Monday, April 7, 2008

And so begins a rambling series of semi-coherent thoughts in which little of interest is discussed

As I note below, my paying gig is currently leaving me with little mental energy to devote to my normal reader-edification program of diatribing against state corruption, incompetence, and unchecked dominance of the citizenry. Does that sentence even make sense? I don't know, but I'm leaving it there.

So... my neighbors have seen fit to accuse me of flooding their yards. They suggest, through showing up unbidden to my door, that my swimming pool is leaking, or otherwise suffering from some large loss of water. At first, I did not dispute this as, not having paid much attention to the swimming pool or its mysterious equipment during the non-swimming months of the year, I had little idea whether it might be true.

During the superficially pleasant conversation, I maintained repeatedly -- repeatedly -- that if, indeed, something had gone awry with the pool, I would be foremost among residents of our little enclave in seeking to fix whatever problem had arisen. After all, what pool owner would stand idly by whilst his or her pool disgorged hundreds upon hundreds of gallons of water each day? But the thing is, I don't think they believed me. I came away from the conversation with the distinct impression that they believed that I was such a person; i.e., one who secretly delighted in profligately wasting tons of water, paying the resultant higher-than-normal water bills, and thereby gleefully inconveniencing all of my neighbors.

Of course, at some point in the conversation my lawyerly instincts kicked in, and I began to ask questions designed to elicit what, if any, evidence there might be which would lead anyone to believe that problem of the surplus water could be laid at my particular doorstep. No such evidence was forthcoming. My further questions reflected a somewhat more civilly expressed preoccupation with the issue of: "What? Your yard is muddy? Gee, didja notice how it's been raining, uh, like, a lot the past several days?"

Nevertheless, being a neighborly sort, I called up my pool guy. (A dude who, when he first arrived at my house last summer, on more than one occasion during his visit made a point of telling me that he "never set out to become a pool guy".) Rather than make an appointment to come out to my house and charge me money, he asked me a series of questions. First: is your pool obviously losing large amounts of water each day? No. Do you have an automatic pool filler? Yes. Is it on? Yes. How often and for how long does it fill the pool? Once every 4 days it fills the pool for 5 minutes. Ah, he says, there's your problem. You're overfilling the pool, and your overflow drain dumps right into the neighbors yard(s).

Which sounded about right to me. So I turned it off. Then I began checking each day to see if the water level went down. It didn't, but we had some heavy rain for a few days (as noted above, it's been wet around here).

But then: I checked the level every day since it last rained (Thursday night). The level of the water each time I checked was right up to the overflow drain. I checked again today at 10:30AM. Right up to the overflow drain. My pool had not lost any appreciable amount of water in at least 3 days.

I then went around to where all the mysterious pool equipment lurks. It is right on my neighbor's property line (not, in fact, one of the neighbors who had complained). And sure enough, there was pooling, standing water there. But my pool equipment wasn't running at the time, and there were no visible leaks, and then I notice that my next door neighbor has his irrigation system running, and his strip of sideyard is flooded.

This leads me to possibly conclude that my neighbor's irrigation system is causing all the extra water, not my pool and not, in fact, anything to do with me. Why, then, would my neighbors automatically assume this problem could be attributed to some malfeasance on my part? Perhaps it is my habit of not coming to the door when I don't know who the fuck is knocking at it.

No comments: