Friday, September 2, 2011

Ubiquitous Utilities

At first I didn't see pipes like these.

Then I noticed one. It stuck out above ground. Someone had painted it a bright color.

Then I saw them everywhere. I mean, they are everywhere. All different colors and sizes and shapes.

I exagerrate. They're not everywhere. I don't have one at my house, for example. But I'm thinking of getting one.

21 comments:

John Sandel said...

I know … it's like glamcig up at someone's eyebrows as they talk to you. Once you notice them, they're all you can see …

dive said...

They make cool sculptures when painted bright colours. I'm glad we don't have them here; I'd be way too tempted to crank those wheels and open and close the valves.

Dina said...

Sexy, aren't they!

Shell Sherree said...

I wonder if I'll see them everywhere here now that you've mentioned them, Petrea. I hear cobalt is very in at the moment...

Book Dragon said...

Where I'm at, the lavender water pipes are recycled water.

Speedway said...

Ooo, so attractive. I want the pretty blue one. I wonder if they come together like worms to mate? If so, you've caught them in courting mode. Purple worms tomorrow.

There's a plant near here where truck transmissions are made. All over the lawn, red and yellow stand pipes sprout from the ground in groups, like an alien army lined up, waiting for orders. The yellow ones are the officers.

Bellis said...

I love them - they're much better than many outdoor sculptures. And if I had one in my garden, it'd be rainbow-colored.

Bellis said...

Oh John, now you'll have me looking at eyebrows all day long.

Laurie said...

I love these things. There are a few next to the baseball field at Arroyo Park. I think those are the first ones I noticed.

Anonymous said...

Spring 2010, waiting at the light at Woodbury and Lake, by the church, I saw a gorgeous male Western Bluebird sitting on bright blue pipes. That's when I started noticing.

Petrea Burchard said...

I wonder why they're above ground. The second I say that I know why--because the workers need access and you'd have to dig them up all the time. But why aren't they behind the buildings? I know that too, now that I think of it. Because the workers need access and they have to be on public property.

I had no idea these were so popular. I'll have to do a series. I certainly have enough pictures. It's either that or eyebrows.

Sid Gally said...

They are above ground for emergency use and the colors tell what is inside and if it is hazardous. The red is fire fighting water I think. Not sure about the blue but is not hazardous.

Irina said...

I always want to turn the wheels. The bright colors make this wish unbearable..
Photographer's eyes are always wide open.

Diana said...

I never noticed these, either, until my brother got a job inspecting them for the City of Tucson. Now I see 'em everywhere, although in Tucson, the favorite color seems to be metallic silver (perhaps to reflect the sun?).

Margaret said...

I think you should get one, and I think it should be the color of "sweet corn." (Heard you the other day.)

Julie said...

Such simple touches can add so much personality to an object. As a kid I would walk around my neighborhood drawing angry eyes on all of the fire hydrants. I didn't think they liked being so stationary.

Petrea Burchard said...

Sid, that's so interesting, thank you. Now we know!

The rest of us had better not touch these. No turning of wheels, no painting of faces.

Oh gosh, now I don't remember what I said about sweet corn.

Ms M said...

They do make interesting sculptures, "functional sculptures". The utilities are more bland here; a muted silver, pine green, etc.

Trish said...

My entire life I've looked at these pipes.

Why? My grandfather was the reason you have clean drinking water that isn't contaminated with backwash from the sewer system and ergo, why these pipes are there for your viewing.

Part of the reason they are above ground is to create a vacuum---so there isn't backflow, also for testing ability.

For more info/primer, try the Foundation for Cross-Connection Control and Hydraulic Research website hosted at SC now: http://www.usc.edu/dept/fccchr/

Thanks for giving me something to smile about today---call me funky, but yes, brightly colored pipes above ground like this makes me smile and think of a guy who used to run around in a bow tie all the time.

Petrea Burchard said...

I like silver and green, Ms. M. I have another photo of a green one. Maybe I'll post that tomorrow. It's pretty.

Trish, another history lesson. Thanks, and thanks to your grandfather, too.

Susan Campisi said...

Such beautiful pipes - and they've inspired such educational comments. That is so cool.