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If the irrigator neglected to repair his dyke, or left his runnel open and caused a flood, he had to make good the damage done to his neighbours' crops, or be sold with his family to pay the cost.
It involves washing out the ear canal with water from a commercial irrigator or a syringe with a catheter attached.
Besides the first cost of construction, the irrigator was usually called upon to pay annually a certain amount for maintenance, which might often be worked out by labour on the canal.