Chick Wit: Three teams of plumbers and a front-yard swamp

You may recall I mentioned in the last column that I water my garden too much.

That problem is now solved.

Because I'm out of water.

Our story begins when I start to notice that the water pressure in my house is low.


By the way, I have well water. We live like pioneers in our township, which has no police, fire, or garbage removal, though I don't have to churn my own butter.

Thanks, township!

Anyway, the water level in my well generally goes down when there's no rain, but it was getting worse and worse until I realized that something must be wrong in the springhouse.

If you don't know what a springhouse is, welcome to the club.

All I know is that it's a picturesque little shed that houses where the water comes up from the well. More than that I can't explain, because I have no understanding of how my springhouse works. I never go in there because it's damp, dark, and scary, like a basement on steroids.

I called the plumbers who specialize in wells and they wanted me to show them the springhouse, so I was shamed into going in. Inside were strange black gauges, weird blue tanks, and two body-size open trays of water, which is the water I drink, evidently lying around all day and night, so that bugs, snakes, paramecia, and God-knows-what-else can swim around in it before it finds its way into the glass that I put to my parched lips.


To stay on point, the plumbers inspect the well and say that it's fine, so we all leave the springhouse and troop around the lawn to solve the mystery of why I have no water. You don't have to be Nancy Drew to notice that the grass in my front yard, near the garden, is surprisingly soggy.


So we go find the faucet for the garden hose, which is in the garage, and the plumbers guess that the pipe must be leaking under the garage, since it was never used until I put in this stupid garden. They say it must have been corroding, but the corrosion was holding it together.

Like me.

Anyway, we trace the leak backward to the basement under the garage, which is another place I never go because it's damp, dark, and scary, like a springhouse on steroids.

As soon as we open the door, we see that the basement brims with water. Pieces of wood, broken glass, and kreplach float by.

Long story short, we call in the plumbers who specialize in flood damage and they use three pumps to pump the water out of the basement. They figure out where the leak is in the pipe, but also surmise it can't possibly be causing the soggy grass. In other words, I have two leaks in two pipes, caused by watering the garden!


To stay on point, we call in a third set of plumbers who specialize in second leaks, and these are the guys who put on their booties before going to work.

For a middle-aged woman, a plumber is a booty call.

They find the leak under the soggy lawn but are not sure exactly where. Long story short, they explain that they will need to dig trenches and lay new water lines, and that an estimator will come out on Saturday to tell me how much my gardening hobby is going to cost me.

Obviously, I have a green thumb.


So by Sunday night, as I write, my entire front lawn is a swamp.

The only dry spot is the garden, where the flowers left by the deer are dying of thirst.


Look for Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella's columns in their newest collection, "Meet Me at Emotional Baggage Claim." Also, look for Lisa's latest novel, "Don't Go," in stores now. You can write to Lisa at