Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Dry Hole

Living where we do comes with the knowledge - or fear - that there will come a time when the well will run dry. For me, that fear was realized on Saturday afternoon. As I watered our little makeshift garden I noticed our water pressure was low. I mentally noted it, but wasn't concerned by it. It was later when I asked my son to start his bath that the universe paused a moment. I was fussing with the kitchen sink and wondering if the faucet was plugged when my son came in all smiles and giggles telling me how the water was only trickling into the tub. My world slammed to a halt and I felt my blood run cold. I called...rather...I hollered for my husband and together we tromped out to the pump.

The pump was humming along but no water was being pulled up into the tank. The pressure rested at 15%. I pleaded with myself to not pass out. At that moment, I could only think of the hefty price tag we were facing. Wells don't come cheap and in these difficult economic times we are financially strapped.

After my initial breakdown where fear collided with tears, my husband and I were able to plan for the worst. Hoping that just the pump motor was bad, but sensing the whole well was dry, we took steps to pull a loan out against my 401K. On a Saturday night at 9pm, there is not much one can do. But taking a few steps towards a resolution along with an Ambien at least provided for some sleep.

Now, here is where I get to be extremely grateful. I called our pump company at 8am sharp on Monday morning. A crew arrived and by 9:30 we knew the pump motor was shot. Still waiting on a verdict on the water level, I contacted my 401K provider. After hearing my plight, a representative faxed me the paperwork to sign for tan emergency loan against my retirement fund. By 11am I had the paperwork signed and faxed to my fund manager and the loan was approved. It was moments later that my husband called to let me know that the well was indeed dry.

I choked down this information with a bit of ease since we would have the funds to cover the expense. I arrived home just prior to the arrival of the manager of the drilling crew. He provided us with a 5-digit estimate and told us he would file for permits that afternoon. In a move not typical, the County approved our permits in minutes rather than days. This allowed the drilling crew to come out yesterday evening to bring out their equipment to get set-up for an early start today.

We found out that sometimes it takes several months to get a new well drilled. We found ourselves with a dry well completely out of sync with the normal pattern so our wait was a mere 24 hours.

I am anxiously awaiting the free flow of water. It takes about 5 business days to complete a new well and destroy the old one. With luck we will be showering in our own home by next Tuesday at the latest.

My feeling of gratitude for the funds and quick response of the pump company is currently out-weighing my feelings of inconvenience. It is not convenient to be without water. It is not especially inconvenient with two small children who are home for summer. It is frustrating to fill the toilet tanks with water and to wash dishes with a two-gallon jug. It is incredibly difficult to suck up our pride and accept the use of parents' and siblings' showers and washing machines.

In a stroke of irony, on Sunday, a friend let us know we could have his old above-ground pool. We have no water but we have a pool! I can't wait to fill that pool up with water fresh from our 500 foot well! That will be a wonderful reward for these past few days filled with challenges.

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