03-31-11-water-meters

Today was one of those days when it’s hard to get up and get going, regardless of the work that had to be done before the sun set: like laundry and shopping and all the other menial chores that are required to survive in today’s world. So long story short, I had very little time to draw. As a result, I stepped out in the back yard and drew the water meters along the house.

I have always been fascinated by construction methods in Hong Kong. To my USA Code trained mind, Hong Kong is just an accident waiting to happen. Especially in Big Wave Bay. First of all, there are no inspectors to check on new construction. Second, because we are a squatter village, there is no “new” construction. The fact that a new house appears next door does not mean it’s new. It’s just a repair job to someone’s long lost Uncle’s place that was bulldozed 25 years ago.

Anyway, back to my story about the water meters. The water mains in Big Wave Bay Village run along the ground next to the sidewalk. They are mostly made of steel, but for brief periods are PVC. Every 20′ or so a large pile of raw cement is dumped onto the lines (we have several water mains clustered together). The cement keeps the lines from shifting if you accidentally kick them are run your motor scooter over them. Every once in a while, someone hits them with a push cart or their motorcycle and breaks the main. It usually takes one of the local villagers 2-3 hours to repair the line. Now the meters are free standing copper lines that just tap directly into the mains. When a new house is built (I mean repaired from the dirt up) they just cut the main and splice directly in. We get a couple days notice someone is going to do this with a flyer down at the mailboxes. But in most cases it’s done during the workday and no one notices. The only thing the government is worried about is whether or not you pay for the water, hence the meters. We do get inspectors out every once in a while, and not using a meter is about the only thing that will get you in trouble out here.

Village Water Meters – drawing
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