I love living in a rural area. We have four acres, but neighbors fairly close if we need them. They cannot, however, peer into our house from their house. Something that could definitely happen at our old house.
The only thing that has been a challenge for me, is having a well and using well water.
The water is hard. Really hard. Really, really hard. Did I mention it was hard?
We have spent thousands of dollars softening the water.
We have spent thousands of dollars replacing appliances that use water.
We have lived in this house nine years.
We have replaced the washing machine, 4 hot water heaters, one water softener, two hot water circulators, a shower head and the dishwasher. The scale that the particulates leave behind is amazing. I often wonder, in my wildest nightmares, what the circumference of the water pipes is. I envision them becoming completely clogged with scale and having no water at all. The hot water in Pearl's shower is now at a trickle.
The water, even though it is softened, also eats metal. It has eaten the finish off all the water faucets in the house. It ate a hole in a pipe that brings water to the hot water heater.
Woe to the person that fails to use the squeegee on the doors of the showers. It will begin to look frosted in a matter of a couple days.
This summer, we had a whole different problem with the well water---potentially not having any. We were in 'exceptional' drought conditions. Barely any measurable rain in two years. Folks' wells were going dry. We had the pump protector installed mid-summer to (surprise) protect the pump. You see, if your pump is working and it starts pumping air instead of water, it burns up. It melts the casing. What that means is, a new well has to be dug. A modest estimate for that new well would be $15,000-$20,000! The pump protector is made to shut the pump off, if it starts pumping air. Money well spent.
We have, since September, received a fair bit of rain. The aquifer has risen and the threat of the well going dry has diminished greatly. That's why this morning's surprise of no water was befuddling. The well head had survived the hard freeze we'd had. That wasn't it.
The pump protector was showing a flashing light on "load". Don't know what that means exactly, but it meant no water in the house.
Our saving grace is our swimming pool and our 5 gallon, reverse osmosis(RO) tank under the kitchen sink still had water in it. We heated the pool water on the stove for washing hair and bodies. The RO water is for brushing teeth. Pool water comes in handy for flushing toilets as well.
I believe it's time to think about a rainwater catchment system. We have lots and lots of roof. If it only rained an inch, we'd get hundreds of gallons of water off our roof. I know cisterns, as they used to be called, were very popular when water was scarce and wells were shallow. Our well is 902 feet deep. They were either used to hold rainwater or well water. With the invention of deeper wells (drilling) and electric pumps, they went out of fashion.
Fashion or no fashion, it makes sense. Another thing about rainwater---it's soft. It has no particulates, no limestone. Our hair, our clothes, our drinking water, and our appliances would so much better off.
Ah, but what if it doesn't rain? We'd have an empty water tank, right. The thing is, water can be hauled in from a city water source. Believe it or not, the price is not exorbitant.
"Water, water everywhere, but nor a drop to drink."
Rime of the Ancient Mariner
I know, I know, it's about sailing and being surrounded by seawater, but it seems appropriate this morning.