Monday, September 8, 2008

Water from the Mountain

We call it The Best Water in the World -- pure, chill water that flows out of the ground about a hundred and fifty feet above our house. The spring was discovered and dug out long ago by Louise Freeman when she and her family (husband and four boys) lived in the little cabin that still stands near our house. Tired of toting water uphill from the spring near the barn, Louise persevered till she found this one.

When we built our house, my husband 'headed up' the spring which had not been used for many a year -- digging back till the water was coming out over rock and gravel, then building a small concrete dam to make a catch pool for the water. Set into that wall is a pipe that runs into the reservoir. (A piece of screen covers the mouth of the pipe to keep 'spring lizards' (salamanders) out.) The water flows into the reservoir and from there into the house --- gravity water from the mountain -- an elegant thing!

Our first reservoir was a 30 gallon wooden barrel, purchased from the Mother Earth News Truck Store. It served our needs for many years and was completely adequate back when we had an outhouse and did our laundry at the laundromat. But with a second child, the need for our own washing machine grew and indoor plumbing was next.

To meet the increased demand John built this concrete block reservoir -- It holds 750 gallons! An amazing amount of water!

Of course, that doesn't change the fact that the input from the spring -- a steady stream of water about the diameter of a pencil -- takes quite a while to fill the tank. But, once again, for many years the reservoir up the hill was adequate for our needs. Till the older boy went to college . . . and came back for breaks, bringing with him what seemed like hordes of friends -- frequently showering, constantly flushing friends.

The next step was a well -- but, we told ourselves, we'll keep the water from the reservoir running to the sink and use the well water -- which will likely taste funny -- for everything else.

Oh, the joy! When the well was dug and we tasted the water, it was impossible to tell the difference! So now we flush and bathe and irrigate with The Best Water in the World.
The reservoir's still there -- last in use during the Great Blizzard of '93 when we lost power for five days and had a houseful of college kids home for Spring Break. But that's another story. . .

CORRECTION! -- John tells me the reservoir is not concrete block but poured concrete with rebar -- and all the materials, including the wood for the form were hauled up the hill to the site on a sled pulled by our mules, Pete and Molly.

Getting those details right.

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1 comment:

Pat in east TN said...

Over the years we have had both spring water and well water and have come to the conclusion that we simply have the best water in the world in this area, east TN/western NC.