FTLComm - Tisdale - June 15, 1999
Monday morning the folks at Wicks were told that they would be out of water for a few hours as the town crew began a week long project to install a full size water main across highway #35 and down to Art's Autobody. This street had only been served by a small water line and the town wants to extend a proper line down the street allowing for appropriate fire protection and installation of hydrants.

Digging across the highway is a serious business as there were two older water lines, a sewer line and the natural gas line all slumbering below the surface. Highway traffic will be diverted East a block until the first portion of the project can be filled. The material removed from the highway portion was hauled away and replaced with gravel back fill so that a solid base can be created to produce the minimum of
settlement. The area has been dug up many times in the past and where ever this occurs the excavation has to be made wide because the walls of the dig will be unstable and can fall into the excavation without warning.
Though digging was moving along smoothly the project is expected to take the whole week as the new line will be installed
with all the proper hydrants and connections. Disruption of water service to Wicks was expected to be only for the afternoon but with the road blocked around Wicks it was not a good day for business at this popular convenience store. However, one customer, a reporter for Ensign, did go into to Wicks and sample an outstanding ice cream cone. The work crew above complained that they did not get a cone but the reporter gave his limited ability to carry several cones as his excuse.

When discussing the safety situation with a project like this the town foreman and several crewman talked about their close calls and the importance of making a big safe hole in which to work.

The backhoe being used on this project is a new acquisition
for the town of Tisdale. The operator had kidded that he wanted a new machine before he retired and it seems he has got his wish. This slick new machine is fast and smooth running making it ideal for this sort of project. The modern office and controls allow for precise handling of the bucket and extraordinary mobility during the digging process. Unlike a tractor mounted unit this tracked machine can move about easily as it works drastically speeding up the process and allowing the operator an excellent vantage point to control the work.

You will notice that another digging machine is at work in the new subdivision. A contractor is currently installing a sewer pump lift station and is working down below thirty feet in that new development project