Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Dowsing, part two

What can you say about continuing to dig a deep hole in the ground? Brian kept having to extend the trench because it was getting too deep to be able to work in. We have been referring to it as "the Grave" (as his brother used to be a grave-digger and now runs Bereavement Services for the council we figured we could make a bad joke like that and get away with it).

I'd been frustrated that the rods would not respond when I tried them. Told this to neighbour during the Hairy One's lunchtime wander around the block. "You need my rods" she says immediately and disappears . . . returning five minutes later with a pair of dowsing rods, her boots and the exhortation "come on, let's get to your garden"!

Using N.'s rods both she and I could get very strong responses to the missing water pipes and the telephone cable. The rods reacted so positively that at times we were nearly smacked in the face as they crossed! Brian also tried them and reported "hmm, I need to make a set like this, they're better than mine". High praise indeed.

So the digging continued, when Brian got to 63" in the grave we were both thorough fed up. Given how the land slopes and soil may have been banked up after building, it is quite possible that the pipe is buried even deeper and we decided to turn our attention to the missing stop-tap. We had identified where it should be on the grassed area of public land the other side of the back fence. This was a patch of ground that has been used for many years as a dumping ground by one of the neighbours covered by years of prunings and a couple of self-seeded elder it was a horrible mess.

Once again I experienced the 'kindness of strangers'. The grass-cutting contractors arrived, chatted, thanked me for clearing away the over-hanging branches and then asked if I would like them to "clear up" the dumping ground. Five minutes with a powerful mower/shredder and the whole lot was reduced to small chippings that were easy to pull away with a rake!

That was where the magic ended. Brian and I had identified the water mains and the supplies not just to our house but to all adjacent properties. So we dug, and dug - and two foot down concluded that at some point in the past, a previous grass-cutting contractor had got fed up with his machine hitting a metal stop-tap cover and knocked it out of the way - but we haven't yet found the access pipe which should still be in the ground. This has stopped being funny. We have a shut-off valve under the sink but not being able to turn the water off at the mains is a worry. The plumbing on this estate is old enough that many neighbours have already had leaks. United Utilities were here months ago trying to find the stop-tap for us and failed, but because we have the kitchen valve they were not interested in helping further - so it's down to us.

I'm fed up with the whole performance. At 5.00pm Brian and I covered the new trench as safely as we could and left it. Rain forecast for Thursday. He is going to get his dowsing mentor to come and double-check our findings but I can't see that making a difference - both he, my friend N. and I have all "found" the pipes in the same place. Not sure what to do next, other than to keep bl**dy digging?


  1. Can you borrow a metal detector as well? Many years ago Anglian Water found our stopcock that had been tarmacked over in a couple of minutes. Although UU have tried I guess they weren't willing to spend too long.

    I suppose the current fashion of using MDPE everything these days is going to make finding things fun going forward.

    Can't wait for Dowsing, part three...

  2. Thanks James, we tried the metal detector route when UU were here. As the current excavation (I'll amend this post later with pictures) seems to indicate that the metal cover is missing then getting another detector in might not work.

    I'm glad you can't wait for part three - I'm thoroughly fed up and trying to talk myself into an improved attitude, haven't succeeded yet.

    You won't have to wait long, Brian due here within the hour.

  3. Are you sure Brian isn't digging a well (on a hill?). I hope you didn't get any rain least your weather forecast is dry for today.

  4. Oh dear. Are you sure he's not digging himself a tunnel to Australia!!


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