Thursday 23 January 2014

Water supply

This is the state of the current water supply (we have made a cover since this photo). It does work, but it's a bit sandy, it's a long way down (maybe 12-15m), and it's about 20m from the house.

Did I mention before that we dropped a pump down it and pumped a lot of water out - and it didn't take long for the water level to be refreshed and for the output to seem pretty clear and fresh (I didn't taste it).

The basic things we need to do are:

  1. Repair the well top. Patch the hole in the side and make a cover so things can't fall in (I'm thinking particularly frogs, mice, insects, leaves).
  2. Local consensus is that we should dig out the sand at the bottom of the well and make sure it's a good 15m deep. This will also help ensure it's clean and fresh.
  3. We can use a bucket for a while, but we need to get a pump in there, or a pipe attached to an above-ground pump. The system I've seen is a pump in the cellar of the house, but since our house is a building site we may have to look at alternatives in the shorter term.
  4. For a permanent or semi-permanent setup we need to bury any pipes 1.8m deep in the earth to avoid winter frost damage.
We're wondering about:
  • Maybe we should collect rainwater from our roofs and use that instead of the well supply. That involves more capital expenditure on water tanks.
  • Could we build a simple wind pump to extract water from the well? This would also require a large storage tank.
  • What about the need for filtering the water? We filter our water now, but mainly to remove chemicals from the mains supply. We'd be filtering the well water for different reasons - removing small particles and micro-organisms. 
  • Should we dig another well, and where should it be? Kasia's family have two wells, quite close together - one for the house and one in the animal yard. They do run low in the summer and the family is quite careful about their water use. I'd want to do some dowsing and see where the underground water is, aiming to get a back-up supply that was hopefully independent of the first well's groundwater supply. I'd also be thinking of using the second well (maybe with a water pump) to supply a pond system.

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