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Picture of the Year? Water pipe made into a hedgehog

What do you do when a water-supply pipe is leaking? You fix it, of course, depending on the level of your professional skills and creativity. Some use YouTube how-to videos to deal with the problem, but when it comes to Romanian creativity, the sky’s the limit. And most times, the reasons for their decisions remain a mystery…

Take Hátszeg/Hațeg, Hunyad/Hunedoara County, for example. The city’s main water-supply pipe got a hole, and the employees of state-owned Apa Prod solved the problem very quickly and in a rather creative manner: They plugged the hole with a wooden wedge. The poor pipe had been in service since 1978, so it had just been a matter of time before it sprung a leak somewhere.

That’s fine, you’d say, as the wedge did its job very efficiently, and the water was no longer leaking through the hole. But then someone must have watched a Tom and Jerry cartoon because the next hole was plugged again with a wedge, and the next one with yet another wedge, until that main water-supply pipe started looking like a hedgehog taking a pee rather than a pipe supplying water to an entire city.

The creativity and “professionalism” of the state-owned company was uncovered by an angry local citizen who happened to walk by this thing, or installation, or “artificial rainbow factory” or whatever … (Take a look at the image below and imagine how easy it would be to generate rainbows in the sunshine. So, it’s definitely a must-see place in Hunyad County for families with small kids to be amazed by the beauty of artificial rainbows).

The main water supply of Hátszeg. Image source: Facebook

After spotting the image posted on social media, Mediafax reached out to the company, which informed the news agency that they were planning to replace the pipe and that the 600-meter unit repair will cost EUR 145,000.

Still, it remains a mystery why the leaders of this company allowed employees to plug the holes with wooden wedges. Maybe one of them is a yet-undiscovered artist of post-post-modern environmental art or land art and performing yet-unpublished research: Will those wedges stick? We look forward to reading the artist’s dissertation and how-to videos about transforming water supply pipes into giant hedgehogs. We give him a thumbs-up for the uniqueness and creativity, but hey, maybe it’s time to focus on getting that tap water to the people instead.

Author: István Fekete