It’s not easy getting water in the country. We are on no public water lines out here. Like most people in the country, we’re on well water. We drilled our own well (you can see the saga here and here) and we have no one to call if we have a problem with water. Like, say, there’s not any. Luckily, we have a really deep well in bottomland near the river. We have plenty of water in our well. But we don’t always have plenty of water in our house. In fact, sometimes, we have none.
The reason for our water trouble isn’t that we don’t have enough water in the well. It’s getting the water to the house that can pose a problem. Our house is halfway up a hill; our well is in the bottom, a couple thousand feet of water line away. And that water has to travel uphill. Keeping water pressure at the house was a significant initial challenge when we built the house.
What we eventually set up is a simple but complicated system in which we store extra water at the house. In addition to the usual hot water heater everyone has that stores water, we have a 50-gallon bladder tank and a 120-gallon storage tank.
I don’t think life is worth living without good water pressure, so this system is extremely important. And ingenious. It was engineered by 52.
Water from the well goes directly into the 120-gallon tank, then from there to the 50-gallon tank and so on through the house, which keeps our water pressure strong and steady. It’s controlled by an automated timer at the well that pumps water to the 120-gallon tank on regular intervals. (It’s set to run one minute every other hour. This setting can be anything you want it to be.) The intervals are based on normal usage, and there’s an overflow valve that takes care of any excess water. (This is a handy plus when we have a power outage–we’re not out of water right away because we have extra already stored at the house.)
Of course, we don’t always have normal usage. Weekends are the worst–everyone wants to do laundry! If I’m involved in a lot of cleaning, or a lot of cooking or canning that uses a lot of water, or if we’re just running a lot of water at once for the ducks’ pool, or any number of other excess usages, the next thing you know, we’re out of water.
But! We can get more! There is more. It’s just not at the house.
For some reason, getting more water makes me feel very farmerish. You can feel farmerish, too. I’ll show you how to do it. Put on your boots and get in the car. The dogs like to come along. It’s an adventure! We’re going somewhere!
In the winter, you have to walk down to the well. Then you can feel even more farmerish! Or something.
Look, the sheep are dotting!
Don’t get distracted by the animals. You have work to do! Drive down the road to the well.
The well is in the middle pasture in our bottomland.
The house is way, way up there somewhere (on the hill to the left). That’s a long way to move water.
The box that controls the well timer is on the pole.
Okay, get your little tool and open this baby up.
Don’t touch anything you’re not supposed to.
Just move the switch from Auto to Hand. That makes the pump run water up to the house. It runs 12 gallons per minute.
Now you can walk around and visit the boys.
And the red Explorer.
And the creek, that still doesn’t have much water in it yet.
And Beulah Petunia’s old milk stand.
You want to run the water for about 10 minutes. That’ll fill up the tank at the house. Then turn it back to Auto so the pump will run water on its regular automated intervals again–and put the cover back on.
Drive backward down the road till you can turn in at the driveway and go home.
We have water!!!!