Thursday, June 11, 2009

This was the Niagara Falls of plumbing snafus. The frightening details spilled out yesterday morning, when Trina showed me our monthly water bill. I'm not a big fan of bills to begin with and I rarely get too excited about a water bill. We're probably a lot like you. Typically, we shell out around 30 dollars a month to keep the H20 coming. It beats taking showers out of the downspouts. But there was something different about this month's bill. I couldn't be quite sure why.... unless... the... oh... there it is... the balance due! It came right out of the Atlantic Ocean at a whale-sized $658. Yes, it's a new, "This Could Only Happen To Steve" world's record.
While we wait for the good folks at The Guinness Book to confirm this astounding feat, I shall explain what happened. We have a toilet secreted away in the basement. It's only used for extreme emergencies. By that I mean Trina uses it when there's some mysterious noxious, and possibly toxic odor in the main bathroom upstairs. Hmmmm. I wonder where that odor comes from? Possibly a topic for another blog....
Someone who shall remain nameless, Trina, used the downstairs toilet, being sure to flush! Flushing is almost always key. Sadly, you can have too much of a good thing. (See Joan Rivers' latest face lift) Our basement bathroom suddenly turned into the little commode that could. It flushed. (I think I can!) And flushed. (I think I can!) And it flushed. I think I'll smash that little toilet with a sledge hammer. (I think I can!) It flushed continuously for some period of time. Perhaps days. Maybe weeks. However long it took to rack up a $658 bill. And here's what you buy for $658.
77,500 gallons of nothing.

That comes out to:
2,672 gallons every day for a month
that's 111 gallons every hour.
or 1.85 every minute for 30 long days

That's more water than our dog Mika could have drunk out of the toilet bowl for her entire lifetime. We never noticed because we just don't spend a lot of time in the dark, dank corner of our basement where this Damian Dumpster lurks. I had an Eureka moment, thinking I'd made a tremendous (although wasteful) discovery! Maybe I could charge admission to see my toilet. But sadly, as it turns out that there's very little market for a perpetual motion flusher.

Next time: Clash of The Water Warlords
(or, Steve "negotiates" with the utility company)

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