Those of you with retentive memories may recall the domestic crisis suffered by the Transit household back in the early spring. It’s the kind of problem familiar to anyone who has ever lived in the depths of the country, though thankfully rare. Much more common for those without mains water is the heart-stopping moment when the flow of water from the well slows to a trickle and then to a mere drip or two.
Our well is uphill from the house and so relies on gravity to keep the water flowing into the upstairs storage tank which feeds our house supply. In the past, when the children were still at home and our water usage was much higher, the well would occasionally run dry, with consequences I need hardly spell out. A new and better-located well put paid to this particular problem, but there is still always the risk that air will gradually find its way into the pipe-work until the flow of water slows or even stops, as the siphon which draws water out of the well finally breaks.
Yesterday, being Monday and the day after our return from a weekend away, was wash-day and the washing-machine churned away happily, dealing with load after load. There wasn’t a hint of a problem with water supply, but unbeknownst to us the water tank was gradually being emptied and last night it finally ran dry - halfway through the dishwasher cycle!
It was far too late by then to do anything about the situation, but bright and early this morning any interested spectator would have found DH and me in the open garage adjoining the kitchen, listening anxiously as air whistled and bubbled from the drain valve in the water-pipe which runs up the side of the house to the storage tank. Finally the tiny trickle of water stopped completely and so did the bubbling and whistling.
Had the siphon finally broken or not? Was there a problem with the pipe-work or with the well itself? At least the weather was dry and sunny if we had to investigate further. DH and I looked unhappily at each other and back at the drain valve and waited…and waited… Suddenly, with an explosive and profoundly welcome swoosh, water started to run and then pour from the valve again and we were saved. Until next time…
I can promise you that DH and I never take running water for granted and we never, never waste it.
Image via Google