Not A Drop

Starting in the late ‘70s and lingering through the early 1990s, developers began using a new kind of PVC-ish material for water lines up here in my area, inexpensive and supposedly more durable. Although you had them at inexpensive, I’m sure.

And, it turned out that, no. After a while, this blue poly vinyl crap (actual name, I believe) begins to crack, which is never a good thing in water lines. There was a class-action lawsuit, etc. I had no idea about any of this.

Until a few years ago, some 20-odd years since installation, when my neighbor (downhill from me) started complaining about a soggy lawn. I dug a big hole and a plumber eventually stopped by and fixed the leak, warning me about the blue pipe.

I repaired another leak later with the help of a friend, and then there was another and, yup, another. Each time, I briefly researched the cost of getting a line replacement and each time I balked at the thousands of dollars involved, as compared to a couple of a hundred to push the problem down the road.

And here we are, at the end of that road. It’s been leaking for a few months now, nothing above ground, just a rising water bill, and then this past weekend I noticed the puddle. It began to spread a little and dribble down the driveway, and I wasn’t about to start digging again.

It’s just part of being a homeowner, of course. Except that over the past nine years, we’ve come face-to-face with big bills that pretty much had to be paid. Not thousands as much as tens and hundreds of thousands, actually. We ran out of money pretty quickly. Bills kept coming. You get it.

But it’s hard to live without water, so these days I turn it off as much as possible while I wait a few days until the line can be replaced. It’s an interesting thing, doling out water to ourselves, improvising and not flushing so much, and it actually can be done pretty easily. It feels like camping, a little.

So, $8000. It’s not an overwhelming number, just frustrating. At least I get to watch this trenchless process, where they shove new pipe underground, under my neighbor’s yard and driveway and fence, 175 feet to my house. Not exactly good money down the drain, although you’ll excuse me if it feels a lot like that.

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