Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Fire and Water

One requirement for foster care licensure is that if you have well water, you have to get it tested to ensure that the Little Darlings aren't going to be drinking arsenic, or too many nitrates or phosphates, or molten lead or troll feces or whatever out of your faucet. On its face, this seems a very reasonable precaution.

I was not aware of how ridiculous the process of obtaining a suitable sample can be, though.

According to the instructions we received, you are only to use an outside faucet for your test. "What if you don't have one?" is the first question that popped into my mind, though we do have one, of course. Second, you have to let the water run for 1/2 hour before taking the sample. How ridiculous. When you're on a pressure tank, that takes electricity, and it also tends to flood the yard. But okay, fine, we'll give the electric company a few bucks and run our well dry for these people if it will make them warm and happy.

The fun part comes next: after running the water for 1/2 hour, you must turn the water off, use a blow torch (which I just happened to buy to do some plumbing when we moved in this summer) to heat/sterilize the faucet (preferably without torching the siding on your house, as I learned the hard way), then run the water for a bit again. As an aside, I advise against gripping the faucet handle immediately after applying the torch. I'm just sayin', is all.

And then you put your sample in the little pee cup, and bring it in.

Bureaucracy used to royally chap my hide. Now it just sort of amuses me. And I honestly do understand the need for this particular precaution, but you have to admit it's a pain.

UPDATE: Our well is A-OK. $35 down the tubes...but one more item off our list. It's worth it.


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