Water is one of the most basic substances for life. Our house is attached to city water. If last year’s weather pattern continues, we are going to be getting a goodly amount of rain water which, given a good rain barrel system, should be adequate for small scale farming.
However, for stock, and just to assure an uninterrupted flow of water, without having to run a water bill into the hundreds of dollars a month, it would be nice to have another source. We have the potential for that on our place, in the form of an abandoned well, and an old cistern. The first of these two projects, that I plan to work on, is going to be the well.
As you can see by the pictures, the well has been long neglected. There is nothing left of the actual electric pump and little left of the housing for it. Around the area there had been some type of buildings, fencing and unidentified stuff. Was I to hazard a guess, some of it had once been a pig lot.
Next to the drilled well, about four feet back toward the house as you look at the picture, is the original dug well. You can see the block walls around it that were added much later. Below those walls, is a round, stacked stone dug well, about four feet in diameter and heaven alone knows how deep.
So we have found them. Now what? I have some experience with local water. I was raised in a home with four rooms and a path, our water was provided by one full time and one part time mountain spring. That experience and simple logic tells me the first question is whether the water is worth getting out of the ground? Is the water potable and how much might there be?
At first glance, looking down the dug well, I believe there is a considerable amount of water in the ground. However, both questions can probably be addressed by a call to the local Agriculture Extension Office. Our office serves two counties, and I have not been in touch with them yet. I will call and introduce myself on Monday.
The next question, assuming the water is good and plentiful, is how am I going to get it out of the ground? My plan is to have both an electric and a manual pump. If it is still usable at all, and if the water is clean, as I expect it is, I would like to put a strong top over the dug well. Then drop a hand pump through, it and have that for our back up system.
I believe the old electric pump and separate well was attached to the large water spigots by the barn, the chicken coop and a couple other places. If I can get them working again, I will have water sources near where I need them, which will save some hauling. What I am going to have to do is learn about pumps and such, then find someone with whom to work. This will include internet sources.
That is the status of the well project. Since these pictures were taken, we have already cut out the saplings, knocked down some of the brush, started removing the scrap metal and wood and raked the area for smaller scrap. The trees and larger saplings are adding to a wood pile.
The next step in the water project, I think right now, will be a rain barrel system and after that, assuming I am really motivated, I am going to open that old cistern and see if I can make any use out of it.
If anyone reading this has any suggestions, I will be happy to hear them.
Oh yes, a late Happy New Year and God’s blessings on your efforts in the coming year. Until next time, “Don’t look back, there is no telling who is catching up with you.” Satchel Paige.