General Question

wundayatta's avatar

What is being constructed? (See details).

Asked by wundayatta (58525points) July 21st, 2011

It looks like they are building a block of homes near where I work. They are building houses all around the perimeter, but they did something I’ve never seen before in the center of the block.

They dug a hole about the size and depth of an Olympic swimming pool. Depth is somewhat tricky because I am eight floors up and it is very difficult to determine depth from this height.

Then they laid down black pipes about one or two feet in diameter. They laid these in parallel rows down the length of the hole. Then they covered the pipes over with dirt. Since then they have done nothing. The area is surrounded by that orange plastic warning fence stuff.

Any ideas?

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12 Answers

filmfann's avatar

Area for water runoff or drainage testing?

koanhead's avatar

I wonder if it could be part of a ground loop heat exchanger?
If I were building a block of homes these days I’d probably use one, and plumb them all into it.

wundayatta's avatar

@koanhead I thought of that, and I agree, I’d do that, too. However, I don’t think the pipes are the appropriate size for very efficient heat exchange, and they don’t seem to be buried deep enough. My understanding is that you have to go at least 15 feet down, and if you’re doing a vertical loop, up to 300 feet down.

atlantis's avatar

Septic tank?

wundayatta's avatar

@atlantis A) it’s a city with a modern sewage system. B) there is no room for a leach field the size necessary for 100 houses.

Aethelflaed's avatar

Any chance you can go up to the first guy you see wearing a hard hat and ask? Yeah, least helpful answer ever, I know…

wundayatta's avatar

@Aethelflaed Probably, but that would take effort.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@wundayatta I soooooooooooo get that.

koanhead's avatar

@wundayatta Yes, it didn’t seem very likely even as I was suggesting it- but hey, I can dream, right?

thorninmud's avatar

I wonder if it might be a stormwater detention array. Developments increase the loads on municipal storm sewers because rainwater ends up in the sewers faster due to all those new impermeable surfaces. Many municipalities require new developments to provide some way of slowing down the passage into the sewers. Some use above ground retention ponds, but where that’s not feasible, some construct buried grids of large pipe to collect excess water and dole it out slowly to the sewer. Maybe this will be the site of a parking lot, and the pipes will gather the runoff from the lot. Here’s an example.

wundayatta's avatar

Yes!!! I did some research this afternoon, and the articles about the development said they were doing something about storm water runoff! And the pipes looked exactly like the ones in your picture! Thank you!!!!!

Key's avatar

Well it could be an apratment complex that includes a pool of course. It could also be a housing area that has a clubhouse and also inludes a pool area.

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