Monday, 21 February 2011

We were determined to solve the mystery of the blockage so when we told Neil that we were going out on Monday he suddenly developed a strange illness for which the only cure was a day spent in the open air digging for pipes and he joined us.

The only possibility for the blockage was in the five meters between the manhole and the side of the road and we decided to dig a trench starting at the manhole until we found something. No sooner had I started to swing the pick and I hit metal and great was our surprise that next to our manhole was another one which nobody knew about and had been covered with soil. We frantically uncovered it and there was the cause of our problem, another valve!

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Neil got out his bobbejaan and tried to turn the valve which probably hadn’t been turned for more than twenty years. At first it did not want to budge but then we figured that the “L” on the valve meant left-hand thread and we managed to slowly turn it and the gurgling sound from the tiny hole by the air release valve was music to our ears and soon we had another fountain!

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After the excitement had died down we fixed the inspection hole, put the covers back on and made our way around to Gibson’s property eagerly expecting water to come out of the pipe by the quarry. No such luck so we walked along the route where we thought the pipe might run and lo and behold, close to the farm road we discovered a marshy patch, opened it up and there was our strong flow of precious water.

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Success at last!