Home Life

August, 2015:

Want to cut your writing production? Get a puppy. We are the newly adoptive parents of Labrador retriever named Bindle. Bindle is not quite four months old, and is quite a handful. Right now she is dozing peacefully on the hearth, but this will change within the half hour.

While I have the time to write, I want to share a vocabulary observation prompted by dog walking. In our many rounds about the neighborhood, I am forced to spend a fair amount of time contemplating manholes (among many other doggy landmarks). I am puzzled by a certain terminology that is applied to our local infrastructure.

A number of manholes are labeled, “Sanitary Sewer.” Why? Is there anything more UN-sanitary than our system of “sanitary” sewers? Many other manholes are labeled. “Storm Sewer.” To me it would be less confusing to label our sewers either sanitary, if they carry relatively clean storm water, or unsanitary if they carry, uh, the other stuff.

From time to time I encounter some of our local city officials at the coffee shop. I plan to raise this issue with them. I will do this even though I expect to be treated like a harmless crank—which I am.

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