Wednesday, September 26, 2012

slow news day

I know that when you talk to folks who live in the areas surrounding Kingston, they sometimes refer to it as The City.  It's known as the Limestone City but it's always felt like a small town to me.

That feeling was reinforced for me today, by our local TV news reporters.
Our street has been under construction off, and on, since June.  It was pretty ripped up in the spring and then it was patched back up until August.  The city needs to work on the water lines which go up our street, to the reservoir at the end of 3rd Avenue.  Since Mark was in the hospital in mid-August, we've had "temporary" water while the project has been underway.

Currently, our water is coming into our house via the external valve (for our garden hose).  Bright blue pipes snake their way across our neighbourhood, in a network of valves and eventually everything comes together a few doors down from us, connecting to the hydrant on our neighbour's lawn.

When the weather was really warm in August and early September.  The water tasted and smelled horrible.  Imagine water sitting in a plastic pipe, being baked in the sun.  Water from Lake Ontario is not the freshest tasting in August at the best of times, baking in a plastic tube just made it even more disgusting.  In our house, we filter our water through our refrigerator and we've been going through a lot of water filters (at $35 a pop) and even then, it has been tasting funny.

We have also noticed that our water pressure was lower than normal but it was tolerable, until last night.  Upon arriving home from work, we discovered that we had NO water at all in the house.  I found a friendly guy who works for the contractor doing the work and he checked our intake valve (between our house and our neighbour Pat's house).  He made some adjustment and I went into the house.  We had water again, but the pressure was really low.  The contractor told me that was normal, I thanked him and he went back to work.

Construction continued later than normal last night.  It was around 7:30 p.m before I heard them packing up for the night.  I think they must be feeling panicked because, if the temperature drops, those exposed plastic pipes are going to freeze!  All evening, our water pressure was just barely there.  It took forever to get water for dinner, to clean up with, our shower was almost unusable.  As it was way too late to call the City and report the problem (technically we still had water so I didn't think this was an "emergency" to report), I took to bitching about it on twitter.

While I was bitching, Mark was outside with a flashlight, checking to make sure that all of the external valves were open and working.  Pat came out of his house to see what was happening and told us that his pressure was super low too.  I felt relieved knowing it wasn't just our house.

In the middle of my tw-itching, our awesome city Councillor, Sandy Berg, tweeted to me that she had passed my comments along to the engineering and utilities folks and advised that I call them in the morning.  This morning at 8:01 a.m., I called the Utilities office, spoke to someone who works on the project and by mid-morning, when Mark was home for a break, our pressure had been restored.  Oh Happy Day!! Life can resume to close to normal now.  I tweeted my thanks to Councillor Berg, she let the city know that we were happy, all's well, right?

Uh, not so fast.  While all of this was going on, two different folks from our local TV Station News contacted me via twitter looking for a story.  It has to be a very slow news day here in Kingston.  I wrote back to both of them and explained that there wasn't any news going on, that we were working stuff out with the city and folks were just doing their jobs.  I'm not sure what kind of angle they would have presented the story from.  We have been inconvenienced by the construction but that's hardly newsworthy.  At the moment, we cannot use our driveway or really, our front lawn.  We're parking a block away from home and climbing through a giant sand pit when we come and go but again, not news, just life in a construction zone.

All the while this was happening this morning, "Pink Houses" by John Mellencamp was going through my head.  The City was super helpful and professional in dealing with our issue this morning.  The local TV News team, were grasping at straws for some kind of story to show on their program tonight.  It's kind of pathetic when you think about it but then again, their newscast is kind of pathetic when we've seen it in the past.

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