I fixed it all by myself!
The past couple of weeks I’ve been complaining to my carpool buddies that the water pressure in Franklin Irrigation District was really crappy. Then this week the pressure in my sprinkler heads dropped to pretty much zero. I asked my neighbor across the street if he was having the same problem and he said “You don’t have a pressure problem. You have a milfoil problem.” Huh. Somehow I had forgotten that we get our irrigation water directly from the Columbia River, which this time of year is literally up to its ears in the stuff.
I shouldn’t complain about my irrigation at all, honestly. I pay next to nothing for all the water I can douse my pasture in all spring and summer. Seriously, my irrigation taxes for the entire year are under $200. I think my monthly household water bill is about $25. And I live in THE DESERT. I know, right?
So, no water. Time to check the filter, which is housed in a big gray plastic junction right near the front of the property, along with the shutoff valve. The cap of the housing is a big plastic cap about 4 inches in diameter. I tried to unscrew that cap with everything I could find in my garage and nothing worked. So I heisted my butt up to Lowe’s and bout the biggest pair of Channel Locks I’ve ever seen - all 16.5 inches of them. Turns out there’s not many things you can’t solve with the correct size channel locks.
I did figure out how I could have made it easier on myself. The cap has a big O-ring inside, and it comes off easier, I found, when it is not (NOT) pressurized. Oh.
So not only should I turn off the shutoff valve, I should also open the pressure release valve to let the last of the water inside the housing escape *before* I unscrew the housing cap.
Damn, that lightbulb almost hurt my head from the brightness.
My filter was indeed plugged with milfoil. A toothbrush and the garden hose with the sprayer set on “Jet” did the trick and before long my lawn and pasture were once more receiving their daily allotment of life-giving water. TAKE THAT, BROWN GRASS!
I love the rush I get when I have fixed something all on my own. I love it when my instincts are right, when I am strong enough to do something without help. Even if I am a little bit, um, slow in figuring out how to fix it.
My mother mentioned to me the other day that my Aunt Bernie (God rest her soul) was a Rosie the Riveter during the war. I hadn’t known that. Why didn’t I know that? I’m a little perturbed and surprised that no one would mention it to me, since I am, I believe, the first self-identified women’s libber in my entire extended family. At any rate, I get a kick out of knowing that my little short, feisty, Aunt Bernice was one of what I like to think of as “the ones who came before me.” Freakin’ coooooooool.