Well situations, like need for new pump, show value of water
“When the well is dry we know the value of water.” That quote, attributed to Benjamin Franklin, rang true last Sunday night as I prepared for bed.
The pump in the basement had seized up and the circuit in the breaker box had tripped. Water only trickled out of my bathroom faucet – just enough to wash down my evening pills. Technically, the well didn’t run dry. The pump that draws water up the well simply died.
“Oh well,” I thought aloud to no one there, “It’ll wait until tomorrow. Hope the boss wasn’t counting on a shower before heading to Appleton in the morning.”
You see, No. 1 granddaughter was arriving in the morning and we had a planned shopping trip for a new teddy bear for her and a new used gun for Papa. And before leaving the county I surmised, we could stop at Fleet Farm and pick up a new water well pump.
Country living has its ups and downs. For us the ups far outweigh the downs. When problems arise, like power outages, snowstorms, flooding and tornado warnings – we, like our friends and relatives in town, just hunker down and wait until the roads are clear, power is restored or warnings expire.
City, county, town and public service crews come to the rescue and life goes on. But when the well goes dry, we have learned how to fix the problem. No. 2 son and I can switch out a broken pump in less than an hour – or in this case, in less time than it took the boss and No. 1 daughter-in-law to make dinner later that evening.
I said when the well goes dry. Again, officially, the well didn’t run dry. The pump died. It joined a half dozen other deceased pumps in the corner of the basement – a water pump graveyard, if you will. Over the course of nearly 40 years living in the house the cheesemaker built in 1928, that’s how many we’ve replaced.
Our well was drilled 60 feet into solid bedrock. A bedrock formation that’s high in iron and manganese, low in pH and low in yield – it wreaks havoc on anything metal, including water well pumps.
On several occasions over the years, our well has literally run dry -especially during years of drought. The well can be sucked dry – one, if by accident the pump runs overtime watering the garden or two, by leaking toilet overflowing down the drain. Fortunately, within an hour or two the well will recharge. Careful usage thereafter restores things back to normal.
My friends and relatives in town and on a community water system rarely experience the loss of water at the tap and missed showers. When the power goes out in our country home, we have no water – unless we drag out the backup generator in the corner of the garage. Municipal systems have automatic generators and hours of surplus water providing pressure in elevated towers.
I’ll trade the security of 24/7 city water for the rewards of country living – but that’s just me. The boss might disagree. Especially when I asked her yesterday, “Honey, when was the last time we had the septic tank pumped?”