Ever done something that in retrospect you wonder just WHY in the world you did that? I had one of those all too common moments again yesterday. I managed to get off my first job early and since I didn't have to work my second job, decided to make several errands after going to the bank then head for home and clean the waterline. You have to understand that we live in the back hills of Tennessee where "water supply" can mean anything and everything from city water to hauling water in jugs from miles away. Our farm has spring water and while we thoroughly love the fact that our water is very very clean (not to mention FREE!), getting water from the spring (which happens to be down the road) to our house can very often be a MAJOR source of stress for me! Usually after we have had a lot of rain, which here as of late means about every few days, we have to go down to the spring and clean off leaves and silt from the end of the water line and break the line at the bridge to "flush" it out. The weather here has been well below normal temperature wise (so much for stupid global warming!) but I thought nothing about it when we went down and started to work. What I FAILED to take into account was that when the hose is broken at the bridge, there is no water running through the last 300+ feet of line which means that the water that's stuck in that section freezes in very short order! So......I broke the line, flushed the hose, Susie cleaned off the end then we reconnected it, just to find out that we now had NO water at the house! PANIC! With the temperatures falling and light disappearing quickly, I started frantically looking to see what the problem was. I may need to add that I do NOT handle this kind of problem well.....just ask Susie! When I finally realized that the line was frozen and that we were facing being without again, my mood took a turn for the worse. Past experience has shown me that without water flowing, the line needs to be re- broken at the bridge otherwise the larger main line freezes as well, then there are even bigger problems. I went back down the road for what seemed like the millionth time and found that it was already in the process of freezing there as well as I opened it up. I managed to bang the main hose around and free the ice from inside but that still left us without water to the house and 300+ feet of line full of ice. Let me also explain the spring house and pump setup here. It can be describes in one word....hodgepodge! Our water reservoir is very small....it must hold only about 80 to 100 gallons....and the water is pumped from there to a pressure tank then into the house. The problem in that there is no cutoff switch on the pump so without sufficient water coming into the tank, the pump sucks air and doesn't shut off till it overheats and trips the breaker or one of us RUNS out and shuts it off. Not wanting the pump, tank, or lines to the house to freeze, we spent the night hauling water in 5 gallon buckets from the main line at the bridge and pouring it into the reservoir, then turning the pump on till it fills the tank, then shutting it off again.....EVERY couple hours....ALL NIGHT LONG! (Yes Gracie, we are both sore and tired!)
This morning we were going to start pouring boiling water down the waterline in hopes of melting enough ice to get the flow restored but since it was still below freezing, we drove 40 miles to town and bought a 400 foot coil of larger diameter water line, in the outside chance that we couldn't get the one we have unblocked. (Not to mention that we have NEEDED a new water line for 16 years but Hey!......it's working so why hurry?) Once we got back from town, we hauled another 60 gallons of water in buckets and started heating water on the stove. I went out and started hacking a path through the overgrown field so we could dribble the hot water on the line when Susie noticed that the line was already apparently thawing so we slapped the hose around, pitching 3/4" ice pieces all over the yard. Then we went to the other end of the line to try to just reconnect the hose and thanks be to God, water started flowing through! I am not ashamed to say that I for one, utter more prayers and intercession over the water here than about anything else! How ANYONE can take their water for granted is beyond me. Around here it seems to be my most stressful part of "hollar" living.....when it's not blocked with stuff on the end of the hose, it's running dry due to lack of rain, or freezing from being exposed the way it is. And even when it's working, I have to worry about the pump working properly and not loosing it's prime.
Yep.....I pray a lot around here for water, and as usual, GOD is more than faithful. As I type this, the water is flowing, the pump is working, we are able to flush, and we do NOT have to spend the night outside hauling water! OH YES! ....Life is good when your water works! Now if you will pardon me, I think I will go take a nap!