Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Getting the lead out

I may never get the hang of the complexitites of the Interweb

(or the correct use of the Delete button.)

On Monday I wrote a brilliant mini essay on the state of my garage, a scintillating topic I'm sure many readers will be sorry to have missed, and on Tuesday I deleted it by accident. No matter. Suffice it to say that it is summer, and I am wanting to be outside in an elegant lounge-y space, in spite of hayfever and an aversion to weeding, combined with an aversion to sitting still and enjoying the breeze when there is weeding to be done. Plus a lot of weeds I didn't have time to pull in May.

What I keep forgetting in my longing for a peaceful outdoor room is that I built one, pretty much singlehandedly, last year:

But here's a funny thing. Apparently two years ago my city broke the news that any house built before 1950 is still being serviced with water fed through lead pipes. Isn't that a hoot? But they did it so quietly, I only heard about it this winter - after I laid the ton of flagstone - when a neighbour down the block talked to another neighbour a bit further down and heard that that neighbour's water was three times over the safe limit for lead content. Hilariouser and hilariouser!

My nearer neighbour's water tested at only .4 or .6 parts per million over the safe limit, so perhaps my water won't be so bad. I bought a pitcher-based water filter just in case, and am waiting to have my water tested too. But the bottom line is, the city will be replacing the pipe along my street and given that the pipe leading between it and my house is also lead, (surprise!), I should arrange to have it replaced at the same time. Which means paying a great deal for the privilege of watching a digger cut open my peaceful outdoor room and make a pit deep enough for a man to stand in and shunt a new pipe through, somewhere along this swathe:

Though really, the most likely dig zone will be precisely here:

Oh, I could laugh till I cry, I really could. And then I might cop out and get a proper filter for my kitchen tap and skip the digging altogether.