City Water

Yesterday was a momentous occasion. For the first time since moving to Indianapolis more than a decade ago, my family lives in a home connected to city water. It isn't that we moved. Citizens Water recently put a main on our street, where previous utility companies had not done so. And then Bedell Plumbing connected us to it. I cannot recommend Bedell highly enough. They were affordable, professional, cheerful and friendly, and fast. We are the first house to get connected to the new main.

The fact that there are streets in Indianapolis where people are still on wells is one of the quirks of the city. It doesn't seem that odd, when considered alongside the fact that there are creeks running through parts of the city, and lots of areas where one can encounter deer, foxes, and even coyotes. One such creek runs behind my house, and I've seen all of the above animals and more.

Our well water was particularly bad. Some people just have a faint smell of sulphur or slight reddish staining left behind in their sink. Our water was visibly orange much of the time, and strong smelling. We have relied on a Culligan Sulphur-Cleer unit to turn the water into something useful, and it has worked as well as it could, given the amount of iron and sulphur in our water. But the filter would break down regularly because of the sheer amount of grit and gunk in the water.

I am very impressed with the technology used for underground digging nowadays. Neither Citizens nor Bedell dug up the entire street or yard. Now they just dig a hole and then remotely excavate a path underground for the pipe. It doesn't always go smoothly – the borer Citizens used “nicked” our sewer line (which means it cut a foot-long hole in it). And so they had to dig in our yard to fix that, which they did promptly. Even so, the ability to put in underground pipes without digging up a whole street or making a large trench across someone's entire yard is still impressive. Things went wrong with the older ways of doing things too. Improved technologies make things easier and more convenient, they don't make it impossible for things to go wrong.

I am sure that there is a way that one could make this into a parable. But today, I just want to appreciate the literal level. My house is finally connected to city water.



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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Dan

    Wow, just wow. I live in a third world city and it has been almost 20 years since I last had to use well water for anything.

    • James F. McGrath

      Interesting to compare notes across vast distances on the globe, isn’t it? To be clear, it is a well drilled into the ground, with a pump, and so the water still flowed straight into our house – we didn’t have to go outside and pump it by hand or bring it up into a bucket.

      What part of the globe do you live on, if you don’t mind me asking? Just curious!

      • Dan

        Manila, Philippines. A city Dan Brown (of Da Vinci Code) affectionately called “the gates of hell”. You can come visit us any time. :-)

        • James F. McGrath

          If I ever manage to make it to your part of the world, I will let you know!

  • x x

    Congratulations. Welcome to the twentieth century!