Friday, November 23, 2012

The Saga of the Waters...continued

Just over a week ago I wrote

There are still unresolved mysteries in the property’s water situation.  While digging in the yard, we broke a PVC pipe that started gushing water under pressure.  It’s pretty clear that it comes off the main water line; however, I followed it out some ways, and it just ends.  There’s also a spigot—dry, or at the least plugged—way out in the middle of the field, over a hundred meters from anything else.   Pipes from the original system—a gravity-pressured system fed by a tank on a tower in that back of the house—are still buried in the back yard.  But after a year, and gallons of bleach, and two cartridge filters and a UV filter, I’m pretty confident that we have pure, potable, non-stinky water and reasonable wastewater disposal.  

Unfortunately, I need to update this. 

We have a hint about the dry spigot in the middle of the field.  As I was walking to the house from the excavation for the barn, I saw this:
Les jeux d'eau de la ville d'Umpqua, part deux
Isn't that nice, thought I, a leak in a live line in the middle of nowhere.  Scooping away some mud revealed a capped pipe pointing from the general direction of the house to the general direction of the dry spigot.  The cap had rusted, and is about to give up.  I need to dig up the pipe (it's at least 20 meters from any live pipe I know about) and put a new cap on it.  

It gets worse, though.  I continue to find the effects of the torrential rains we received a couple of nights ago--Roseburg airport got 3.5 inches, another place near here got four inches.  Last night, I noticed that our house water was turning a little turbid, and smelled a little like dirt.  I checked what the well was producing and found this:
Clearly a problem
We called our local well guy and gal, and got the info that older wells (like ours) can be contaminated by ground water after heavy rains.  The cement casing surrounding the well pipe can crack as it ages, so we're guessing that has happened.  The fact that we're seeing it in the house means that it's such a heavy load that it's not even settling out in our reservoir.  It has probably overwhelmed our bag and cartridge filter, and the turbidity means that the UV filter won't be able to kill everything.  So, we're stuck with boiling everything and having a faint odor of soil.  "Like pioneer days!" said the well gal.  "It will be a couple of days.  [Well guy] is so busy, that storm washed every single river pump around here all the way to Reedsport."

The saga continues...


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  2. the joys of property ownership in the middle of nowhere. Perhaps you need to hire Kira she'll find water anywhere.

  3. Yep. No problems finding water, not after all the rain we've had. There's getting a feel for country living, and then there's getting a taste of the country, which our water is giving us.