CHAOSTOCOSMOS

Friday, 23 September 2005

Water, Water Everywhere

image Whilst I will not pretend that my case is anywhere near as severe as those who have suffered Katrina's devastation (or Rita's to come), I do wonder exactly how much one is expected to take. Today, the greater part of my house was flooded again - enough inches to wet furniture - for the forth time.

After two major storms and an "indoor lake" when my neighbors hosed down to prepare their house for painting, now this.

For the last few days, the local council have been tinkering with the water. What they are doing is great: instead of using the current gas guzzling pumps to send water uphill, they were diverting the system to bring the water down from the mountains, using gravity.

Now considering how abruptly mountainous Tenerife is, I have to wonder why the heck they weren't doing this in the first place, but I won't go there. There is never any logic in their reasoning.

Well, except that the current change is, apparently, they say, due to rising oil prices and to that, I say, shove the price up some more then, if it is going to finally FORCE people to look at doing things in more sustainable, economical viable and environmentally respectful ways.

Of course, nothing is ever as simple as the plan though.

For several days I had been living with the sound of rushing water somewhere. Couldn't find a leak and nothing was turned on, but it was pretty conspicuous (read bloody disruptive) at night.

The only good point was that after six years with water pressure so pathetically weak that I'd have to dance round in circles to get my entire body wet in the shower - I could piddle faster - I suddenly had a raging torrent capable of pressure washing me from head to foot in an instant - and that was when I only wanted to wash my hands in the basin.

So yesterday, I popped down to have a quiet word with the guy in charge of water maintenance, because I wanted them to be aware about the extremity of the noise and pressure in my house and, because I was concerned that it might break something (knowing they'd bill me for the pleasure of "using" the additional water).

I knew my instincts would be right. I also knew the response I'd get before I went down. Nothing is ever a problem here in the Canaries, unless it happens to one of them.

So, of course, what happens today?

First the pressure rose to the extent that my toilet cistern began constantly filling, even though it was full and hadn't been used.

Then, as work was coming to an end, the water maintenance guy came to the door and asked me to check to see if the pressure was OK for my water heater to work. As I walked across to go to try it, I saw that the other half of the house was under water.

This water had come from the pipe that serves the washing machine out in the outside back patio / utility room, water had filled that area, gathered as much muck as it could and then tumbled down the stairs from there into the house proper. It took me hours to sweep it all out and it will take forever to clean and dry it all out properly.

Now, bear in mind that washing machine has been quite happily plumbed in there for six years. I am now told that I must switch this supply off when I am not actually using the machine. Nah!

Also bear in mind that the guy came and knocked at my door to ask me about water pressure. He had, therefore, implied that he knew that this pressure had been altered by the works.

His next "trick" (on seeing the flood) was to claim that the current works had no effect on the water pressure, so it must be something else, like that the regulator may be broken (it couldn't be that the EXCESSIVE pressure broke it, by any slim chance?).

And, yes, he just walked away fast leaving me to deal with the mess on my own.

After the fiasco with the power last week, I feel like I am living in a Flanders and Swann nightmare. Younger viewers won't have a clue what I mean. See, The Gas Man Cometh.

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