We have all seen (second hand I hope) the devastation that flooding can do; tsunamis, hurricanes and other natural disasters… clearly water damage can play a huge part of living anywhere near water, whether it be flooding from a local tributary or the world’s largest ocean churning up mammoth-sized waves to your normally placid shores. Yet, as a reefer, there remains an insidious demon lurking in our midst…. the RO/DI unit. Sure, you may want 0 T.D.S. H20 to make up your artificial oceanwater for your artificial reef, but the danger of flooding is omnipresent. Sure, there are those of us in the hobby with basements and floor-drains for their fishrooms, but here in NYC, many of us are forced to reef from our apartments on various floors of various multitiered buildings . I am lucky in that regard, I live on the 2nd floor (effectively the 3rd floor due to offices in the semi-basement) of a beautiful brownstone in Brooklyn. My landlords/neighbors are perfect by NY standards… a husband/wife team comprised of an oral surgeon and an attorney whose office hours consist of the exact times I am at work. When I get home from my 9-5 they are on their way to their mansion on Staten Island. A win-win by any standard. No noise, no problems, which is saying something for living in Brooklyn.
That is until your RO/DI unit drops over 50 gallons of “purified” water all over their two offices.
The most innocuous of low pressure tubes sits coiled near my sink, ready to provide my reef with perfectly clean water for top-offs or changes. I change 10 gallons a week and have a pretty decent routine going. On Saturdays I make 10 gallons of water, throw in a heater, powerhead, mix in the salt, mag, alk and calc and let it come to the proper temp/parameters overnight. This evening I had plans all day which delayed my RO/DI making. I figured I could make the water while I was out at night, come home and shut off the RO/DI unit. I make my water in the kitchen sink (unit is plumbed under the sink and I have a hose coming out from under the kitchen cabinet that I stick in my 5 gallon water jug. Sometimes I use my 10 gallon bucket. The night in question my wife told me just to wait until the morning, I had already pulled the bucket out and be damned if I was going to listen to her. I turned on the flow and shoved as much of the tubing into the bottom of the bucket as possible (so it coiled on the inside bottom rim of the bucket). No ominous feeling swept over me as I stepped out on the street towards the authentic middle eastern hookah experience I had in store for the evening…but it should have.