Another Lesson Learned

Here in Corn Valley (as we like to call it) they switch from taking municipal water from the Mary's River - that comes from the watershed on the mountain nearest us, Mary's Peak. This water is relatively clean because it has few industries on it. When they switch in the summer to the Willamette River because the Mary's River becomes very low, they have to add more chemicals. The Willamette River is not very clean because it has lots of industries such as paper mills upstream from us.

The other evening I noticed that my fish pond was low on water so I put the garden hose in and turned it on.

"You remind me to turn that off," I said to Ursus. I went out in the garden to gather some lettuce for dinner. Then I went inside and completely forgot about the water.

I didn't even remember the water until nearly 2 pm the next day. I was in the garage working on refinishing furniture when Paul stuck his head in and said "Your fish are dying."

"What?"

"Just what I said."

So I went and looked, there was the garden hose still on and two fish floating on the top. I immediately turned the hose off and tried to figure out what happened. The screen on top was sunken as if something had gotten in, but the fish showed no signs of bodily harm. Then I realized what had happened. Because the water had been on so long, the chlorine and other chemicals in it were able to build up to toxic levels. Usually, I only add a little water and there isn't enough chlorine to hurt the fish before it dissipated.

There seems to be a fish missing still, so it may be that a raccoon or heron got it when it was floating. I've had some of those fish for nearly 10 years. It is another sad day.

Next up: a dechlorinater.

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