The Case of the Leaking Pool

(Part 3)

G. L. Filkovsky, TRIZ Master,
Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles

“What contradiction?” I asked. “A pipe and not a pipe?”

“Yes, as I told you last time!” exclaimed the inventor.

“But, you couldn’t know, that the miracle milky stuff won’t work. Anyway, it doesn’t matter, I got an idea”.

I called the pool guy.

“Is it possible, that there is some appendage, some kind of a dead end pipe under the ground?”

“Yes, it could be. This pool is not new. They moved things around. They may have cut off some old pipe, shut the end off, and connected a new pipe somewhere else.”

“And then, this old piece of pipe would just stay there filled with water?”

“Yes. I see what you mean. If that old piece cracked, the water would be slowly seeping out, but it wouldn’t flow through.”

“And that’s why your miracle stuff didn’t work!”

“This is a good theory,” said the pool guy. “But what do you want me to do now? Dig? Where? This appendage could be anywhere. It should be connected to the other pipes somewhere, though. I could start where the other pipe comes out from the ground, and go along until… until… I don’t know. You’re the boss.”

“Let me think.”

“Sure, sure,” he said, being certain I’m going to call his competitor.

I called the inventor. He started mumbling: “Add a ferromagnetic powder and a magnetic field… Add a radioactive material… Add something that changes color… Smells… Makes noise… Heat the water… Freeze the water… Magnetize the water… “

“You mean, in MY pool? You’re kidding.”

I decided to apply a good old scientific method, observation, and spent some time looking, touching and smelling around the pool. Finally, I saw that grass in one area was lighter and denser than elsewhere. I called the pool guy and told him to come with his digging tools.

After half an hour of digging and cutting roots we were standing by the two by two feet hole about a foot deep with a piece of pipe visible on the bottom going to the left and to the right.

“Which way now?” he asked. The ground was wet all around. A crack could be to the left or to the right. To the left the pipe continued under the pool tab – not an easy dig. To the right it went under the pump house – not an attractive option either.

“Nowhere,” I said. “If we’re lucky, we stop here - and we have a pretty good chance!”

(To be continued…)