(scroll down for update, if you have already read this.)
We live in a rural area, although not as rural as it was when we moved here in ’92. We own about 3 acres, the last piece of a huge farm that had been divided up and sold. We have the original farm house, about 100 or so years old. We live at about 2100ft elevation in a dip near the top of a ‘hill’.
We are also blessed with an abundance of springs. Once we hand dug out a section of the stream behind the house, each foot sprouting a different water tunnel. There is even a spring coming up through a crack in the cellar. The biggest spring is across the stream (in our ‘back 40′). It is piped to a cinderblock reservoir located on this side of the stream and all the way down at the end of the garden, about as far from the house as you can get on this side. This spring and its reservoir used to supply four full houses until they were all sold off. The reservoir is covered with this 6″ x4’x4’ thick slab of concrete which is then protected by a little building (aka pump house). On each side of the slab is a water pump and pressure tank. One is not in use and hasn’t been for a very long time.
One problem with this is that the pump is electric. When the power goes off, so does our water. I grew up on a farm and we had gravity fed water from a spring way up on the mountain. Water pressure was not a problem! Another problem is that the pump is at least 12 yrs old, most likely close to 20. We think it died this morning.
I got on the ‘net and did some research – pumps range in price from abou $130 to $200 or more, depending on their capabilities. I then rechecked the breaker (Lorna had before she left for work) and hobbled down to the pump house. The pump was still there (perhaps it didn’t die, but moved away?) and I couldn’t see anything visually wrong (sometimes the resevoir over flows and shorts out the pump) but the light was on so there was power getting there. As I started to put the door back on, the pump started buzzing. It is still alive! However, ain’t no water. Why? I dunno. That slab and I don’t like each other.
Worst case scenerio is that the spring went dry. That possibility is slim to none. Next worst case would be that the spring changed direction and is no longer in contact with the pipe. More possible, complicated fix. The most probable problem is that the pump is clogged or hung up on itself. The pumps themselves may not be too expensive but paying someone to put it in can be.
I joked with Lorna that what we need is Kelly, the fix-it woman from Butch Girls!
It’s the pump. Funeral plans have not yet been made. We are going to look for a plumber tomorrow. Oh well. See what happens when you save up money??