Saturday, March 10, 2012

and the water story goes on....

WARNING: This post contains me complaining some more today! I figure this is MY blog about MY life, so if I want to complain a bit I have that right :)

The water saga continues.  We may end up with water today, we may not. If we do, it's only because the two neighbors who live on either side of us have also stepped in (once they got home from work), also feeling it's not acceptable to go 6 days without water.  When told what the part was that is on order from Timbuktu, both neighbors said either she or her repairman are full of *&#@, it's a common part that can be bought at HomeDepot for $17! They and my dh went and looked at the well themselves.  The plan now is they are just going to try and fix it themselves today. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Earlier yesterday I had received a call from the well owner's daughter. They were leaving the water on at a reduced flow until the well could be repaired. I told her we had basically fast drip coming out of our faucets, no way enough to take a shower or fill our toilets, so it wasn't really helping any. Oh, she was surprised, they had a good flow. I explained to her that's because they all live downhill from the well, the rest of us live uphill.  A working pump is needed to pump the water at a reasonable flow. Dh has turned off our hot water heater.  He felt the small amount of water that is filling back up isn't enough and is worried our water heater will burn out an element or something.  I was then told by the daughter that we could just take sponge baths for the next 5 days. I seriously did not even bother responding to that!  Sure, I'll go into work Mon and Tues with hair that hasn't been able to be washed since I took a shower Thursday morning. Ewww. Good grief.  After the county guy talked to the well owner and found out they were leaving the well on just a little he told her she had to shut it off completely so as not to keep bringing up silt and such into the well.

I got up early this morning and went over and borrowed my mom's shower, so at least I feel clean again. But, I still feel yucky at my house - I guess I don't like washing my hands with cold water from a jug!  Dd got home from tennis practice yesterday, of course all sweaty and in need of a shower. She can't use the school locker room, because they do their practice out at the tennis courts (of course) and the gym and locker rooms are locked up by the time she gets done with practice at 5pm.  She took the drive over to Grandma's last night to use her shower. Ds will probably just go over to his girlfriends house, as it's alot closer than driving to my mom's.

This is our ONLY water source option. I doubt there is much we can do to prevent this type of situation from happening in the future. There hasn't been anything we've been able to do for the past 22 years about it. She doesn't want to listen to any of our suggestions. Or she'll act like she agrees with us and will change but the next time there is a problem she acts like she has never heard our suggestions before. The well owner won't make 5 of the 9 well users pay (herself and her family).  Of the other 4 lots, 2 of us pay regularly and a year in advance.  The other guy owns 2 lots.  Sometimes he pays her money, other times he trades her for firewood or does repairs at her house/property in exchange (we found this out last night). All well and good for our neighbor, but that doesn't get money into the well maintenance account. Basically the only money she is getting is from 2 of us and she doesn't keep it separate for the well. So, every time there is a problem she has no money for it.  The county guy told me he has now offered her some well management education and he will follow up with her on it.  She does need to be charging us more, but like our other neighbor who pays yearly said - not at the expense of the rest not paying their fair share. If she had been collecting $10 a month from 8 of the users (not including herself) since the last repair expense in 2006 she would have had $3000 in the account (after paying electric and annual inspection fee). More than enough to cover this repair expense and have it done in a timely fashion by a qualified well repair company.

It was good to get info from the county as to what her responsibilities to us users are and what she can and can't do.  I felt better, knowing our expectation that she shouldn't be allowed to take 6 or more days to get us water again was also adamantly supported by the county.  While our water has been dirt cheap all these years, we've also personally spent way more money on improving our neighborhood than the value of the water she has supplied, so I don't feel like we have taken advantage of her in anyway by her pricing her water at $10 a month.  The road into our properties was originally a gravel road - complete with all the problems all gravel roads have - dust and pot holes! 17 years ago we personally spent $13,000 and my Dh's time and equipment prepping the road, to have the private road paved. Something she and her family (and all the other neighbors) use every day to get to their properties and have benefited from all these years, not having to drive 1/4 of a mile on dust and potholes and it increased everyone's property values. And we continue to maintain it at our expense.

I'm hoping for water today! Keep your fingers crossed.

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