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From Lisa – Other Duties As Assigned

April 12, 2017

Those dreaded words, usually found at the end of a job description, could mean just about any task, even one loosely related to your actual job. At Touchstone, and my guess is any small non-profit, “other duties as assigned” are a fairly common occurrence. As the Managing Director, sometimes I have to ask someone else to do them, other times I have to take care of them myself.

Yesterday, my other duty as assigned was Investigative Plumbing. We received our water bill and it was eight times what it usually is (?!) – so, hoping it was a clerical error and we didn’t actually owe an extra $500, I called the City and set off on my adventure.

My first task was to find the water meter to confirm the accuracy of the reading (which was actual, not estimated) – easier said than done. After I searched on my own to no avail, I enlisted Bill and then Emma. Finally, Emma pointed out something that Bill and I had thought was a heat sensor. Thank heavens for technology, because I snapped a picture and emailed it to the City to confirm. We’d found the water meter!

Unfortunately, the actual reading was right, and now it was even higher – by about 20,000 gallons – because almost three weeks had passed since the City reading. During my earlier adventures, which had taken me all around the theatre, I’d also been looking for leaks and didn’t notice any. I shared that with the City and they sent along a Leak Form with instructions on how to find a leak.

Second task: find the leak! In order to do that I had to make sure no water was being used, then check the meter for a circle or triangle, depending on the meter type – ours is a circle. If the shape appeared and no one is using water, it means you have a leak. The circle was there and the meter was moving fast; we definitely had a leak. On my way back up from the basement, I heard water running and followed the sound upstairs to the café bathroom toilet. I shut the water off, waited a couple minutes and then checked the meter again. The meter had slowed almost to a stop.


In order to confirm that was the leak, I followed the instructions on City Leak Form. Drop food coloring into the back of the toilet and if the color ends up in the toilet bowl you have a leak, which it did.

Investigation complete! Our 75,000 gallons of water used over the last three months was due to a running toilet – yikes!! Moral of the story: water costs money; don’t waste it. (As seen on the top of the City’s Leak Form.)


One Comment leave one →
  1. Bill George permalink
    April 12, 2017 10:37 am

    So love your blogs, Lisa. Original, funny, insightful.

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