The main water supply line from the street to the house is accessible from the sidewalk. You lift a little metal door in the sidewalk and quickly find a leaking coupling that joins the city part of the water line with the homeowners part of the water line.
This plumber has removed the old connection, a rigid piece of PVC, and is replacing it with a flexible, expandable, temporary PVC coupling. One end of the flexible coupling slips over the pipe from the sidewalk to the main city water line and the other end of the flexible coupling slips over the pipe from the inside the house to the street.
This plumber has an audience with the lady of the house watching him through her wrought iron front door, and a neighbor and me making sure he knows what he is doing.
Water continues to bubble out of the break as he works.
When he closes the little door, the leak fixed, he might be the only one in this entire city to solve a problem today.
What I’m wondering is when is someone taking out the flexible coupling and installing the meter that measures the water usage of this household?
Water, last time I looked at my bills, wasn’t free.
I’m guessing, as I leave, that, before long, a long bill will be sent and paid.
In the end, we always have to pay, and, leaks that aren’t fixed ,cost us dearly.