Napa Journal: Time to call the plumber | Columnists

When I called at 8am our plumber answered. He had booked a few jobs that morning, then he would be out right away.

A calm came over me. Things were under control or soon to be.

I revisited the sprinkler box. It was filled with water at night, but it didn’t overflow. Unless the leak was now feeding an underground river, I took this as a good sign.

That afternoon the plumber arrived in a large box truck. I greeted him as I would a lifeguard pulling me out of the treacherous surf.

He sat down on his knee pads and poked around the hole. That’s a power line, he said. The other is water. Fixing the leak in the midst of this tangle will be a delicate affair.

He marked a square the size of four shoeboxes on the concrete and said a cutting team would be there to open things up.

In the meantime, should we turn off our water supply at every opportunity to save?

Not necessary, he said. It’s a small leak.

The cutting crew did not show up that afternoon. Nor the next day. Or the five days after that.

The silence was unnerving. We lived with an active water leak!

To compensate for the water loss, I shortened the duration of several irrigation stations on the yard. If this were a chapter in an action novel, it would be titled “Kevin Fights Back.”

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