When It Rains, It Pours

Leah and I were about to step out to take care of an outdoor errand, when a graying sky turned into a routine Florida downpour, putting a damper on our schedule until the storm abated. We were watching the rain from my office window, just as the city sanitation truck arrived, chugging towards our cul de sac for the weekly trash pickup. But this time around, something went terribly wrong.

The driver of the truck entered the cul de sac by driving down the center of the road instead of staying right and following the full curve of the road. Perhaps, the driver thought the truck’s turning radius could negotiate a tight 180° turn out of our dead end from his middle-of-the-road position without jumping the opposite curb…but he was wrong. The vehicle rolled over the curb–its right wheel catching a water supply cover that split under the weight of the cab–which crushed the water valve and sheared the 3-inch supply line underneath.

Suddenly, we were looking at an impropmtu geiser eruption in our front yard, rising 60 feet or more.


It was enough for me to grab my camera and photograph the ensuing drama, as if I was part of a crime scene investigation.

police arrival

The police were called–filing a report and issuing a summons to the driver–but stuck around for a while to gawk at the local man-made attraction.

Thirty minutes passed before a Water Department maintenance crew eventually arrived on the scene to figure out their next step.

service truck and geiser

With water being such a precious commodity (see Well Done!), Leah and I wondered how much had been wasted.

“They better not be charging us for that,” she asserted.

“How could they,” I reassured, “It’s not like it was our mistake.”

First order of business…

checking the break

…inspect the damage…

water pressure

…then locate the water shut-off…

turning off the water

…and stop the flow…

water recovery.jpg

to enable repairs.

geiser containment

digging out

tools of the trade

pumping water

excavating the pipe head

After an hour of tinkering, the damaged fitting was finally replaced…

cracked pipe

…with something shiny and new.

new cap installed

I asked the crew chief how much water he thought had been lost.

crew chief

“Y’know, I have to fill out an EPA report that accounts for missing water,” he explained, “So, if I was to go with a 1000 GPM flow-rate over 45 minutes, I’d be looking at approximately 45000 gallons (or 170,000 liters) lost.”

According to city water rates, that’s equivalent to a $500 water bill, making this accident one very expensive car wash.




12 thoughts on “When It Rains, It Pours

  1. Exciting day in your neighborhood! It’s interesting, I just finished reading a blog post that appeared right above yours in my WordPress reader with the exact same title. “When It Rains, It Pours”. (Their post was about a rainy trip in Arches. I just thought it was funny, they appeared one after the other. I had to do a double take to realize they were separate posts.)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. haha that’d be great!
        I can honestly say I get some guilty pleasure over hearing stories like this. I’m a huge clutz, so anytime I can laugh at someone who causes a giant ruckus like this is a noteworthy in my book. I’ve caused a couple myself … though maybe not this huge…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m actually publishing a blog post in 2 weeks about my most infamous disaster – knocking over a filing cabinet, which knocked a fire extinguisher off the wall and … yeah.
        I’ve also managed to cut myself on a lint roller, get an article of clothing stuck on a display of air fresheners at Auto Zone, trip over a piece of driftwood on the beach and fall (fully clothed) into the waves, skin my knees twice as an adult, and get my bracelet caught on my shoe.
        Hmmmm I think I’m going to have to write another post about all of the above…


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