We had a deluge of rainfall this afternoon across the Midlands, and as it was still raining when I got home, I thought I'd check how the new drainage system was holding up.
The old system here took both foul waste and storm water to the septic tank, but apparently this is not the usual arrangement...so the plan was that the new system would deal specifically with foul waste, whilst the old system would continue to carry off storm water.
I'd raised several concerns regarding the old system, as it seems likely that they've dug through pipes here and there; they've only vaguely connected the downpipes to it in the loosest of senses; and they've filled in one inspection chamber, thereby (presumably) blocking off the system beyond that.
Whereas the estate agents are desperately trying to see the positive side, those of us closer to the action are highly sceptical over whether the storm water system will work at all.
As it hasn't rained for a while, we just don't know.
Yesterday the owner and the estate agent came for a look at the work that had been done, and to assess the extent of required remedial work.
It quickly became clear that whether or not the storm water system works isn't the only thing we don't know. It seems that nobody really knows what's been routed where, which pipes are still intact, and which ones are theoretically still in use.
The plan is for the agents to contact the contractors and get some detailed schematics for what's been put in place.
Again, to those of us observing the work as it happened, this is a laughable notion. They only had the vaguest of plans, which was incomplete, and which they didn't even vaguely follow. To all intents and purposes, they were just making it up as they went along.
So there's no way the contractor's manager is going to have any idea what his men did. The only guy who could probably say is the eastern European guy, who seems to barely speak English, and in fact barely talks to anyone at all. He completely blanked his manager when I saw him being given some instructions (which he took little or no notice of).
Anyway it had yacked it down ('scuse the jargon) here this afternoon, and was still raining early evening, so I pulled up the inspection hatch in the lawn to see what the flow was like, as I'd promised the agent I would.
As you can see, there is no flow!
The pipe coming from the bottom centre leads back directly to the now filled in next chamber along, so there's no real surprise that there's only the faintest trickle from that direction.
Slightly worrying, as it should be carrying storm water for 75% of the roofing of the 2 cottages.
The smaller pipe coming from the right covers the West facing half of our house...and is completely dry.
There must have been some storm water fed into the system from the rooftops, but where it's all gone is a mystery!
At this point, I'm pretty much expecting our house to up and float away during the next heavy rainfall season.
Anyway, the good news is that there was a busy little ants nest in the top of the inspection chamber, teeming with activity.
|free range eggs|
You can barely see any ants in this photo, but the little white grains of rice are tiny eggs, attended to by an army of scurrying carers...
I'm still claiming it as another animal for my blog photo collection.
I know I've had ants before, but they were a different species. I'm not sure what this one is, but the eggs are much paler and smaller, and of course it's a couple of months later in the year, yet they're at more or less the same stage.
Anyway, sorry to have disturbed you, little colony...at least you have a nice dry home in all this rain!