Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Reflection from the past, 'Uhmm...the pool is drained'

Before I tell the story about the pool being drained, here's a brief update after my last post. As you may have read, I lost three chicks and the guy at Blue Seal assured me that I could get replacements. So I waited until Saturday to pick up more layers when I got my four broilers, but by then there were no more layers left.

I talked to Becky (who is buying some started layers from me) tonight and she'll take four birds, and I'll keep the other layer. The birds are doing very well in the brooder and I trapped a raccoon last week that I think may have killed the chicks.

Earlier tonight, I was reminded of an event from twenty years ago when I managed the Town Pool.

I lived at home at my parent's house and was trying to sleep in on some random weekday.

The phone rings. I ignore it.

My mom answers and talks for a minute before calling down the basement stairs.


I groan and roll my eyes, sore, tired, 'What?'

'Phone. The pool's drained.'

Adrenaline hits me hard and my mind reels?


'One of your lifeguards is on the phone. Come talk to her.'

My mind races and I wonder what or how the pool can be drained? And more importantly, how can this be fixed? What now?

'Hello?' I ask into the phone.

'The pool's drained!'

'Uhm. What does that mean? You mean empty?'

'No. But it's drained.'

'By how much?'

'Maybe two feet? What should I do? There are kids here for lessons.'

'Uhmm...tell them to go home. I'll be right there.'

I grab a piece of fruit and I go outside and hop on my 10-speed bike, coasting down the driveway and riding the half-mile to the pool. My mind races as I wonder. What does it mean that the pool drained?

The 10-speed clicks as I coast into the pool parking lot and I look into the pool. Sure enough, the water is down by 18 inches or so. I wonder aloud, 'How does a pool lose 18 inches of water?'

From the pumphouse, I hear a strange sound and logic flashes through my thoughts and I know what happened.

I break into a smile, laughing. 'Uhm...call all the parents and tell them that lessons are cancelled. And get the hose and turn on the water. Maybe we'll need to buy water to get this thing filled up.' But inside my thoughts reel again wondering how we'll pay for the water.

The night before, I had asked a junior lifeguard to backwash the pool and that process involves flushing the filter with backpressure. The excess water drains a few hundred gallons of water that we refill with a hose.

I walk into the filter house and look at the valves to confirm my suspicion. The valve wasn't closed and the pool drained at a low rate all night.

After I close the valve, I walk into the poolhouse laughing, 'Uhm...I need to call the junior lifeguard. Wait til I wake him up with the same statement...the pool is drained!'

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