23 May 2008

That's a deep subject

Water has been a challenge in this house from the minute we moved in. From the old dilapidated rust filters, a basement we nicknamed the Swimming Pool, beavers that determine the flow rate of our stream, all the way up to the 'Big Freeze' that cost almost $20,000(insurance-not us, well not directly anyway) ...and three years of Lloyds of London break my wallet insurance followed.

Polar in front of the new fancy dehumidifier. He thinks it is a doggie air conditioner just for him :) The black pipe is for the sump pump that still pumps water from the former swimming pool- now the water stays under the foundation or gets pumped out!
Some of our biggest (and most expensive) challenges in renovating this old farm have been water related. The french drain was a project and a half, and the surface drains helped with water that flowed directly toward our house, and three new filters help keep the rusty water drinkable.

There are two wells on our property. One shallow that was probably used when the house was first built (that is the klonker in the lower right hand of all my tree pics), and a deep well drilled I am guessing in the eighties. We also have our little stream which is not so little if you dig down about five feet at which point flows around, under, and previously through our house. When they piped the new well they simply cut the line for the old well so there is a constant flow of water coming out of the old well through a pipe aimed at our house. Water from said pipe and underground flow while digging for our garage addition...
Our house is also half way down a hill so all water rolls, you guessed, right toward the house. We also have a man made pond but that is below the house.
One thing we have never had here is a shortage of water. Ironic since that is a main reason hubby wanted to move back here from Colorado (they don't have much being a desert and selling it to Kansas et.al...)
Water flow from french drain dug around house.
We thought we had it under control.
HA! and HA! again.
Among the many water projects that were on the to list we had to replace a pump that pulled water out of the pond and pumped it out to the greenhouse and fields. We also kinked the line in the pond last year when we were cleaning out the flood water sands...

So when Damon started growing things we simply ran a long hose from the house spigot. We were fine for quite a while, but then I noticed that the filters were gumming up much faster than usual. Duh! Damons drip system used a good amount more water than we do alone. So our contractor moved his hose to a faucet before the filters. Dodged that one. Not! A couple weeks later the water pressure would be low if you were trying to do more than one thing at a time. Never a problem before... So now the water to the greenhouse project is booted to the top of the list!
We had the local water guy look at it and give us a $5000 estimate. What?!? No, no, no, no... How much?!? Can't be... Not gonna happen!

Hubby bought a well pump and new pressure tank for about a tenth that. Two days and Art had it up and running. Of course there were like a thousand leaks in the faucets which he had to tackle one by one, but he did it! Yippee! DH was awesome!

Izzy always likes to "help" Art. She is fascinated by him and all he does!
An updated greenhouse shot. Can't see the tomato plants, but they are moving outside soon to join the potatoes, onions, beans, etc.
Water in the field- 10 gallons a minute!
Look what we found while playing with the newly working faucets! Chives!! YUM! Made burgers with chives, mushrooms, and blue cheese on the pellet grill immediately! Dee-licious!


Yvonne said...

Wow! That's a lot of water. You could've opened up a water park ;)

C said...

Oh my goodness, Shannon! We seem to be living parallel lives! LOL! Our house is the same!! We've got a lot of the same issues as you guys have with your lovely farm house.

We need to dig a trench to drain the ground around our house and the basement too.

There are so many joys of living in a farm house, but it's so much work!!! We were trying to decide if we should just tear the entire thing down and build a new house from scratch, but I am so in love with this house...all its imperfections and all!

PS. Oh, I just LOVE chives! We've got a patch out front and they are so prolific! I find wild chives are so much more flavourful than store bought.