Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Cold and Waterless

A chilly 17 degrees here at the Aerie this morning. At least the wind has stopped so it doesn't bite right through you. The birds have found the feeders on the deck and have been putting a dent in my sunflower seed supply. It will get busier as winter takes hold. So far only one squirrel has been spotted on the deck/in the yard. Often there are a dozen or more fighting for their turn at the bounty of black oil sunflower seeds.


The water well at the Aerie is shallow (only about 150 feet) and slow to recharge. As a result, we have a 550 gallon cistern in the utility room to provide all the water we need. The well also passes through a mix of shale and clay which proves problematic. If we stress the water usage (doing lots of laundry and washing dishes, or trying to water a new lawn, or spending too much time watering the garden, etc.) we will get a cistern full of water that's just loaded with colloidal red clay. This despite limiting the well pump to just 3 or 4 minutes at a time and then only after a 90 minute interval, and we have a whole-house filter that is supposed to screen out anything over 1 micron in size.

Apparently, we over stressed the well (again) when Terry returned and commenced to do her laundry after three weeks on the road. Add all the bedding (which, in hindsight could have waited) and the dinner dishes. The "water" in the cistern took on the consistency of a mud wrestling pit and the water coming from the taps would have been useful for the folks filming the shower scene in Psycho.

Yesterday was spent draining the the cistern and swabbing out the insides using all the big fluffy bath towels we could scrounge up. I got the bloody (no pun intended) thing cleaned out and then tried a new filter from Monsanto's 3M company. It had no micron rating but said it was good for sediment, rust and soil as well as odor and other stuff. I should have read the label better. In addition to some red sediment, I got a shot of carbon from the damn filter which is not really meant for a cistern application. The directions state clearly that you should run the water for several minutes to purge the lines after installation. That must be to clear the lines of the carbon the filter releases.

This morning we went back to our plain old 1 micron filter. The water, after a night's rest in the well, is coming through clear. With luck, we should have water back in the cistern deep enough to turn the house jet pump (for water pressure and supply to the house lines) sometime tomorrow. I'll probably have to change the filter at least once before the cistern fills. I've three more filters on hand and a dozen on order. (They aren't on the shelves locally so I have to mail order them.)

It will be nice to have water flowing again. Jugs and bottles of water are okay for cooking and drinking, but the dishes are starting to pile up and flushing the toilet....


Today, Terry and I will be going up to Bath to pick up the RV from Camping World. They were doing some minor (?) repairs on the Winnie Access and finished a couple of weeks ago. We just haven't been able to find the time to go pick it up.

 The only other item on our schedule is to keep a close eye on the water situation. And keep warm.

Oh, and a Happy Birthday to my Little Sister, Ruthann.

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