. 1, every couple years I have to have my sewer main rooted. It’s 70 year-old clay tile, so that’s to be expected I guess. The last time they ran a camera through it, it actually didn’t look too bad. There were a few bellies where water would stand, but the guy was able to get his camera all the way to the city with no problem.
Now the first thing I should have thought about to prevent my little mishap, is that I know exactly where the city sewer runs. It’s at the back of my yard, parallel to fence/property line and it’s been located and even worked on before. But I had a tech here once and he ran 70’ of camera to get to the city, which we thought was odd because it’s only 50’ to where I thought it was. Anyway, he walked around back there and stated with what I took to be professional certainly that the main must actually be somewhere in my neighbor’s yard.
Either way, there was nothing to clue me in to the possibility that my line did anything except run straight out perpendicular to the house.
Backstory pt. 2: A couple yeas ago I put in a sump pump, and ran it out the back, through a pipe, to a dry well like this one. Then the overflow from that ran about 15’ through French drain, and finally out through a pop-up drain if necessary.
The dry well is empty most of the time, but when it rains a lot it fills up and overflows down to the pop-up. Also, I set the tank on several inches of gravel, and then surrounded it with probably 5" of gravel. To get it covered, I would guess the bottom of the hole was probably at least 4’ deep. So when it’s really wet, there’s quite a bit of water held there until it has time to perc out, which takes a while cuz my soil is crap.
Now my back yard has been utility located multiple times for various reasons. I know, or thought I knew, where everything is.
Anyway, to pt. 3, which is yesterday. I got a small backup again, so had RotoRooter out to root my line. Well 40-50’ out, the guy hit something hard that was enough to break the bearings of his machine. So he had a camera come out too.
Camera guy got about 40’, and the camera dove underwater. For about 10’ or so, the pipe was completely full. Then he got a bit farther and couldn’t get he camera through any more.
Well he went out with his locator to find the end, and couldn’t find it anywhere near where it would be straight out from the house. So he wandered down hill a little bit and found it. It takes off about 45 degrees from the house.
Right under my drain line.
Right under where several hundred pounds of water sits in the well, just a couple feet above the line, which is 7’ deep.
So I think I crushed my sewer line.