Friday, February 26, 2010

A Task That Won't Be Missed!

Waiting in line at the "village pump," the town water station. The water comes from higher in the mountains, passes through a purifying/chlorinating system, then runs to the water station or to homes in town.  Living out of the village, most everyone hauls water to a cistern. There are also several big tanker trucks who deliver water if a household has a large cistern.
The tank we have is a common size, about 450 gallons.
Most everyone carries their own home made device to attach to the hose assembly.  J. uses a piece of threaded PVC pipe to poke down into the mouth of the water tank.
Quarters have to be fed into a slot on the side of the water station, then a lever is lifted to start the flow of water.
Actually, a blast of ice cold water is more like what happens.  The water comes out with great force, thus the dangling rope to hold the nozzle steady.

Mostly men do the water hauling although we occasionally see a stalwart ranch woman roaring in with a pickup truck and tending the detail herself.  I tried it on my own--only once.  J. was away for two days and I was driving the red diesel, which happened to have the tank on board.  I figured if other women could do this I needed to give it a try.
At the time J. hadn't made an extension for the spigot.  I hauled down the hoop, climbed into the truck bed and fitted the collar over the tank opening, held the rope taut and clambered down.  It was a big stretch to reach the coin box and I was slightly off balance when the water whoosed forth.
The spigot jerked from the tank and before I could shut off the flow, I was drenched in cold water.  I'm sure those waiting in line, including one of the tanker drivers, had a good laugh.  By the time I had driven the four or five miles home my teeth were chattering with cold. I parked the truck in the garage, dashed into the house, squelching and dripping, shedding clothes as I headed for a different kind of shower--a very hot one.
Once in a while I ride along when J. is getting water, and I get out to feed the quarters into the slot.
Our water useage is very conservative--no luxurious long showers, a constant remembering not to waste.
It will be a treat to live again where it rains and water is more naturally abundant.


  1. Good grief! I just cannot imagine NOT having piped water. We have no mains water here, but we DO have our own spring-fed well up in the top field, which runs down to the house and is pumped up to the top of the house/flows naturally into the ground floor taps.

  2. I knew you were a frontiers woman!!! Good for you for even trying to fill the tank. Some of those in the other trucks could have at least given you a hand. Of course if it had been me, I would have answered with a breezy, "No thanks, I can manage". Never let it be said I couldn't handle anything that comes my way!!

  3. I had no idea that you didnt have 'all mod cons'.... I cant imagine not having water piped to the house... but then it must make you aware of every drop you use.