Sunday, October 25, 2015

Water Woes

So..... we are having water troubles for the last week or two.
A combination of events, a sort of perfect storm of circumstances, created conditions that caused the problem.

The natural spring that feeds the house with water is situated in the forest uphill from our house.  I have sketched what the spring housing looks like with the lid off.  It is just a brick and concrete cistern of sorts, about 4 feet deep, surrounding the natural spring which flows from underground.  The cistern has a brick wall dividing it in half.    This wall allows the spring water, which bubbles up from underground, to fill up the uphill side of the dividing wall to about 3 feet deep.  Then, water flows from this reservoir into pipes that travel downhill to our house.
Its been used as the water supply for more than 200 years.

What we believe happened is that seasonal low water levels in the spring, coupled with a few small leaks that developed in that brick dividing wall, allowed the water level in the reservoir to drop to only a few inches deep,  exposing the pipes which feed our house.  We have been hearing glug glug noises for a week or so.  So, not only was little or no water now flowing through our pipe, but this allowed air, and silt or debris to get into the line, which normally would be several feet underwater.  Besides the glug glug noise, we discovered a live salamander in the filter ! This was the main clue that something was really amiss, but thank goodness for filters, huh?  That little guy was able to crawl into the exposed line... must have been a fun ride downhill to the filter!  Weeeeeee.... !

So, we have plugged and repaired the leaks, but there is evidently something still clogging the line.  It could be just air in the line, or some *Thing*.  It is slow work, as the reservoir is filling v e r y slowly.   Once there is sufficient water in the reservoir, we will try again.

The guys took our generator on the tractor, and drove it up to the spring, hooked an air compressor to the generator, and blew out the line from the top.  It took awhile, but finally water is flowing! Woohoo!!  I had to man the hose in our basement, to monitor things if water began to run through, and put the hose into our overflow pipe so we didnt flood the cellar... nothing really came through except a very little silt and a few leaves, so it was probably airlocked (not some bloated dead frog which is what I was fearing). But finally clear water is flowly at about 5 gallons a minute....
You dont know how wonderful running water is, until you dont have it!

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