It began when she hopped onto the side of my bathtub, plastic bag in hand, and told me to turn on the shower.
Sue Tensfeldt hates to be called a water cop. And she's not really a cop at all, but she is on the lookout for water wasters. She's a senior water service inspector with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, but she likes to think of herself as an educator.
And this week she taught me a thing or two about water use at home.
I love, love, love my shower. It's got one of those "rain" showerheads from Restoration Hardware. But Sue busted me.
"Oh no!," she said. Her bag filled with 3.5 gallons of water a minute.
Translation? Water waste. She offered something a little more drought friendly: she said the city could give us and install -- for free -- a new showerhead with a water flow of 1.5 gallons per minute.
With Gov. Jerry Brown calling this week for 25 percent mandatory water rationing in California, I figured it was time to get serious. So I invited Sue over to walk through the house. And, of course, in the name of journalism, I recorded the whole thing.
It was a little humiliating. Our upstairs toilet?
"Your flapper valve is pretty well degraded," Sue tells me. I'm crestfallen. But since they cost about $3, it's easily fixable to prevent leaks.
The best news came outside. We got points for the cacti and succulents on our deck. But while looking over the deck railing and down onto our neighbors' yard, her colleague spotted a puddle. A puddle? In a drought?! I immediately told my downstairs neighbor about his leaky garden hose.
If he's not careful Sue Tensfeldt will be checking out his toilet flapper next.