Subterranean water pipe blues revisited
I’m wound up.
I’ve been trying to wind-back the stress caused by my latest water pipe woes: vigorous exercise; a few days leave of absence; meditation of sorts.
Clocking up fast clip distances walking huff and puff day after day, climbing up Mt Michael to our 25,000 litre storage tank; clocking up kilometres by car to get four days away from it all – Hanmer Springs mineral soaks, bush walks, and a dinner at an Indian restaurant; clocking up more than the usual couple of daily kegel exercise sessions accompanied by slow, deep breaths and the mantra-like words “in out, deep soft, here now”: I’m counting on keeping those pelvic floor muscles strong, and more pointedly, keeping at least my water works working well.
The pipes causing all the strife this time were subterranean by definition and meant to stay that way. Makes Subterranean Water Pipe Blues –– the pipes buried under long grass – seem like a walk in the park.
You see we have a legally binding water easement that goes from the top of the neighbouring farmer’s paddock to the bottom. Water from the Allandale water supply scheme dribbles into our 25,000 litre storage tank up the side of Mt Michael and is gravity fed to our house tank and the pipes in the paddock. The T-junction that diverts water to our paddocks is above the house tank to ensure that we still have a reservoir supplying the house and garden if the main pipeline gets cut when the farmer’s paddock is being cultivated.
By the time we found out, 25,000 litres had haemorrhaged from a cut pipe a few metres above our house tank. I lugged our large aluminium step ladder up the hill and to our great relief that 15,000 litre concrete house tank was still pretty full.
Pipe repaired with a 20mm inline connector, we waited for the top tank water to get above the outlet. Meanwhile, back at the house, we were both using the greenhouse tap to fill the pales that we now had to carry out to the livestock troughs. Such a wrenching weight over a considerable distance and such hilly, uneven terrain. I swear my shoulders have permanently drooped an inch: shouldering the burden of another kind of Cooper’s droop! (See What is Coopers Droop?.)
Days went by, the top tank dutifully, albeit slowly, re-filled, but to our dismay not a drop dribbled into the house tank or out of the taps in the paddocks, At that stage in proceedings, I refused to put the rest of my life on hold. Sorting out whether we had a massive air lock in the system or, curiouser and curiouser, as Alice would say, whether it was even our pipe, despite it being just above our house tank, that had been spewing water, would have to wait until (to borrow from another watery sport), I got some ‘clear air’.
Instead, I got June, after her yoga class last Wednesday, to get me a 20 mm to 15 mm step-down in-line pipe connector from the local Farmlands store, so that I could attach some 15 mm pipe I had on hand to the cut 20 mm pipe line. To my great relief, the water came gushing out the pipe as I removed the 20 mm to 20 mm connector and got ready to connect my length of 15 mm pipe. Pipe slipped under the concrete lid, the by now three-quarter empty tank took just half-a-day to fill up.
And that’s the state of play. Treading water. When I’ve got something more to report than “barely keeping afloat”, you’ll be the first to know.