David's picture

Winter WaterFor three years, all of our water has come from a small, blue, cast iron pump that's screwed to a piece of Cedar on the top of a well. That means that every bucket of water we take to the livestock, all the water for the gardens, the water we wash with, drink and fill swimming pools for Ducks with is pumped by hand.

Now and then I think about how many times we pump the handle each day:  Four dozen pumps to fill a five gallon pail.  Fifteen pumps for a Chicken waterer.  I wonder, "how many pumps per litre?", "How many buckets a day?"  It gives me something to do while I stand at the pump filling buckets.

Both Lucinda & I have very nicely developed pumping muscles (if I do say so myself).

Getting your water from high tech infrastructure like this can be a challenge in the Winter.  In the olden days, long, long ago (like up until three weeks ago) I had to carry a pot full of hot water outside every morning, take the pump apart, trickle hot water down the well and then poke at the ice in the pipe with a copper rod until it was clear.

On mornings when it was less than twenty below zero it could take half an hour or so.  Standing there in the wind, poking a copper pipe down the well, chipping little bits of ice out, pouring more water in.

Lucky for me, the old days are gone.  I figured out that I could drain the well pipe to below the frost line each evening.

Now when I go out in the morning I just put a cup of hot water down the well, bolt on the pump and viola! (as they say in France), we are away to the races.

Yes, modern water management practices can save you a lot of time, free you up for other things, like using a pick ax to chip away at the ice built up around your pump.

I love modern infrastructure.  A real time saver.