Big trees pruned … underground

Fixing water lines

A few fire hydrants around Virden have been mothballed, covered in black plastic, and this was one of them, on  Fourth Ave. and King Street.

Soil and tree roots, were excavated from around the hydrant Thursday morning. Nearby on the corner lot stood an old maple or two (perhaps one root with twinned trunks). 

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A tree’s roots can sense the moisture (and warmth in the case of sewer lines) around buried water pipes. If the pipe has a leak, those roots send tiny fibres into the pipe. As the roots grow, you know the story, the impenetrable is penetrated and the tree roots win, further cracking leaking infrastructure in the process.

The roots around this fire hydrant are as big as a man’s arm. As tree roots grow, they can cause otherwise intact water pipes to move, causing a leak at pipe joins.

With it’s roots reduced, these big old maples at the 3rd Ave. intersection may not fare as well next summer. But, having the water hydrant back in service, should there be a fire, is essential.

© Virden Empire-Advance