Tuesday, 28 June 2011
I have been digging a trench to try and find the wastewater outfall pipe. I dug a longish trench where I though it was and several metres either side. I had no success although I couldn't see how it could possibly have been anywhere else. I assumed, therefore, that the trench must need deepening although it was already significantly deeper than the depth of the manhole in front of the house. I popped into the plumbers today to say that I was still looking and I'd place my order for the new en suite when I found the outfall. One of the chaps there suggested that I use dowsing rods.
Now I have a friend who dowses. I'm not sure that he believes dowsing always works but I have seen many occasions when he has tried it when I've been there to witness it and it has worked. As to why he has no idea and I certainly don't. Scientific studies have shown that success with dowsing is no greater than the success of finding something by chance. I wonder (as an aside) whether it has something to do with the person who is dowsing.
Anyway I decided that I had nothing to lose so I cut up a couple of wire clothes hangers, turned on the taps so that I had running water in the pipes and went forth and dowsed. I walked around with the rods across the line where the drain had to pass below which included a little trench I'd dug after breaking an area of concrete. It refused to work. I went along the big trench I'd already dug and it didn't work there either. As the pipe had to pass somewhere there I decided dowsing wasn't one of my skills. However I decided to give it another chance. All of a sudden in a place where I hadn't walked before the rods moved inwards and crossed.
I decided there was nothing to lose by breaking more concrete and getting rid of some frustration. About a foot down after having removed a considerable amount of stone over I came across a paving slab. I removed a lot more concrete and stone and the paving slab and there, directly under where the rods had crossed was a manhole.
Well I still have no idea whether dowsing works or why the rods crossed at that point on this occasion but I found the manhole so do I really care? No. Not really. Will I be offering my services? No. But I wouldn't rule dowsing out if I were looking for another water pipe.