Lake O’Hara

On February 9th, the water treatment plant outside Draper Lake experienced a power outage, causing low water pressure to roughly 30,000 people in the metro. That day, our water pressure dropped to 10% of our normal pressure. Our toilets were taking forever to fill up, it was taking a good 30 seconds to get a glass of drinking water, and the water coming out of the shower wasn’t spraying hard enough to hit the back wall of the shower. We figured they would fix it eventually.

Two takeaways here. The first is, Draper Lake is roughly 30 miles from me. There’s a really small chance that an outage there was affecting my water pressure. And second, had I followed up on the news story I would have found that they fixed the problem the same day.

Our problem did not go away that same day. Or the next day. In fact, for an entire week we’ve been taking showers under trickles of water and flushing the toilets sparingly, hoping our water pressure would magically return. It did not.

It’s been cold in Oklahoma. Like, really cold — cold enough to break water lines. We checked the faucets, both front and back. No water. I also checked inside the garage and in the bathrooms. No water. Something was going on.

This morning, Susan called the water department to come out and take a look. When the man pulled up in front of the house he waved at us and said, “I see the problem.” The entire side of our house had standing water, and water was shooting out from under a big, fake plastic rock — our sprinkler system. In our defense, the rock and sprinkler system is hidden by our pop-up camper. It’s also on a side of the house we rarely go, and where I park my truck blocks the view of the side yard. (Oddly, the city water guy had no trouble spotting the lake.)

When the fake rock was removed water began shooting into the air a few feet high. Fortunately the water guy was able to shut off the water to the sprinkler system without turning off water to the entire house.

So, for the time being, water pressure has been restored. I will be launching a donation site soon to cover both repair bills to the sprinkler system we never use, and our next water bill from the city.

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