Wednesday, December 21

All's Well That Ends With A Well (Part I)

A trench from the corner of the house
up through the driveway. Blarg.
Columbus Day Weekend (waaaay back in October), we woke up Saturday morning with a pretty clear plan for the weekend, as is our habit. (Hazards of me being an ISTJ… I plan somewhat compulsively. What can I say?) Everything started out normally – coffee, getting ready for the day, and then up and out for the first thing on the list which happened to be a quick run to Lowes to pick up something we needed.

When we got home, we each had a few things to do. When I turned the handle on one of the water faucets and got nothing, I didn't panic. I assumed my Love was just changing the water filter or something and I'd missed a memo. Not a big deal… until he walked up behind me, took one look at the not-running water and said “that's not good.”

Obviously, investigations ensued. Naturally, we checked all the easy stuff first and worked our way out from there. Long story short, we discovered (to our substantial alarm) that the morons who built our house (without planning anything) installed the well alongside the driveway… right next to shifting ledge rock… which, over time, shifted into the well casing, causing a catastrophic collapse well below the surface.

Not surprisingly, everything got progressively worse from there. The top of the well was so collapsed in that mice had made a residence in it, which was disgusting. (Thankfully, the wall of rock they'd built it on top of kept them and their nest fully separated from our drinking supply prior to the abrupt loss of everything.)

Given that the well casing was destroyed, the well pump couldn't be recovered and we were faced with the unwelcome prospect of digging an entirely new well. Or, more accurately (because this is a mountain of shale), pounding a new well rather than drilling. Which, as it turns out, is a nerve-gratingly slow process – particularly when you have to do it just as the weather is turning from Fall to gross Winter-is-coming dramatics.

The well guys brought in a giant, truck-mounted pounder and parked it in our driveway alongside the garage, and began the drawn out process of getting us a new well. This, of course, delighted our furry babies. Did you know that digging a well creates oodles of MUD? Mud is the Best. Thing. Ever. according to bored border collies. (Note: I completely gave up trying to keep the floor more than passably clean for the duration of this adventure.)

So, for two full weeks while the well guys worked on that, we had no water.

Logistically, of course, that meant doing water runs to a neighbor's every day to fill up five gallon buckets with water for bathing, dish washing, filling the toilet tanks, and other necessities. Thankfully, once we got a system down, that was far less stressful than it could have been. (Thank the Force for empathetic neighbors, a ready stock of five gallon buckets, and the fact that all the drains/septic/etc. still worked without interruption!) It just made everything take longer.

Not how we planned to spend most of that month, for sure.
Fun fact: With access to enough mud,
Nenya turns into a direwolf...

(Rest of the story tomorrow in Part II.)

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