Thursday, July 13, 2006

still waters run deep

I was out walking early yesterday morning and was passed on the road by 3 large well drilling trucks, heading up the mountain to find water. There has not been much rain this summer, and the water is becoming elusive. The newspaper announces outside water restrictions for the townies.

Way back in 1976 we had the well drillers come out to our new house site. We watched them all day, drilling and drilling. The pit-of-stomach dread grew with each length of pipe they used. They hit solid rock and kept going. By the end of the day - or was it more than one day? - they had gone 400 feet deep and no water to speak of. We regretted not calling the man with the stick to find water. Over time, water started coming into the well, and we use it still today, but there is not enough water for outside use. Buddy rigged up a pipe from our house down to the creek in the valley, then followed the creek uphill until the level of the pipe was higher in elevation than our house. That pipe runs creek water by gravity to a holding tank here, and over the years has been a lifesaver - watering newly planted grass, filling the swimming pool when the kids were younger (talk about cold!), washing cars, watering flowers.

In those early days, our pump would go out every so often, which would mean pulling it out of the 400 foot deep well (by attaching a rope to it and to the bumper of the pickup truck, then driving the truck down the driveway til the pump emerged at the top of the well). Time spent on this and repairs usually amounted to two or three days without water. One day I went into work complaining about not having any water. I must have really been whining, because my boss finally said, "Susan, not once have you ever come in here saying how grateful you are to have water every day, how much you enjoy it and appreciate it." Needless to say, that put things into perspective and changed my outlook (at least until the next time it happened).

Back when bottled water was just becoming popular, a newcomer to the area took a sample of his mountain spring water to the testing lab and the technician told him "that water is so pure you could bottle it" - you guessed it, a light bulb with a dollar sign went off in his head and the first local water bottling company was born. So now local mountain spring water is trucked all over the country for city folks to enjoy. Usually spring water bubbles up, runs into a creek, to the river, or evaporates into the atmosphere, turns to rain, and falls down again to soak into the ground, making a cycle. I wonder what shipping water out of the area does to that cycle, and to the underground water table?

Hopefully all those city folks appreciate our mountain spring water.

Hopefully in this time of water restrictions it is okay to use the creek water to water my flowers, as the water is going back into the ground from whence it came.

Hopefully those well drillers up the mountain won't tap into our underground well water source and make our well go dry.

Hopefully we will get more rain to help solve the water problems.

We never know the worth of water till the well is dry. ~Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732

~photo - Lower Falls, 4 June 2006


Motherkitty said...

Thank goodness for city water. Not as good, clean, or refreshing as yours, but it's always there.

"Grandi" said...

I never even think about water - I just turn the tap on and it is there! Thanks for the reminder to be thankful for things that most of us just take for granted! The picture of the little waterful is beautiful - - is that your little creek?!!

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

Water is something that we musn't take for granted...there's not much fresh water on this earth. For years we used gravity fed spring water from our spring that never ran dry...not even in severe drought years.

Now I live in the county and use city water and the city is often under water advisories, although we have never been affected here in the county, it's a reminder of how precious water is to us.

The picture is refreshing of the waterfall.