Late September 2009

When all's said and done we've had an absolutely marvellous summer, with lots and lots of sunshine and we're off to a great start for fall as well. September 23rd 2009 saw a new record high temperature @ 27.6ºC. And you can tell from the Hostas that they are continueing to enjoy those temps as long as we keep them hydrated. Over the past month or so we've had just enough precip to help keep our rain barrels nicely topped up and it has not been an issue hand watering the potted plants and with full barrels you won't have to be be afraid you'll run out and have to resort to chlorinated city water.

Having said all that, there certainly is evidence of the upcoming colder season with more and more plants starting to show die back. The daytime temps may be nice and high but just the other night we recorded an overnight low of 9.3ºC and those kind of temps signal the roots to start shutting down, even though there may still be plenty of water for continued growth.

The City of Richmond decided a few years ago that rather than supplying water and sewer service at a fixed, averaged rate, that water would be charged by volume and you water/sewer bill would be based upon your annual water consumption. The initial phasing-in program asked for residents to volunteer for a no-charge installation and supply of a water meter. After one of our neighbours jumped on that bandwagon fairly early in the program and reported a fair drop in her annual water bill -she's single and the averaged rate being charged is based upon a 4 member family- it'n didn't take us too long to get in-line. After all, meters were coming period, and after the free supply/installation program was finished you'd end up having to pay for it. It really was a no-brainer for us. And sure enough, our water bill dropped by about half. At the time a private contractor had been hired by the City to do the installation, but all they could do was work on private property. Now that the City has started the installation of meters all over the city, part of the process is the supply of a new connection between the meter and the water main and that's something only city crews can do and all residents already on a meter would have their feed replaced at the time the crews were working in the neighbourhood.

That meter installation program has started in our subdivision and over the past week or so they've been working on our cul-de-sac. It's quite an interesting process actually. First they use a pressure washer to cut through the soil and then they use a very powerful 'sucker' to remove all the loosened debris. The whole process goes fairly quick in a lawn such as ours, since there isn't much to deal in terms of tree roots. Because there are so many underground services to deal with -water, hydro, phone and cable- it simply isn't practical to use a backhoe for digging and even using a spade might present problems, so 'spray and suck' is the way to go.

For our side of the street they had to pull a new underground line to the main across the road, which they did by pulling the new one THROUGH the old one, at the same time leaving a tracer line so that next time there is need to try and locate the exact location and depth of the water feed, a quick scan will give them that info from the tracer line....