July 13, 2009

Water Works

Our water works! I forgot to mention this little detail of our two weeks at home.

Having returned from Tennessee, and having been inspired as always by all of Mom's plants and her garden and everything she does, I was feeling all "green thumby"...though I think mine is half brown. Anyway we worked in the yard, which I mentioned, and it was so much fun, especially doing so together.

We are one of the few fortunates in the Shepherd area to have a well. Most people have cisterns and buy their water by the truck load. Though we are very grateful for our well, it is a slow producing one. Because it is a slow one, it is set up to pump into a cistern that stores the water for our use.

Though most of Shepherd lies down by the Yellowstone River, and has lots of irrigation, thanks to the Huntley Irrigation Project of 1907, our area is up in the "hills" and is dry as a bone. If you want green, you have to water profusely and frequently, as my neighbors on both sides do. They have beautiful lawns and gardens, though they are small yards and gardens.

Thursday Malcolm decided to give our two favorite, and only hardwood, trees some water to help them along. Its been terribly dry in our area so far. The trees loved it...they didn't say so out loud but I'm assuming it was the highlight of their week.

Thursday evening, while prowling around, I noticed that two of the lilac bushes in front looked kind of wilted. So Friday morning Malcolm moved the hoses and watered them as well. I turned it off after a while, but later he went out and moved the hoses to another bush or two and turned it back on.

And then he decided he needed to run to town, and I decided to ride along. We were gone a couple hours or so.

And when we got home, we went to sit on our porch and I went in to get a glass of ice water. I love our water. Nothing like cold clear Montana well water....at least ours is great. I know not all wells are great (my in-laws have very mineraly water), but we are blessed with some great tasting water. Except all I got this time was a faucet hissing air at me.

You can imagine my sinking heart and how I was overcome with a really bad feeling in my gut. It was at this point that Malcolm realized he'd forgotten to turn off the hoses.

Yep, upon closer inspection of cistern and well, Malcolm announced that we were out of water. We'd drained them dry! The pumps were shut off, and he was worried that they might have burned up because he couldn't get them to come back on. Talk about a sickening feeling. I don't have lots of well experience, but I've heard enough from my in -laws, who had a run of bad luck with theirs this spring, to know that well issues are pricey! And I'm standing there thinking about leaving in a day and a half, wanting to shower in the morning, thinking about at least two loads of laundry that I need wash and take with us, and looking at a sink full of dirty dishes that I had neglected earlier in the day. Great!

There's good and bad news in this story.

Good news: We found a well drilling guy who would answer his phone, and then actually come out on a Saturday. He looked things over and determined that all that was needed was to push the restart button on the pump (the one Malcolm couldn't locate) because the emergency shut off had cut it off when the well went dry.

Bad News: For pushing the button....he made $380.00.

Malcolm watched very carefully to make sure he knew where that button is for next time, should there ever be a next time, and lets hope there isn't!


small farm girl said...

We have a well too. Our toilet handle sometimes sticks. So, if you are not paying attention to it, it runs the well dry. It's happened plenty of times. Luckily Hubby knows about well pumps. My uncle is also a well driller. I guess I'm lucky. Glad to hear your well problems weren't worse. It would have cost you more than a few hundred.

Meagan said...

YIKES! What a story!

I think its funny that you have a well... it really is a different world out there! ;-)