Monday, September 04, 2006

Water From/Through/In the Rock

There’s a fountain on my property. Oh, it’s not one of those lovely Tuscan things I’ve drooled over while watching HGTV. It’s not even one of those fiberglass faux-rock models I could purchase in the lawn and garden department at WalMart.

It makes a lovely sound, though. Gurgle, gurgle, splash, splash.

And the water is crystal clear and refreshingly cold.

The thing is, the fountain bubbles and flows in the middle of my asphalt driveway.

I know what you’re thinking. Ritzy! She has a circle drive with an orb of lush grass right in the middle and center-stage is a concrete water feature to rival Buckingham Fountain in the heart of Chicago.


This water is from a busted pipe underneath the driveway. The pipe that runs from the well house, under the lawn, under the driveway, and into the house has a leak somewhere. Under pressure, when the pump kicks on, water spews out underground and fights its way to the surface where it finds an asphalt crack large enough to spit through.

So when I run the washing machine or dishwasher or take a shower, a percentage of the water that should come from the well to the house to my faucet is making its way onto the blacktop.

One would think that would be enough of a concern. (I keep a big bucket of water sitting on the counter just in case the pipe completely falls apart and ALL our water washes over the driveway before reaching the house. One never knows when one might have to flush!)

Enough of a concern? Oh yes. But my husband left for a week in the Canadian wilderness this morning. He knew about the problem, but he’s convinced this “little seepage” won’t likely develop into anything more serious while he’s gone. Is he kidding? These things ALWAYS develop into something serious when he’s gone! The cows break down the fence around the pasture or one of his children decides to date someone horrible or lightning strikes the satellite dish or I have to have emergency surgery…

The family joke is that when he returns from Canada every year, his first words are, “Okay. What broke this time?”

I like indoor plumbing. I really do. That’s why he goes to the wilderness without me. I like faucets and sinks and showers and washing machines and dishwashers and toilets too much to live without them and call it a vacation.

I’d dig up the driveway myself, find the leak, replace the pipe, and resurface the driveway myself while he’s gone, but I might break a fingernail. Then I’d have an answer for his question. “What broke this time?”

“I broke a nail, honey. Welcome home.”


eileen said...

Sigh. Will pray you won't be dipping water from the front yard anytime soon. Details, details. They clutter a writer's life.

Ane Mulligan said...

Why is that? Every time my husband used to travel, the same kind of thing happened.

One year the day after he left, water began to drip out of the light fixture right over the kitchen sink. In California, the houses had galvanized plumbing pipes - at least the mid-century modern ones did. (I love saying that. It used to just be an old hosue - now it's mid-century modern)

I couldn't wait for him to come home, and had to call a plumber to re-pipe the entire attic where all the plumbing was. At least it wasn't beneath the house. Sigh.

I'm so glad he doesn't travel now. But I said that too soon. He's part of a new start-up a business as a special consultant to the CEO. He's only working part time, but you just wait.

He'll have to travel. And when he does ... something will break.