Backfilling a trench with sand
In Morgantown, W. Va., the power company requires 4 in. to 6 in. of sand under a buried power-supply cable, and another 4 in. to 6 in. on top of the cable. The house we were building had a 300-yard ditch from the power line to the house, and keeping it free from mud and debris was getting to be a real problem. The fall weather was turning bad, and the three rainstorms that drenched the area meant digging the trench out by hand each time.
Then the weather cleared. We had the trench ready for the power company, and they promised to be there the next day. The weather prediction made it clear that we didn’t have much time until the next storm hit, so we had to get the sand placed as fast as possible. We called the local masonry-supply yard and asked for a load of sand to be delivered in a concrete transit mix truck. Because the ditch was parallel to the driveway, we were able to lay down the bed of sand in about 1-1/2 hours. We did it by guiding the chute by hand and dragging the sand down the chute with a shovel.
The power company ran the cable but wouldn’t make the hookup until the cable was covered with sand. So we ordered more sand-froma- chute to bury the cable before the powercompany crew had left. Sure enough, they were able to make the required connection.
The next day an ice-and-snow storm hit, and winter was with us for the duration. It cost a little extra to have the sand delivered by concrete truck, but the alternative was to wait for spring until the owners could move in.
Gary L. Kimmel, Waynesburg, PA