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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Well it's about time



It wasn't easy, but my water supply line is unfrozen and the house now has water. The water line was frozen for all of 8 feet. It's never even been close to that bad before. The good news is that none of the plumbing leaked. At least that part of the shutdown went as planned. Having water frees up time and energy for other things -and there are plenty of other things to deal with.

Hauling water, even from the well on my own property, takes time and energy. We are extremely frugal with our water used, especially by American standards, but it seemed I was always hauling water.

It's good to have backup plans and systems. The problem is that every backup is harder than the thing it replaces. If was easier, it would be the primary system. During a disaster more than one system goes down at the same time.

For example, take any sort of major natural disaster. Power, water, waste removal, communications, public safety -just about anything in modern life we take for granted goes away. A well prepared person may have contingencies for the loss of all those things. However, does he have the personal strength and energy to do all of them? Does he have others in his extended group who can pick up some of the slack? That's one reason community is important.

A person's response to the loss of a critical service may depend on the length of the emergency. With my water out of service a lot of my hand carried water was used to flush toilets. If for some reason water service was never coming back a lower effort sanitation system would need to be used. Maybe I'd build a composting toilet or an outhouse.

One bright spot about this little challenge: my lovely wife never really complained. She knew I was doing all I could to fix the situation. Besides, after all that time on a small sailboat, we are living large.

-Sixbears

17 comments:

  1. Glad your water is back. Hauling is a task. Did that when I lived on a place with only a spring. As for the toilet, I've been using a composting one for a solid 10 or 12 years. Spent a year experimenting and then full time. Helps make great compost too.
    Flags237

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    1. I bet you learned a lot in that year of experimentation.

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  2. Glad you got the pipe thawed.A 12 volt pump and plastic tubing is a cheap backup and could be run above ground for about 75$.A cavet is it could double as a bilge pump on the boat Or a resivir pump in the camper.

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    1. Yesterday I was seriously considering buying one if the thawing didn't work.

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  3. Take a look into "Humanure" toilets using sawdust. There is a book out there explaining all the science that has been translated into dozens of languages. We use it out in the desert and it works great. (minimal odor)

    Bigfoot in TX

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    1. It's basically what I've been using on my boat. I've friends who have it in their house. Their bathroom is a two seater, one for solids and one for liquids.

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  4. The especially good news is that the plumbing lines are still watertight. Some very spectacular images of thawed out plumbing leaks are available - count yourself fortunate.

    Turning the tap handle and clear drinking water available - such a luxury! Like electricity, you don't give it enough consideration until it gone - then its a calamity!

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    1. The plastic supply line has held up well over the years. I've fixed some serious leaks in the house plumbing caused by freezing, but that's a long story. Not this year, thank goodness!

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  5. I'm glad your water is back on... My disaster contingency plan is to go to your house. ;)

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    1. Thought that might be the case . . .

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  6. Glad THAT problem is solved. I hauled water as a kid, and it's a lot of work.

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    1. Plumbing is a wonderful invention.

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  7. It's the little things we can accomplish in our daily lives that make us smile the most!

    Glad there is no breaks in the line!

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    1. Me too. I'd hate to have to dig all that line up by hand. There's no room for heavy machinery.

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  8. You're right. It doesn't occupy my mind much but one might think about community for all sorts of lovely reasons.
    And practical reasons too.
    Living alone can make one very selfish...

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    1. If not for my family,I could easily slip into hermit mode.

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  9. Thank goodness for the thaw! I couldn't imagine myself living under the same conditions you went through, and you are amazing for that. And your wife is definitely commendable too. It's always a plus to have a very understanding companion in times of crisis. Always stay safe out there, and I hope, with the right preparation, this doesn't happen again next year!

    Jason @ Sunshine Renewables

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