Posts Tagged ‘well pump’

Does This Rock Look Real?

Water can be a problem when you live “out in the county” like we do. 

We have a well.  No, it’s not the kind where you lower a bucket although I’ve always wanted that kind too.  Ours is buried deep (like 300 feet down) into an aquifer, and requires electricity and a pump to magically provide life-giving water.

Our water is hard (very hard) so we require a softener too. No one told me all this equipment would be necessary just to get a drink of water!

Hiding an Ugly Pipe?

Our well is marked by an unsightly rusting pipe at the driveway entrance.  It was a  brilliant idea to cover it with a hollow fake rock. I like to think the rock looks real, but what if it doesn’t?  No one has ever questioned its authenticity.  Do you suppose people are just being polite and thinking, ” Ha! Look at that plastic rock.  Who do they think they’re kidding?”

As for the story of  the waterless adventure,

There Was Not a Drop to Drink

Over the 24 years we have lived in the “boonies,” as some friends call this remote hideaway, we have gone dry and replaced the pump twice due to lightning strikes or other underground mysteries.  Water also gets down to murky if we leave something running or  there’s a freaky leaky pipe somewhere. The point is, we lose water.  And it always stops running at the most inconvenient times.

The Waterless Weekend

Our son, daughter-in-law, and three grandgirls arrived on a Friday for a nice long visit.  All went well that fateful day, right up to bedtime when everyone was tucked in.  That’s when I tried to take a shower and you guessed it – NO WATER!

OH NO!  With seven people in the house?   Was it the circuit breaker?  Nope – that was in the “on” position.  Was there a burst pipe somewhere?  No.   The house was dry!   Now we faced an entire waterless weekend.  How were we going to flush toilets, drink, shower, cook, clean dishes or wash any clothes?  Talk about losing sleep…..

A Family Conference

Saturday AM.  A family conference to inform adults and children of the problem. 

“If you stay here”,we said,  “You will face the following challenges:  lack of hygiene, deprivation, thirst, dirt, and hard labor.”

I think (no, I know)  I was trying to convince the family to leave us to our waterless wasteland and just go home.  Since it was a weekend we could not call for help, so we gave them two choices:  A) Pack up and leave (Yes!) or B) Stick it out with us for a Water-free Country Life Adventure.

We even formulated a basic Water-free Country Life Adventure Plan that outlined various survival tactics:

  • Buy gallon jugs of water for drinking.
  • Bring up water from streams, ponds, neighbors’ faucets, or our pool, (in a horse trough) for flushing and washing things.
  • Transfer water from the trough into buckets (form a bucket line).
  • Transfer buckets in another bucket line to the bathrooms (for flushing).
  • Eat out (I like that one!).
  • Rent one motel room (a few miles away) for the sole purpose of take-turn showering.

Oddly enough, the vote was unanimous for a Water-free Country Life Adventure! The family decided to stick it out.

Saturday AM and PM went by hauling water into and out of a pick-up truck, filling the trough, hauling it to the front door for transfer into buckets for transfer into bathrooms for use in toilets.  Then, after a hot day of work and play everyone needed to clean up, so we were off to the motel for showers. We ate out or ordered take-out, and brought in gallons of drinking water from local stores. And all went well – considering.

Sunday AM and PM –  the same.  And by Sunday night I was getting snarly and could hardly WAIT until Monday to call someone for help.

On Monday AM we were almost out of drinking water again.

I left at 8AM to buy more gallon jugs –  happy to get out of the house I’ll tell ya’ – dreading the ultimate return to hauling, dipping, and juggling.   The country adventure was growing old.  The family were trying hard to smile in the face of constant survival challenges, but I knew they were as ready to say, “Farewell,” as we were.

I must have looked mighty sad lugging bottles into the house that morning, but my husband was grinning as he helped me carry things in.  “What on earth is there to smile about?” I thought (but did not say). “I know I’m a grouch in the morning and you wake up whistling, but how can you possibly be cheerful under these circumstances?  Have I married a madman?”

“Problem solved,” he said aloud, with that suspiciously guilty looking grin,



“I’ve only been gone an hour! How can this be?”

“Did you call the Farmer’s Co-op?” I asked.

“Yes, I did.”

“Did the guy come out from the Co-op already?”

“Yep, he came right away.”

“What did he do?”

“He flipped the circuit breaker switch.”

“But it was already on.”

“Nope,” he said sheepishly, “I forgot we have a secondary emergency box.  We had it put in months ago for generator connections and Sam the Man found it right away.”

“We have TWO circuit breaker boxes?”

“Right. The switch was off in the second one – probably a power surge.  So, Sam just flipped the switch to On.”

A weekend of insane preparations to provide water for seven people, and we could have had water with a simple flick of a switch?

I started to laugh.  And he laughed too, and we’re still laughing all these years later.  The story is family lore now and we bring it up during “Remember-when” conversations.

“Remember when we rented that awful motel room just to take a shower?”  And we go through the whole adventure again.

Country Tip for City Dudes:

If you run out of water, Stop, Think.  And before you buy bottled water, haul buckets, or rent a motel room, check every switch in the house!

Two Breaker Boxes
One is Now Marked “Emergency”


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