Monday, August 4, 2008

Yikes! No water

One evening last week I was watering and thinking, thinking about water. I was thinking how my watering was just keeping my plants alive until we could get a good soaking rain. Oh sure, some of the natives had blooms on them, but even they didn't look great. I worked my way around to the row of roses and noticed how well the Mutabilis looked and how stressed the Belinda's Dream looked. I was standing there giving Ol' Belinda a little extra water and the water just slowed down and stopped. I looked back toward the faucet to see if there was a kink and saw none. What the hell, where's my water? I went to the pump house/green house and checked for water in the big cistern, nada.

After checking the start capacitor and run capacitor and for voltage going down the hole with a multimeter I knew, it was the pump in the ground, 320' down in the ground. Pumps usually go bad from pumping dry and over heating. When we had the well drilled in 1986 the static pressure in the ground had pushed water up the well to within 55' of the surface. In 2000 we had to pull the pump and the water level had dropped to 85'. I couldn't imagine the water had dropped another 235'. There are so many people that move to the country and get a well and use water like there is no tomorrow because there is no rationing on wells. The man across the road runs his well 24/7 to keep his stock tank full. [To non-Texans a stock tank is a pond.] A man down the road runs several sprinklers on his native grass lawn all day and all night. But even with this kind of careless and down right stupid use of water, I couldn't believe the level of my drinking water could drop that much. Well folks, I'm here to tell you it can and it did.

After the recent small showers I had about 500 gallons in the rain water collection cistern. Having that water made the last few days easily bearable. We showered in the yard as there are no neighbor's. Lyn would keep a bucket of water next to the toilet and after flushing, pour it in the back and be ready for the next flush. I took a five gallon jug down to the feed store and filled it up with good water to fill water bottles up for drinking. Now to get the well working.
The well man showed up early today and got right to work. After getting his boom up they got started pulling it out, taking off pipe one joint at a time.



























Got it out and found out the pump was fried. Leroy, the well guy, decides we need to go 200' deeper to make sure I have good water for, hopefully, a long time to come. New regulations call for a different kind of wire. The control box needs to be changed out to a new protected one so this doesn't happen again. Total bill is nearly four thousand dollars. Ouch! I might have to add on to my rain water collection capacity.

But at least Leroy could get to it fairly quickly and we didn't have to go too long without running water. And they did it in this heat. Leroy is not a young man or a small one either. I just hoped he wouldn't keel over in the heat before he finished.

10 comments:

bill/prairie point said...

That's some bad news Bob. I use well water too for irrigation, although I water sparingly.

Cindy, MCOK said...

Bob, I'm glad you got the problem solved. Sorry it had to be at such expense to your wallet, though! Why do wells and/or air conditioners always go out at the worst possible time of year?

Carol at Lost Valley Gardens said...

Water in the aquifer is becoming a huge issue isn't it? I live NW of Dripping Springs, and there is no rationing here either. I cannot understand why folks aren't more self-policing when it comes to shared natural resources. I think people are going to have to reconsider their cavalier attitude toward water usage sooner rather than later in the Hill Country or we are all going to suffer in the near future.

Bonnie said...

Wow, it just makes you think about this resource we use without much concern. Glad to hear things worked out. This drought has put stress on the system for sure.

katina said...

Sorry to hear about the pump. But glad to hear that you got it fixed quickly.

P.Price said...

"stock tanks"...that's a blast from the past...not something I hear in suburbia, but did a lot growing up and visiting my grandparents' ranch.

In NE Texas, they call 'em "pools," too. Kinda weirds out the newcomers who think everyone has a swimming pool on their farm or ranch.

mss @ Zanthan Gardens said...

Yours is the third story I've heard in as many weeks about wells going dry in central Texas. Most of us are so used to turning on a faucet and having the water come out that we give very little thought of what an amazing achievement of technology it is, or what a rare resource.

I find it more and more difficult to garden with a easy conscience, to grow plants that so obviously should not be grown here...including suburban lawns.

Bob said...

MSS; you hit it on the head. I don't know how much longer we can go wasting water like we do on plants that we shouldn't grow. And those lawns, uuuuhhhh, I shouldn't get started on that. But you are definitely right.

paigeward88 said...

You had the best water well man in the country do your well from A&W WATER WELL company in Bertram Texas.

Bob said...

Yes Paige, I'm lucky at finding good people when I need help, but then Leroy knows he can always call if he needs welding done and his son can't get to it.
You know a man's nice if he tells you who to call if he can't get to it.
I'm gonna hit him up for lunch at the Highway Cafe the next time I see him for saying such nice things about him here.