Water Drama

Turkey Tracks: August 18, 2021

Water Drama

Water drama occured here yesterday.  

I realized earlier in the summer that the well pump has been in place for around 20 years. A call to Haskell’s water revealed that an average life span is about 10 years.

I decided not to push this pump further and have a failure in the winter—especially as the well is NOT in a flat location that is easy to access.

Yesterday, Haskell’s came to take out the old well pump, but two men couldn’t get it out.  That well is somewhere around 300 feet deep!!!  The hose and electrical cord are, obviously, that long—and something was stuck so the hose just stretched when pulled rather than pulling the pump up. The issue was to get the HOSE OUT more than the pump. They couldn’t install a new system (pump, hose, electrical cord) that would put the new pump deep enough if the old hose was still in the well channel. If they could get enough hose out, they could cut it and just let the old pump drop into the well pipe so that it would just fall to the bottom of the well. But, the pump was simply not moving upwards.

Two more men came, and four men couldn’t budge the pump either.

So, Haskell’s called a very nice man (“CT”) who came with big equipment that could go up the steep bank and try to pull out the pump. He got here late afternoon—with Steven, one of Haskell’s two owners.  It took some time, and the hose broke once, but they finally pulled out the pump. I felt such relief when it came up.

Here’s the big equipment arriving on a flat bed trailer and preparing to go up the steep hill to the well head.

Here’s the equipment balanced on the hill after freeing the pump.

And here’s the equipment on the way DOWN the hill—so you can see how steep it is. You can see clearly that having the pump fail in winter with deep snow or ice on the ground would be a real problem.

And here’s what that stalwart pump looked like.

I am so grateful for the Haskell’s men and the very competent “CT” who came on such short notice to help solve this problem.

I decided to just start over with new hose, electric cord, etc.  It does not make sense to me to take a risk with equipment that is somewhere around 20 years old.  Especially with a well that deep, with our winter climate, and with the location of the well.

Obviously, I have no water in the house now. I filled containers from the house pipes when it became clear I would have no water for some time—but didn’t get much as I had been flushing toilets. It is a total reflex action to just reach back and flush a toilet. The Haskell’s men told me to empty the pipes from the downstairs tub, which makes sense given gravity.

So, I made a quick trip yesterday to Hannaford’s to get portable water—about 9 gallons, 5 gallons of which was in two big containers and all had to be lugged into the house from the garage.  All the toilets can’t flush unless one adds needed water.  And water has to be heated for dishes.  Last night I just got those rinsed as well as I could and put them in the dishwasher and kept dinner to a bare minimum in terms of pots and pans.  

I have a whole new respect for those people in Africa who have to walk miles to water and haul it back.  It’s HEAVY.

Haskell’s has promised to come today to put in the new pump.  This morning they will have to organize the new pipe/electric cord, I think.  And they have other scheduled jobs. But rain is coming for two days after today, so I’m still crossing my fingers for a resolution and getting water back TODAY. 

I won’t be taking water for granted from here on out.

It’s a gift.

Author: louisaenright

I am passionate about whole, nutrient-dense foods, developing local markets, and strengthening communities.

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