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Left alone at the backhoe’s controls

Left alone at the backhoe’s controls

Mike found several projects to dig into once he borrowed the neighbor’s backhoe to find the mystery water leak.

A wet spot out behind the barn and a high water bill forced the Reskovacs to dig into the problem. Of course, nothing ever goes quite as planned. Here’s how it went.

Sheilah: “A couple months back, I told Mike he needed to look for that leak. We don’t have extra money laying around to just let water leak. It just kept getting pushed to the side.”

Mike: “Finally, one day I decided I had time and had a pretty good idea where it was. So I borrowed the neighbor’s backhoe and got to work.”

LEAK-FIXER NOT: At the controls of his neighbor's backhoe, Mike got 'detoured' from finding and fixing a water leak by a milkhouse drainage project planned for this summer.

Sheilah: “On my way home from the grocery store, I stopped to see if he made any progress. Instead of digging where we thought the leak was, Mike had a huge ditch dug along the front of the old milk house where the ducks sleep at night. So I asked what exactly was he was doing.”

Mike: “The ground slopes down to the building. So when we get lots of rain, the building gets flooded. It needs a new roof and gutter. That’s the plan for this summer, anyway. So I dug out along the front to put in a drain pipe.”

“My plan was to also put in a retaining wall in front of the milk house. We had bought some Jersey barriers at an auction last fall, and I knew they’d be perfect for this. That’s why they’re there.”

Sheilah: “I’m not saying that it didn’t need to done, but why now? You’ve been putting off fixing the leak for months, and all of a sudden you want to put a drain in front of this building? How’s that going to fix the water bill?”

Mike: “I’m getting to that. I’m going to head there next.”

Sheilah: “You like using this backhoe too much. Maybe you shouldn’t be left alone with it.”

Mike: “I started digging a ditch to run my drain line from the milk house further down the hill. Along the way, I found an old broken tile line from a spring – part of the reason we had a wet spot. And yes, I found the water leak.”

Sheilah: “Oh, he found it alright. Fixing that leak created another when he broke the water line at the ‘T’.”

Mike: “I shut the water off and had to wait until the next morning to get supplies and finish.”

Sheilah: “The line’s fixed. Our leak’s gone. But that huge ditch running from the barn to the woods needs to be filled in. Getting Mike to do it may take another couple months.”

The Reskovacs farm near Uniontown, Pa.

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