Friday, August 31, 2007

8 Bad tap design

Yes, I am still in Mexico, I had to delay my return to New Zealand for another month. My old landlady kicked me out, so I moved to a student's house near UAG. Yesterday, when I got home, I flushed the loo... and the waterline broke. The water tap was very rusty. The problem was, that it broke just before the valve to close it, so there was no way of containing the water. I yelled to the landlady to come and help me, I told her to close the main valve in front of the house. It is quite common that people remove the leveler from their main valves, just in case some stranger comes and closes the water. That was the case at her house, so there was no way that an old lady could turn it off with bare hands.

After waking up the other tenant and a neighbor, who by the way couldn't close it either. I decided to do a Mc Gyver trick. I asked her to bring me a plastic bag, a towel and a piece of electric cable (I forgot about the duct tape). The lady was very scared, because the flood reached the living room and she had to move some of the furniture. The next day I had to get a plumber very early in the morning. He replaced the old valve in minutes... and the old one, well, it's amazing how worn out it was... and the fact that the weakest part was exactly where it should be stronger. They should have seen that the walls were too thin to stand pressure, wearing out, rust and time.

Anyway, not just the living room of my landlady got flooded. I thought the worse of the rain season was gone, but we still have a dose of daily storms in Guadalajara... and floodings around the city are common. Although the city has an altitude of 1600 mt. we could use this Dutch idea for floating houses. Climate change is a serious matter, the micro-climate of Atemajac Valley has dramatically changed over the last decade and the usual storms have become really nasty lately. Maybe we'll see someday futuristic cities rising over waters like modern Venices. I can imagine skyscrapers over the sea with some kind of dwelling-wharfs for interchangeable house units... or floating suburbs. Check out the video (via treehugger) It's amazing.

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