Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Water, Water, Everywhere...How Do We Get It Inside?

I'm pleased as all get out to report that the pump is fixed and seems to be running well. It took our kind friend and neighbor 4 hours to fix it, after installing new parts, priming the pump a million times, finding air in the lines, priming, cutting, going down the well to check something down there...
You get the idea.
At any rate, the poor guy dedicated his entire afternoon to our pump and was subjected to rounds of hugs from all the women here after declaring the pump working. Yes, I hugged him as well. We made a point of asking what his favorite baked good was and I've promised that I would deliver it to his house personally.
And I will too.

So this water crisis has had me thinking a lot about water. How important it is and how much we take it for granted. Now, our problem was not a lack of water exactly, but a lack of usable water inside the house. So, I was grateful for the rain barrel. Until I looked in it and found so little water that I had to tilt the barrel to get any water  to wash dishes in this morning.
Uh oh...

We'd been using water from the watering hole in the back to flush with, since it didn't need to be clean enough to drink. The water barrel had the water to do dishes with, which required a lot of hauling in from outdoors and boiling, and we travelled to a spring for drinking water. The system wasn't perfect but it was better than  nothing. On the slightly more personal side of things...I don't recommend waiting to "make solid waste", so to speak. Waiting is not good for a body. Anyway, all of this has gotten me thinking about water. Did you know that for the kidneys to eliminate waste products effectively, the average person needs to drink enough water so that she or he urinates at least one pint each day. (When water is not limited, most people drink enough to urinate 2 pints. Additional water is lost in perspiration, exhaled breath, and excrement.) Under cool conditions, a person could survive for weeks on 3 pints of water a day if he eats little food and if that food is low in protein. Cool conditions, however, would be the exception in crowded below ground shelters occupied for many days. Under such circumstances four or five quarts of drinking water per day are essential in very hot weather, with none allowed for
washing. (Thanks to the unknown author of the Water Procurement and Treatment PDF for that info.)

I was trying to hold back on drinking water or coffee while we were without a pump. Just thinking about a big cold glass of water made me feel guilty. If you ever find yourself in a tight place for water, keep drinking as much as you can. You can drink during the day and still get dehydrated you know.

I also recommend re-prioritizing your job list if you ever find yourself without water for a short period of time. Yard work especially will make you sweat and you'll be thirsty. All that sweating will not only make you feel slimy and nasty but yes, you'll smell bad too. So save the yard work for when you have water. Later on, you'll be glad you did.
Also, try and learn as much as you can about your water pump and/or well now, BEFORE something happens. Do you now how to prime it? Do you know how it works? Can you get a back-up water pump even? I have spent the past week wishing we had a back up pump. I tried to learn how to prime it the other day, but after watching a strong guy almost burst a kidney on loosening off what needed loosening, just to PRIME it...I knew I was out of my league. So learn what you can while you are NOT in a state of emergency. You'll be better off for it. And look less like a dork if you need to bring in help.

My final piece of advice if you are ever in a water-down situation... this too shall pass.
You WILL get water again. I promise.
In the meantime, consider storing drinking water.
More on that tomorrow.

1 comment:

Jacquelineand.... said...

All good advice and I'm pleased as punch you have water in the house again!