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Water, water everywhere....


Previous Entry Water, water everywhere.... Dec. 18th, 2009 @ 07:28 am Next Entry
We've been musing about a well for about 2 years now. The water out here is NASTY, they overcharge whenever the muse hits them, they are *very* slow to fix leaks on their side of the meter.....it's a mess (it's also a co-op; usually, co-ops are great. Our Electric co-op is *very* good, they're user-friendly, open, and quick to make any sort of repairs. The Water co-op...not so much).

Anyway, Summer '08 we got a quote for a well. $6K for a 100 ft water well, with all the electrics, etc. *IF* we had to go deeper, it'd be something like $10/foot...but he'd never seen that. :snerk: A few weeks later, we found another quote tied to our front gate - this one was for $3K. We let it sit....we didn't have the spare funds at the time, and I wasn't getting a positive YES on it.

Flash forward to this Fall. I was getting mild urges for a well, again. THIS time, we asked the guy who put in my septic - he's on the State Water Board, talks to the State Water Commission all the time, AND he knows well-diggers. I figured, if he wouldn't drill it, he'd know someone reputable that needed the money, and it'd be Win/Win. He'd said he'd look into the Resevoirs/Aquifers for me.

The upshot? No Well For me.

The first thing he told me was that there was a 75% chance of a Dry Hole (Strike 1!) UNLESS..

We went down 1,800 feet, for a minimum of $10K (Strike 2!) BUT...

It would come from the Trinity River Aquifer/Resevoir (I'm not sure which/what....doesn't matter), and that water is NON-POTABLE (STRIKE 3 - we're done!). It's full of...I dunno the right word, but some sort of small particulates that 1)can't be boiled out 2) can't be filtered out and 3) will KILL you over a few years time. He said a lot of people use it to water their animals - but he knew a) I wouldn't risk my horses and b)I use some of my critters for food (don't want to contaminate the food with this water!)

So.....I'm glad we didn't jump at the quotes......and I'm glad my co-worker suggested we ask Gary about it. He didn't know HOW people were finding water (there are a LOT of wells just down the street from us; not on our street, but on the cross-street. He said according to the maps, there just aren't any large aquifers here, and again - those that are here are connected to the Trinity......)

He did say we had a better-than-average chance of hitting water, since our pond is spring-fed...but again - if we can't filter out the contaniments, or boil 'em out, what's the point?

The funny thing is, we already have a water softener (that was 2 years ago bonus) and a whole-house water filter (that was last year's), because the water co-op here sucks (see first paragraph, above). We were talking last night - we *need* to replace the dishwasher, since the hard water the first few years we lived here has damaged the racks (they are all rusty; the plastic's been eaten away and a lot of the prongs have broken off. My toilets....it took a LOT of work to remove all the rust stains. The water is HARD, and icky. :sigh: It's safe to drink....if you ignore the annual reports that say things like "Our blahblah contaniments are at 29 - State Maximum is 30(!), so we're SAFE to drink!" No shit - the reports actually say stuff like this. Hence the water filter last year. Don't know that it helps, but it certainly can't hurt. Plus the filter on the fridge.) I've had the washing machine pump replaced, and a few other things - I'm wondering if it's from the water out here, too.

Anyway, now I know why my preps haven't included a well. I keep being steered away from Solar....I'd like to look into wind turbines (I found one that'll run a house for $16K...WAY outta my price range, but doable if we could get a loan. Not that I want a loan...but if I didn't have a $250 electric bill each month I could pay it off pretty quickly (And no, my bill isn't always that high - mostly just in July/Aug/Sept. It normally runs about $150 or thereabouts. Summer is killer here!). Solar....to run an average-sized house completly on solar, it'd run about $35K (withOUT installation). Or so it was 6 years ago when I was building this house...it might have come down some recently. If I wanted to use solar as a supplement to the grid, it'd be about $20K - it's the storage batteries that run the cost up. The wind turbine I found was for *everything* - the turbine, the tower, and the installation/hook-up to the house. I don't know if it was to supplement the grid, or for total off-grid use. We have 10-15 mph straight-line winds out here *constantly*, so I'm not worried about it standing idle.)

I...don't know. I know that there's *something* I need to focus on, and it has to do with electric for the house....but I can't pin it down. It's not a major *push*, so it's not something I have to do NOW..but it's there, and it's driving me nuts. :sigh: I need a hint! (Please!) :lol: (Hmmm....might be a wood stove. Could be used for cooking AND heating. Only problems with that - I'm allergic to wood smoke, and Himself's asthma. I need to think (and pray) about that.....and check Craig's List. :grin: Seriously - sometimes the answers are there, if you know what you're supposed to be looking for.)
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Date:December 19th, 2009 06:27 pm (UTC)
Well solar is kind of odd, if you have stuff you just use during the day, you can run them on individual solar panels. 35K sounds like a system that includes batteries. Check with your electric co-op, you may be able to buy a system for somewhere around 15-20 that sells power back to the co-op during the day when your not using it, but you still pull power from them at night when you need it. You likely will be able to balance out the usage so that you have a very low if not non existent bill. Given the talk of new CO2 restrictions power companies are looking into systems like this. My EMC (a co-op) allows it, in fact they like it because it upps there green energy levels.
Date:December 20th, 2009 04:09 pm (UTC)


I say go for the woodstove. Seriously, you can't cook, can't boil unsuitable water, can't can, can't heat... the woodstove was PRI-ority for us. In fact, we have two, just in case. And I'm VERY interested in an outdoor kitchen... one of those stone/brick ones that look like an old chimney?

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