So, I had an idea all teed up for this week’s post, involving my bafflement at the right-wing media’s “sudden” realization that Palin is a crackpot, when Real Life ™ intervened, and reminded me why I do this prepping thing.
I had been out in my workshop, diligently making wood chips, and came inside for dinner. My wife greeted me with, “I don’t know what happened, but we haven’t had water for about half an hour.” Great.
Now, we’re on a well, so it wasn’t a problem with the city water supply. It’s winter, which in other cases would (and has) meant frozen pipes; it wasn’t that cold, though, and a quick check in the basement showed that nothing was frozen. No; after a bit of troubleshooting, the issue turned out to be the well pump. It wasn’t pumping, so the water pressure in the system was approximately 0 PSI.
Have I mentioned lately that one of the weakest points in our prepping is water storage? We’ve got a propane-fired camp shower/water heater, so getting water hot isn’t a problem. The problem is getting water to begin with. Most of what we had was suitable only for flushing toilets–like bad preppers, we hadn’t rotated stock–which left nothing for washing dishes, or washing ourselves, or drinking.
(Another lesson to be learned here is not to procrastinate–my wife and I had both looked at the dishes earlier in the day, and thought, “I’ll just get those after dinner.” Well, not going to happen…)
Fortunately, this wasn’t a complete grid-down situation (which I don’t believe will happen any time soon, anyway); and we aren’t out in the boondocks, so getting parts is not a problem. Most hardware stores (and assorted grocery and big chain stores) now sell 5-gallon water jugs, meant for water cooler setups; they’re a setup rather like with exchangeable propane tanks. If you haven’t done a full rain-water catchment system (so long as those are legal where you are), and can’t afford something fun like water bricks, the jugs are a relatively inexpensive way to go.
Given the lateness of the hour, and the propensity for anything involving plumbing to take multiple trips to the hardware store, I couldn’t get the pump fully replaced until the next day. As such, we “only” had to go about sixteen hours ‘without’ water; had ours been a “deep” well (over 70 feet), or one with a submersible pump, it would undoubtedly have been much longer. Still, it drove home a weak area of our prepping, and in a relatively harmless way.
Next time, I’ll talk Palin, unless a better topic comes along. Consider yourselves warned…