Tuesday, September 23, 2008


As our roofers were finishing up on the kitchen roof this morning, the landscape fellow was hard at work filling in the ruts in our front lawn. Those ruts were left by the huge dump truck the roofers needed to use to haul away layers and layers of old roofing materials from five different surfaces. As the roofers drove away, the landscaper seeded the loamed areas. He left it to us to water it all in. No problem, even though we never, on principle, water the lawn. But Chuck added a second length of hose on to the one attached to the outside spigot. Some water sprayed out. Then the lights on the oldest circuit in the house began to flicker and the water dried up.

When we moved here fifteen years ago, we had some significant plumbing improvements taken care of before we even took occupancy. (That became quite eventful. One snafu involved a flood from the bathroom upstairs, pouring down onto the newly stripped and sanded living room floor!) One of the necessary changes was separating the two water source systems which were commingled. Commingling water from two wells is against code. Our internal potable water flows from a drilled artesian well. Our outside water flows from an old dug well. The best part of the dug well is that it acts as a “canary in the coal mine”. If the aquifer is beginning to fall due to drought conditions, the dug well gradually begins to pump up muddy water. Sufficient water that season leads to clear water, which rushes out with great force.

So what happened today? Our neighbor Dave, farmer extraordinaire, happened by and helped Chuck troubleshoot the problem. We think the truly antique pump which governs the dug well overfilled its equally ancient holding tank, which meant there was no air to assure the continuous free flow of water. Chuck has drained the tank - which took hours because it could only trickle out. Then, with the air cushion restored to the tank, Chuck restarted the pump for the previously waterlogged tank. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that tomorrow morning the water from the dug well will go coursing through the hose to water in the new grass seed. I really hope so, because we already had the pump guys here for the newer drilled well back in July after the lightning strike fried its switchbox!

For some reason, visions of “Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House” keeping flashing through my mind.
But that had a happy ending.

Didn’t it?

UPDATE: The pump worked! The water flowed! The grass seed is watered in!


dancingmorgan mouse said...

Your Chuck is a handy man, all is right with the world when you're married to a handy man.

Pink Granite said...

Hi DMM -
Yes indeed, Chuck is handy!
He also knows when to say "Uncle" and call in a professional!
Perhaps even more vital to a happy relationship with one's spouse, he listens to my "girly-girl" suggestions - which often involve duct tape!
- Lee