thanks for the reply. The cable looks as if it is a TRIPLEX that has been placed in the ground. I called it URD but I bet it is a TRI-PLEX XLPE.
I am planning to replace the feeder with a insulated neutral using URD (insulated neutral marked with yellow stripe).
I have seen the results of placing AL in direct contact with the earth...you end up with a white powder that loses continuity...
i inherited the job from the HO's cousin..
it looks like a 1st year apprentice took on more than he could chew..
as always, thanks for the replies..
Electricity has no respect for ignorance!