Saturday, March 12, 2011

Water Woes

This has been a week of water challenges. The crack in the large (750 gal.) tank above Dennis' house had to be repaired. To do this, Dennis had to quit pumping water from the well up to the tank and let it dry out for a couple of days. We had our 250 gal. reserve tank full and Dennis had his reserve tanks full also. Don had filled all available pitchers, tea kettles, empty juice and coke bottles with drinking water before the pump was shut down. We were ready. Monday we still had good water as Dennis allowed the leaking tank to empty out. Tuesday we had to switch to our reserve tank. Don monitored our usage and after one day, we had run through 1/3 of the tank. We decreased our water usage and still had some water on Friday when Dennis was ready to begin pumping again. He cautioned us not to drink this water until it had flushed out all the pipes and the tank. Don switched the valves to allow the well water to flow to our house and opened up the faucets and showers to let the dirty water wash out.

Holy cow! We were not prepared for the mess that followed.

This is what our shower looked like after both shower heads blasted away. It might have looked worse if the valves hadn't clogged with sediment thus shutting off the water flow. The toilet clogged and stopped working after two flushes. The sink followed suit.
The inside of the toilet.

We were in a real predicament because our reserve tank was now empty. One bathroom was out of commission and we were a bit afraid to test out the other shower. Thankfully, the other toilet kept working! The water coming out of the kitchen faucet was not as dirty as it had been but was also not clean, with little black specks floating in it.

We also had several downpours yesterday making any investigation difficult. The rain continued through the night and this morning, but Don was able to go down under the house (which is built up on poles), open up the valves in the water lines and drain them. Then he came back up to take apart the faucets, and  showerheads. He went back down under the house, closed the valves to allow water to flow and blasted water through the pipes before coming up to clean and replace the parts.  While he was putting everything back together he decided to go ahead and replace the cantankerous toilet innards while he was cleaning; the new assembly worked exactly one time before failing. That did not make him happy.
He replaced the little rubber diaphragm; still didn't work. Then he did some other little adjustment, and it began working. One showerhead clogged back up, but the other one is (so far) working ok.

We are keeping our fingers crossed that everything will continue to work while the remainder of the dirt gets washed through the pipes.

And after 2 inches of rain in the last day and a half, we seem to have a lull and even a bit of weak sunlight. Maybe the rain is over.
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1 comment:

  1. Sorry to hear of your water woes. At least Don has something to do. Wouldn't want him to get bored.