Water, water everywhere | Loud & About | The Scene

I grew up swimming in the saltwater of Puget Sound and in the kidney-bean shaped cement puddle in the backyard of the house my mother rented. I never use an umbrella and I am on a first name basis with city of Bellevue Utilities employees including my favorite, Maria, the world's most delightful meter reader even when she is delivering a shut-off notice. I have watched every episode of Gilligan's Island and my favorite Bible story was Jonah and The Whale.

Yes, I am a big fan of water, although I don't drink enough. I do try hard to appreciate the stunning vistas that surround us. This past week has reminded me that with great beauty comes great power and the awesome forces of nature are capable of delivering far more than a pretty view as I first learned from The Poseidon Adventure.

We have a long driveway. A depressingly vast swathe of asphalt that camouflages a myriad expensive potential malfunctions. The day we brought Sistafoo home from the hospital we unknowingly drove over the saint who was trying to get the water back on after our first leak. Since then we have had two more leaks, accidental shearing of both the underground phone line and the cable line right when Oprah was trying to call, and a sprinkler valve failure.

I thought we had paid our fair share until my friendly neighborhood meter reader hand delivered a High Water Consumption Notice a.k.a. A Very Bad Thing. I checked the toilets. Naturally the odd size, expensive bisque colored toilet was (is) leaking, but when I turned off the water to the house the meter kept flipping which meant we had two leaks, but it was so tiny I thought.

So I took my time researching toilets and kept forgetting to call the expensive Underground Detection Services guys (note: Santa, please bring me a divining rod for Christmas, also a business license so I can give them a run for my money). Until the night before Thanksgiving when I noticed a wet patch in the middle of the dry driveway. Uh oh.

On Monday our driveway was marked with a giant X. I asked Facebook for plumber recommendations and started calling around. On Tuesday, Russell of Cahill Plumbing arrived with an optimistic attitude and a spring in his step. Five hours later he was a little less smiley, thigh deep in a six foot hole and suggesting we bag the repair and run a new line. Fortunately, three more hours of digging and and a pump later, he found and repaired the leak. Hooray.

He cleaned up and filled the hole on Wednesday.

On Thursday I started looking for asphalt repair people while also preparing for imminent checking account doom because the "service line WILL need to be replaced."

On Friday I came home to find Maria at the base of my driveway scratching her head and squinting at the maze of graffiti lines along the driveway while she congratulated me on my NO MOVEMENT meter.

On Saturday I received Russell's bill, and felt comfortable dishing out plumbing advice to Facebook friends with burst pipes.

On Sunday, presumably to protest questionable calls by the ref, a perfectly reasonable copper pipe in the garage burst into an icy rage, showering some very cool things with very cold water.

I hit redial for the plumber.

And on Monday, after the kids left for school, I remembered what we all forgot when the plumbers were here; the upstairs toilet is broken.

Fortunately I have people, water people.


We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

Read the Oct 21
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates