It’s been an interesting time so far this year. The worst of it has been that our bore-hole collapsed just after we got back from Australia. We have been surviving with a trickle feed into the house from it, whilst arranging for a new hole to be drilled and pumps installed.
It all started when I noticed that the water had run out and the pump controller was showing an overload, so I reset the overload, and fired the pump off again. Then it tripped and I reset, and it tripped. So after a while, I looked up the paper work we got when we bought the house, and came across the number of the company that replaced the pump about 10 years ago. Well being a Saturday it was not easy to get in touch with him, and when I did the only advice that he had was to pull the pump up and get it check out.
So off I go with a friend, lift the concrete manhole cover and start trying to get the pump out. Well the manhole was fairly full of water so we bailed it tried pulling on the rope to pull the pump up, then found we need to disconnect the pipe, we did so and then tried again. Great ! We managed to get the pump up all of about 10 feet before it wedged. Could not pull it up, or push it down again. We tried using drain rods to push it down, but it wouldn’t budge. On top of that the old connectors were brass and we needed completely new ones, and now – as it was Sunday, there was nowhere near by get the parts to be able to reconnect the old pipes. We decided to do this as we had tried turning the pump on whilst it was in position it was and a jet of water 20+ feet high was launched over the garden. “Yes!” I though to myself, “We’re back in business!”.
So anyway, Monday comes along and I head of down to the hardware store to get a new connector, saw off the old pump pipe, and join it all back together. At least we had water again. Well sort of.
After 5 minutes of furious pumping the water rate slowed to a trickle and has been that way every since. A week ago last Friday we ran out completely and as we were away for the weekend there was a period of almost 72 with no water use, and we were up and running again. Enough for a shower in the morning, a few cups of tea, running the dishwasher and some washing up.
Well, after the weekend situation I decided that was it, and we had to get the new hole done. I had spoken to a couple of companies, who both confirmed that the existing hole had collapsed and the was nothing the could do with the existing hole. So on Wednesday, the company turned up complete with drilling rig, plastic liners, mini digger, and off they go!
The good new is that the new hole is producing and abundance of good clean water. The bad news is that on Friday, whilst still on the old system we ran out again. This time terminally, and add to that the contractors then disconnected the old pump in order to tie it in to the new system! “Hurrah!” I thought to myself. “A new water system in just in time for the weekend.”
Unfortunately it was not to be. And that is what has inspired this post.
It’s now Sunday afternoon and we have been without running water for 2 days. We’ve bought water from the supermarket for drinking and washing etc., but we have a perfectly adequate source in the garden. I am now filling these bottles up from the pipe that is currently allowing the well to drain. But I thought as I first did this, “How on earth did we cope before?”. The shear effort of getting water to a dwelling, heating the water for washing (at least I have a kettle and stove). The man power involved every day in shifting water. (Oh what I’d give to have an old fashioned hand pump at the moment!)
It just really hit me how much of our essentials we take for granted. Electricity, gas, water. And how it must be for other people around the world to day that don’t have any of this. We don’t give it a second thought… until we don’t have it any more.
My water should be all back up and in business on Monday (I hope) so having had a couple of days of hardship (well inconvenience really) I will be trying not to take it for granted again!