The Utility Story

Lots of people have been asking us about our utilities so thought maybe I should do a quick update regarding them. A quick one as I realize that some of you had to print last weeks entry and turn it into bed time reading it was so long!! I of course, love to read your comments so keep those coming.
Sask Power wins the service award from our perspective as a land owner (less so as a house mover but that was of course a different story) as they were quick, efficient and slow to bill! They had the shortest distance to travel to bring our service in but did it in the spring when conditions were so wet.
Sask Tel services are now complete as we needed an actual building before they could finish the installation. We even have a new temporary phone number 668-1315 but don’t use it yet as I don’t have a phone hooked up to the electrical panel as of yet. We will eventually take our own number out there when we move which will be really nice. STel came up the hill across the field and through the native prairie grass during the hot dry spell. We have had rain but with the recent rains the trench line is growing again.
We had Wellen Boring come out as early as possible in the spring (again the wet was an issue) and dig 2 test holes on the first trip. Neither one came up with any water 80′ and 40′. Prior to their next visit we had a young twitcher or witcher (they go by either name) come out and find water. She found two spots (either one would have worked well funny pun from a location point of view. So on their next trip out they drilled those two spots 60′ and 80′ with no real water response. Then he went to a 5th location this one based more on his instinct than anything else and he came up with some water at about 60′. The test sample revealed very poor quality water that we would have to treat the snot out of. So we paid them a nice little pot of money and away they went.
Next call was to Floyd, our neighbor. He is the owner of Hold On Industries they manufacture plastic products such as holding tanks. So we are sizing out two tanks and the options of hauling water from 5 kilometers south on a regular basis, having it tanked in for us or next year hooking up to the City/Highway 41 water line. Think long term that will probably be our choice.
Last and certainly least on our totem pole Sask Energy. It has been an extremely long 11 months of dealing with them and at this point I am still not convinced we will have a gas line so that we can move in during the winter. They changed the way they handle new customers this year and have had a few glitches. “Yes, we do agree that yours certainly isn’t the cleanest file” was the last response. The hold up had many parts to it: engineering department had to find a route around the water, easement had to be gained from our neighbor to the north and an environmental study needed to be done because it was coming across native prairie. The same native prairie I mentioned above with STel. This was all poorly managed by our file being tossed around from one person to another to another. The final guy didn’t answer phone calls because apparently his mail box gets too full and so he didn’t realize that I had called every day for 2 weeks!!! Needless to say there have been some pretty strong conversations going on. So we have resorted to a paper trail now and did some research on their own web site the other night in regards to their customer service goals and how to judge a successful project. We then spouted it back to them in an email and less than one hour after opening the email we had a phone call from the supervisor of the guy who never answered phone calls. So it would appear that we will have service within the month but as I said above I am not holding my breath. By mid to late Sept it will be holding up our mechanical contractor.
So that is the status of creating services from scratch. Rather different than in the days of truly homesteading when they would have hand dug a well and cut wood or piled buffalo chips up to burn.
The progress wasn’t recorded this week as the camera was there with no batteries so instead I am showing a sunset from our back hill. One of the many views that keep us motivated. We are really looking forward to leaving the city and enjoying the quiet of the country.

PS Next week, I promise, more pictures.

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4 Responses to The Utility Story

  1. Claire B says:

    Love the sunset!
    And you almost have enough buffalo chips out there to get started šŸ™‚


  2. Kendall O'Brien says:

    Hi Bernie;
    great to catch up once again. Great shot of the vista you will enjoy


  3. Frank Korvemaker says:

    Hi Bernie:
    I’m on holiday with my family in the Ontario-Quebec regions, but still manage to check out your great adventure from time to time. What a task, and what a route from point A to B! Definitely not as the crow flies.
    I’ve secured some new bricks for my virtual brick collection, so this is turning into a fine holidays from all aspects.
    Cheers, from St. Dorothie (Laval Island), Quebec. FRANK


  4. Cyndi Cunanan says:

    Alas, I have no buffalo and therefore no chips for you, but I have 2 healthy cats who put out no end of “combustible material” I could let you have!


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