January 23, 2013

If there’s one thing that scares the bejeezus out of the average homeowner it’s the propect of water being where it shouldn’t. The guy a few doors down from us went to work one day and had the valve underneath his toilet let go while he was away; he comes home to find 600 gallons of water in his house. Anytime I see a fire / smoke / water restoration truck outside someone’s home it just gives me the heebie-geebies. I mean, I’ve had a couple of water leaks since we’ve been in this house, but fortunately the only thing I ended up having to replace was a 3 X 3 piece of wallboard. I know and you all know it can be a whole lot worse.

Just ask my sister-in-law: we had those two pre-Christmas rainstorms last month and now she’s got a 6′ X 6′ hole in her living room ceiling with just heavy plastic, plywood, and roof tiles – no insulation whatsoever – between her and the heavens.

Which is why this water issue in the backyard has been so problematic, to the point of obsession. Along my back wall the soil is soaking wet, and, peeking over the wall at the neighbors’ yards it doesn’t look like it’s coming from their side of things. But I’ve got half a yard that’s just a muddy quagmire, our water bill last month was through the roof, and because of the December rainstorms and a general lack of sun and warmth the ground has been too wet for the landscaping guys to come by and really see where the source of the wet is coming from.

So imagine my surprise on Sunday when I decided to check all my irrigation settings now that the weather has warmed back up again. My watering system has three programs: Program A, for the daily 5-minute watering of the front, side, and back lawns; Program B for the weekly 1-hour watering of the front bushes, back bushes, and backyard palms; and Program C, typically reserved for special waterings and presently unused. I’m clicking my way through the various daily settings and see that one of Carmelo’s guys has got my back bushes watering for one hour – on the daily schedule! My mind turns into a human calculator: that’s 1 hour of water every day dripping 1 gallon of water around seven bushes and one of the palms. That on top of the hour they were normally getting watered every Sunday.

Like they say, do the math.

So I’ve been getting eight 7-gallon waterings a week (daily plus the normal Sunday watering), 56 gallons of water, being poured along my back wall (where the bushes are) for the last who knows how many weeks or even months. I mean, no wonder I have a water issue! Given that the yard has a slight back-to-front and left-to-right slant, and the soil being as porous as it is around here, no wonder ‘X’ (or ‘Q’ for quagmire) marks the spot where everything is saturated.

As a fatalist by nature, I don’t believe complex issues have easy solutions, so this just seems to good to be true. Nevertheless, I’ve gone out on a limb and cancelled the landscaper call and will monitor the situation as (hopefully) everything gradually dries out as we’re back on a sane watering schedule over the coming month.

And, I’ll just to tell Carmelo to tell his boys to keep their paws off the irrigation box. Nicely, of course…

At this point I just want all the water to go back to where it belongs. Will it? We’ll see…

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:52 | Comments (2)
2 Comments »
  1. checking the watering system would have been the first thing I would have looked at…however, since you no longer have the benefit of my being your neighbor, you are on your own.

    Comment by Jana — January 23, 2013 @ 2:17 pm


  2. I did! I just didn’t notice it for some reason.

    Comment by The Great White Shank — January 23, 2013 @ 10:26 pm


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