The Saga of The Oak Tree

The saga of the oak tree came about quite by accident. It happened because I became concerned that the power cables and phone and data lines passed right through the branches of the tree and it appeared that the tree was gradually absorbing them into itself.

I called the city power department and requested someone come out and inspect the tree to check the situation. When the city engineer arrived he took one look at the cables and their proximity to the branches of the tree and pronounced them to be OK. However, he then spotted a hole in the trunk at root level and upon fetching a long metal rod from his truck discovered that the core of the trunk had rotted away. He immediately called the city arborist who came out the following day and declared the tree unsafe.

It only took them three days to cut the tree down but it wasn’t until four or five months later that the city finally got around to landscaping the gaping hole they had left at the edge of the road. That’s when the fun really began!

We had been away for a weeks holiday and on our return noted that there was evidence the city had finally been out to repair the road and curb and it looked as if they were about to pour concrete. However, I noticed that the hole that had been dry when I inspected it the night before on our return was now filled with water. Looking at it more closely I realised that the water was in fact coming from our sewage pipe and when a tap was run or a toilet flushed the effluent was disgorged onto the street. It turned out that the crew preparing the trench for a new concrete curb had hit the water main and also our sewage pipe. They had repaired the water main but it appeared that they fully intended to do nothing about the sewer other than concrete it over. Nothing had been reported and if it hadn’t been for the fact that there had been a storm on the day they had intended to pour the concrete, thus preventing that from happening, no-one would have been any the wiser. I reported the leak to the city and as a result there was a disgruntled crew digging the road up and putting in new sewer pipe until midnight on that Saturday night.

All we’re waiting for now is for the city to actually resurface the road where it had to be dug up because of the punctured sewer pipe. I keep seeing the odd person from the city pull up and get out to prod the area with a stick or mark the temporary surface with paint here and there but so far nothing has happened.

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