Water also washes the clothes, washes the dishes, washes the people, washes the floors, waters the plants, oh and flushes the loo! Yep, and when there’s no water…………
We have a water tank. We have a small river. We have about a kilometre of black pipe from the river to the top of the hill. We have a ‘firefighters water pump’ with twin impellers and a freaking mind of it’s own.
And a bout a hundred connectors of varying styles and ages. We have to pump water from the river up the hill – it’s one of the banes of my life. Someone dropped by the pumpsite once to have a chat and obviously heard me cursing up a storm since there first words were ‘I thought we were the only people who had pump problems.’ No, no, no, everyone has pump problems – it’s a community curse! Well a couple of people have sunk bores because they were sick of being cursed but the rest of us still suffer – but not in silence. Set the scene? Well go out the gate turn left, straight right; back in. Don’t hit the tree stump. Don’t trip over a snake. Don’t fall in the wombat hole. Holy moley! That was a massive water dragon but now it’s frightened 10 years growth out of you it’s gone. Hopefully the snakes as well. Now you need to get the pump (about 37 kilo’s of it), the corrugated pipe – about 5 metres of it; two massive spanners; two buckets; and yourself down one small part of the bank, onto a fallen tree, down another part of the bank and so on till all the stuff is there. Best to check first for snakes as you don’t move very fast with a 37 kilo pump in your hands. Drop it on the snake, you say? Hush your mouth. Poor snake. Besides with my aim and luck I’d drop it on my foot as the snake flashed by! This is how it starts.
This is quite a saga when you consider we’ve lived here nearly 8 years and pump about every 5-6 weeks. In summer I live in dread of pumping due to snakes. In winter its less ‘dread’ful but still time consuming. Funnily enough time and money are the two things I seem to be short of. Did I ever mention that I was never good at maths? You know all those stupid equations that they try to teach you and you know you are never going to use again? Well, if they ever teach you one to work out what the ‘head’ is on your water tank is let me know. Basically you have to know how long the pipe is, how big the tank is, and I think also how high the ground goes up from the pump site. Pumps are not cheap things. And you need to have one strong enough to pump the water up to and into the tank (the pressure from a large tank as it gets full is humungous! Not that humungous is a mathematical term but ykwim?
I called the people we were buying from but they couldn’t tell me what ‘The Head’ was for the tank Hmmmm. Still I needed to know how much the pump etc would be so off I goes to a Rural Store. In little country towns there are usually a few. We started going to one because the people we were staying with used that one. I’ve since changed. This is the episode that made it happen.
I need to buy a pump. Oh……..ok (with a – I have to come over and talk to you then, look.) Here’s a brochure with some pumps in it. Yep, I need to talk to you about which one I’ll need though. Ahhhh.…………..(do I really have to do this?) What’s the head. I don’t know but – Well, I suggest you get your other half to come in and we’ll sort it out. Ooooookay – You know buddy I don’t come in halves – I’m the whole deal. I buy the pump, I pay for the pump, I use the pump.
You really have to be careful of remarks like that these days – single parent mothers who are managing the kids, the water, the cows, the fencing on their own really don’t take kindly to that sort of remark. But don’t worry not everyone is as tactless. When I was investigating electric fencing (this involves not only maths but science!) I rang up the other store which I still frequent – and here’s the reason why. I was talking to a woman on the phone about prices of various pieces of electric fencing and trying to get my head around what I’d need (not having seen or used any of it.) She said ‘Come in we’ve got a little booklet about it and then you can see what it is and we can talk about it.’ So I confessed to her that I would rather ask at least half the stupid questions on the phone; that way when I turned up and asked the other half I’d only seem half as stupid. And I might not get told to send ‘the other half in.’ After she heard about ‘the other half’ comment, there was a pause (when I’m pretty sure she turned around with a narrowed gaze on each of the men working there) and then said ‘I think if any of the guys here said something like that we’d have to kill them.’ I like that store! The guys are great actually. They have mastered Retail Agriculture with Women for Customers – Rule one is 1. Sometimes the only safe comment is ‘Hmmm’ say it with feeling and look sorry at the same time. Repeat if necessary.
Now that you’ve got your head (not the tank’s head) around getting organised to pump I’m going to leave it there – there’s so much to be said about the next bit that your head would spin, so I’ll save that for the next installment of Feral Pumps Water for Fun saga. Oh I should just mention tho that if you thought you had petrol for the pump already you’ll be mistaken. Someone will have put it in their motorbike or you may even have used it in the mower and forgotten, so there’ll be a trip into town included in the Pumping activity. Just a little tip.
We will probably mention water tanks somewhere in the saga as well. It’s really an endless, ongoing, Fact Of Country Life!