You can pay as much as twenty-five dollars for one. You can buy them in plastic or in copper. I use a wire coat hanger, but most people prefer a “Y” shaped tree limb. I’m talking about divining rods, or dowser rods. These tools of the water witch help locate ground water, precious stones, and grave sites . . . or so they say.
Diving rods work whether you believe in them or not. I used a wire coat hanger that showed me where my sewer line was. I didn’t believe it, so I hired someone to dig up my yard to find my pipes. Why did I doubt?
I thought I knew what the problem was. In our yard, we have a forest of Japanese Knotweed, the invasive plant that has an extensive root system. You can’t chop up the roots, that will just grow more “faux” bamboo. You can’t destroy it with a machete. It’s taking over the banks of the Puyallup River and both sides of the Puyallup-Auburn-Kent Valley. Lakes, ponds, creeks, and streams are favorite targets for this plant that was brought to the Northwest in the late 1800s as a ground cover.
Leaving a blocked sewer line for my wife to deal with, I flew to Los Angeles to produce a training video for sleeping car workers on Amtrak. I taped in the train yards along the Los Angeles River . . . in the middle of summer. We would turn off the air conditioning in the sleeper car so the microphones only picked up the audio of our talent. We would tape for a few minutes and then turn the A/C back on and wipe off the sweat. I stayed at a nearby hotel, but one evening my daughter-in-law’s mother picked me up at the hotel and took me to the family home in Van Nuys for dinner. Brent and Nancy Kirkpatrick had sent their two daughters north to Pacific Lutheran University. When they got married and stayed up north the Kirkpatricks began packing their bags and moved north, also.
When I arrived back home I was greeted by a toilet sitting in my yard and a pile of dirt as high as our deck. The sewer pipe ended up being exactly on the line where the dowsing rod said it would be. We ended up with just rooting out the knotweed invasion and the second time it happened we hired Pielak Plumbing to burst our pipes and lay in a brand new sewer line. Steve Pielak probably has the most experience of pipe bursting, pipe lining, and trenchless water and sewer lines on the west side of the county. We haven’t had a problem since. – pielakplumbing.com
On the east side of the county, Dave Sipila is the king of drain fields, septic tanks, and sewer line repairs with his company Maple Valley Plumbing. He’s a younger version of Steve Pilak and loves to ride his dirt bike, his family, and is a dedicated Rotarian. – maplevalleyplumbing.com
I haven’t needed a dowsing rod lately, but we did suggest it to our neighbor to the north. Although, I prefer plastic coat hangers for clothing, I always make sure I have a wire coat hanger around to save the day. I’m a traditionalist. Divining is considered a pseudoscience. There is no scientific evidence that it actually works, but it’s worked for me . . . and you never can tell when you might need ground water, precious stones . . . or a lost grave.