Running Water

The well is finally completely connected and water… cool clear water… is shooting from the open outside clean-out valve. Um, I just wanted to write “cool clear water,” but it isn’t even close to clear yet as the pump is still pumping out the initial silty construction water. But we are advancing on our way to clear. This is a major milestone.

To accomplish the spewing water, in the past few days I connected an electrical sub-panel in container number 2, hooked up breakers, ran wires to the pump control panels (one pump controller, one pump over/under voltage protector, and one pressure switch) in container number 1, hooked up the panels, ran conduit and connection wire to the junction in the well enclosure, and finished up some water piping. Well guy Victor stopped by a few days ago and we drew a schematic that I could follow to wire the control panels.

When all was wired, plumbed, said and done, I flipped the breaker and… viola… I said viola… ahem… viola… nothing happened. No water pumped and spurted. I shut the breaker off immediately and troubleshot my wiring with a multi-meter. Ah, I quickly found an error; I had forgotten to connect a jumper wire on the pressure switch at the pressure tank. That done, I rechecked everything sixty-two more times then once again flipped the breaker to the “on” position. Within two seconds, viola happened and water was shooting out of the clean out valve I had left open. It was a wonderful sight.

Victor had suggested that I dig a drainage ditch at the high side of the well enclosure so that ground water wouldn’t get into the well. I did that this morning first thing before it got hot. Then with the big nine-inch monster angle grinder and a concrete cutting blade, I cut two good holes in the concrete foundation of the front fence so that rain water could escape from our sloping lot; one of the holes giving egress to the water in the new well drainage ditch.

After that was done, I decided that it was a good day to put the roof on the well enclosure. This is a slab of concrete that I poured in container number 2 some weeks ago. It is 54-inches square and 2.5 inches thick. I calculated that it weighs about 560 pounds. I wanted it heavy so that a thief looking to steal our pump would get a hernia. Anyway, Armando was off today, cleaning and prepping his orange finca (farm) I think. Cynthia had said she hoped that I would get four or six more men to help move the slab. So of course I went at it by myself.

First, using a long pry bar, I moved the slab back and forth until it projected out of the container about a foot and a half or so. Also, like initial sparing with an opponent in the ring, I was getting a feel for the weight of the beast. I decided that muscles would have nothing to do with subduing this giant. Then with the long bar (don’t worry, photos follow) I pried it up one side at a time and slipped a metal 2×4 under each side of the slab. I also got a few more 2x4s and stretched them out on the ground to the well like railroad tracks. Next, using the leverage of the long 2x4s under the slab, I tipped the slab and it slowly slid down the ramp to the ground. I tried to lift the slab to remove the 2x4s, but it had a lot of gravity acting on it. So I fetched from my car the come-along and two towing straps that I keep in the trunk. I slung the straps over a tree limb and connected the come-along to the slab. I raised the slab a bit with the come-along, removed the 2x4s, then, click by click, lowered the slab to the ground.

Excellent so far. No injuries, no hernia, The only thing I had broken was a light sweat from the humidity. I noticed that it was getting a bit dark even though it was only 11:30. I looked at the sky and yup, a storm was a-brewing. The northeast, the direction of imminent and definite downpours, was pitch black. So I quickly got two pieces of pipe and placed them under the slab and on top of the 2x4s. The slab practically rolled itself to the well as it is all downhill. It rolled right onto the well enclosure just like that. I removed the pipes, gave it a little adjustment with the pry bar, and that was that. I picked up all the moving gear, took some photos, and got into the car and got home just as the sky opened.

Midway through the storm I walked back over to the the construction site to check on the new drainage ditches and the holes in the fence. Everything was performing perfectly. Water was pouring out the new holes as if the flood gates had been lifted. But I did notice a large puddle inside the fence along side of the driveway gate. I’ll cut one more hole there to let the water out. These holes will be dandy escape hatches for the chickens, so I’ll eventually have to fit some wire mesh over the holes before we move into our new home.

On the short walk back home the sky was completely black with rain clouds. It was raining cats, dogs, elephants, you name it. I love to go out in these tropical downpours with not much clothing on. Why bother with clothes? It is not really that cold, and a quick toweling off gets you dry again. Several bolts of lightning hit very nearby in flash-crackle-no-delay-boom fashion. I began to wonder… today is May 21st, the day the world is supposed to end. At least one man has said it is so. So I wondered. Is this the beginning of the end? The rapture?

I wasn’t really dressed for the end of the world; a pair of bright Mexican print pants, a rain coat and flip flops. But no, the rain did let up and the only causality of the direct lightning hits in the area appears to be our modem, router, and the network card in Cynthia’s computer. I called it in to the phone company and was on the phone with a tech guy who tried to get the modem up and running, but no go. It was a casualty of the rapture. Or was it the rupture? Or the hernia? A technician with a new modem will be here in 24 to 72 hours. Promise. So this posting, pre-written in my word processor, will be posted bit tardily. (Ha! Tardily is a real word! Who’d a thunk it?)

We’re back on line now, obviously.

Overview: The slab is on its way out of the container. Desitnation is the well enclosure in the foreground.

Fifteen minutes later and the sunshine has vanished. Here, I am lifting the slab with the come-along.

The slab makes its merry way toward the well enclosure. By the way, one of my favorite Spanish words is ferrocarril (railroad). It is a good practice word for rolling the Rs.

Done and cleaned up, ready for the rain. Notice the well water flowing from the pipe! Also, notice that I built the small gate. Now we can secure the yard and Jabo can run free.

That’s all for now.

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One thought on “Running Water

  1. I like that: checked it 62 times. Your creative solutions continue to amaze and awe.
    Rapture – A good friend of mine came home that day and her cat had simply died, in it’s bed. It did make her stop and think. My friend is still here. And so am I, so I guess it was just that cat that deserved to be saved.

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