News from the well

By Philip Hitchcock

Well Project 2020
After last year’s success extracting well water I am increasing the number of taps available for general use. There will very shortly be 5 taps installed, two behind my shed, one at each end of the central track and one at the well head.
Last year we managed without using any paid-for mains water but it was a very close thing – we were saved by the spell of wet weather at the end of summer.
We do not know what the weather will throw at us this year but with careful water management by ALL OF US we can keep the amount of mains water we use to an absolute minimum (hopefully none)
The system in place is an automated system so it works when I am not on site, the water butts at each end of the site will only fill slowly but if they are drained they should refill overnight.
As this year I am working to a self imposed budget of £0.00 it is inevitably a “Heath Robinson” affair using second hand and improvised parts. You will notice the surface hose pipes feeding the water butts, please take care not to pull the pipes or sever them when you are enthusiastically strimming. If a pipe is severed water will flow from both cut ends continually until every water butt, reservoir cube and the well are empty.
Should you cause or spot a major leak when I am not on site, and are unable to fix it (odd drips and weeping joints are a design feature so are not a problem) please take the following steps.
1. Turn off the Main Breaker in my shed.  Shed is not locked, breaker is an old cooker switch and is labelled.
2. Turn off the tap on my cube. This is the one nearest the central track, it is used as a reservoir  to even out supply and demand.
I will be prioritising supplying the communal taps and will not be filling any personal cubes until next February and March. I will fill the two communal cubes by the allotment shed if there is enough water available.
Last year I topped up all cubes on site in late summer, with the benefit of hindsight this was a mistake as most cubes have been overflowing all winter. Whilst filling them was not a problem from the water point of view it took up a lot of time and effort and achieved very little.
To make the best use of our resources please use water in the following order.
1. Use the water from personal cubes.2. Use the well water from the 5 taps mentioned earlier.3. Use the mains water sparingly 
I know it would be easy to take an “I’m all right Jack” attitude and keep a cube of water in reserve for your own use but this would be a bit selfish as it could mean you have a cube full of water whilst another person has to use expensive mains water because the well taps have run dry. 
Ideally we should enter the rainy season with all cubes empty ready to catch and store the free rain water.
Thanks for the donations of pipe, connectors butts and cube. I will shortly be needing 2 replacement car batteries or similar rechargeable batteries (the ones in use at present are 19 years old and are very near the end of their life) so if anyone has one or is having their car battery replaced please think of me. A car battery that is not good enough to start a car could give years of useful life as the pumps in use are very economical. As long as a battery will hold a charge overnight it will be ok.
Next spring I will need more hose pipe and connectors to enable me to top up all cubes so again all contributions welcome.

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