At the office -- repairs being made to the concrete parking garage to reduce leakage and improve drainage. Crumbling concrete being jackhammered and replaced.
Fast forward 6-8 months. The heavens open, a deluge of Biblical severity occurs. The folks in the downstairs offices begin crying out for help due to 3-4 inches of water on the floor and a healthy flow.
A soggy wall seems to be the source.
The plumbers arrive. The cast iron drain pipe from the flat roof runs through the soggy wall. At floor level is a cleanout plug, welded in place by rust. Around the cleanout plug, more rust, but not as strong as that holding the cleanout plug in place. The drain pipe has failed, allowing the runoff from the roof to enter the building.
Further detective work ensues to discover why the pipe failed. After all, there should be no back pressure, the water should have just kept going to the storm drain, right? Well, the investigation reveals that the drainage pipe is blocked. Where? A long way away, seems to be under the garage somewhere. A very solid blockage....
Measurements are made, jackhammers produced, and excavation begins.
A 10 foot section of drainpipe under the garage floor is found to have been filled with concrete during the "repairs" half a year ago. It is replaced. The rusty section of drainpipe in the wall is replaced and a shiny new cleanout plug is installed. The soggy wall is replaced. Runoff from the roof again flows unimpeded to the storm drain. All is well again.
At a rummage sale that summer, a recycled life ring is purchased and presented to the building manager, who accepts it with good humor. All repair to the pub.