WATER SOFTENERS:

Because of the hardness of the water, plumbing pipes can fill up with hard water deposits until the water flow is substantially reduced in older homes. Hard water also makes it more difficult to get clothes clean and can leave hard to remove spots on your car, dishes and shower doors, and gum up appliances like coffee makers.

Ecowater (217 Atlantic Ave. 589-3966) services both their own brand and Culligan products in Morris. It provides water softeners to both rent or purchase. It also provides bottled drinking water and permanent house water filtration systems that can be rented by the month.

Stores such as Willie's, Coburn's and Town and Country stock water softener salt. Depending on how much water you use, your softener will probably need one or two 40 - 50 lb. sacks of salt a month.

SUMP PUMPS, ETC.:

The town of Morris tends to have a high water table. I don't know why, but most houses in Minnesota have basements. Perhaps it is partly from tradition and partly from a history of having storm cellars (remember the Wizard o f Oz?) to provide protection from tornadoes.

The high water table can make a basement a rather dank affair. The solution is the sump pump. This is a device placed in a hole in the basement floor. When the hole collects enough water through seepage in the ground under the basement, the pump kicks in and slurps it up and deposits it somewhere. From October 1 to March 31st that somewhere can be the sewer drain in the basement. However, it is illegal to have the sump pump drain into the sewer in the spring and summer when the sump pump is a lot more active. From April 1 to Sept. 30, the sump pump needs to empty to the outside. Most homes have a valve that changes the discharge into a hose that empties somewhere in the yard. It is perfectly acceptable to run the hose to the curb of the street since the water is not sewer water but ground water seepage. You will see black hoses about two inches in diameter in people's yards. Some people bury them with the exit at the curb. Don't be surprised to be walking down a street and see and hear water suddenly and mysteriously discharging into the street from an unseen hole in the grass. Welcome to Morris.