Earth Log

Earth Log: She figured her own temporary fix for a leaking hydrant

Fresno resident Susan Kidder knew what to do when she noticed the dripping city fire hydrant on Ashlan Avenue near her home: She called the city.

During the intense drought, the city has invited residents to call and report such problems.

Someone came out to tighten down the hydrant, but the leak persisted. City water officials finally shut down the leak on Tuesday morning.

City spokesman Mark Standriff called on Tuesday afternoon to say the hydrant involved dated back several decades, making repairs more difficult. He also said repairs for hydrants are prioritized to take care of the biggest problems first.

But for several days, Kidder figured out her own fix.

Instead of letting the water run down the street, she caught it in a five-gallon bucket and dumped it on her lemon and orange trees as well as her bulbs and other plants.

"I can't carry it when it's full," says Kidder, 68, who is retired. "So I dump it when it's half full. It takes about a half hour to get it half full."

She figured the water toll for the leak was about five gallons an hour. She was putting the extra water to good use, she says, but she'd rather see the leak fixed.

"I can't catch the water at night," she says.