July 21st, 2006
Down the Drain

Thousands and thousands wasted.

“Turn on the hot water, ” the plumber shouted from the roof as he began snaking out the half-century old sewer lines which have a history of backing up in the kitchen sink whenever the washing machine drains. Leaks in that same section of plumbing necessitated rebuilding the outside wall on that side of the house and gave us the opportunity to move both the electrical and plumbing inside. Now the plumber was almost finished with that day-long job. Problem. The new connection wasn’t draining.

I couldn’t hide my pained expression as thousands of gallons of water poured into the waste water lines. Wasted water. I– the same I who dread walking through the garden this time of year as the plants cry out for some relief and I skulk past them making Sophie’s Choice over which I choose to live–I stood there with the hose for 45 minutes pouring water down the drain.

by M Sinclair Stevens

3 Responses to post “Down the Drain”

  1. From r sorrell (Austin):

    Ah, the joys of old houses. I can relate. If I could pump half the water that my inefficent plumbing funneled into the city’s sewage system last year to my yard, I think it would resemble a rainforest by now. The lady next door to me waters almost every day; I, on the other hand, bring out the sprinkler only under the cover of night for fear of the wrath of the environmental gods (or of the spirits of the elusive Salamanders).

  2. From Reading Dirt:

    45 minutes of running the hose — oy, the water bills!

    I was close to tears. And the garden turned several shades of brown when it discovered my priorities lay with fixing the plumbing. — mss

  3. From Kathy (New York):

    It reminds me of doctors prescribing medication with no thought of how much the patient will have to pay to obtain it.