Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Best Water in the World -- repost


When I was doing this post yesterday, we were in the midst of drizzle and fog, melting snow and mud.  Not a good day for pictures -- but I consoled myself with the thought of all the lovely moisture replenishing our water table so that our springs and branches will continue to flow and give life to the land.  Here's a re-post from February of  '08. Waste not, want not.


We're proud of our water, here in the mountains. "The best water in the world" we call it. A man may live in a tumble-down shack but if he has a spring above his house, he can dig down to the place where the water runs over bare rock, dam up a small pool, and pipe the water from the pool to a reservoir (which could be anything from a wooden barrel to a cast concrete box) and thence to his house. Gravity water, cold and clear and free.

Clifford, who with his wife Louise owned the farm we live on, told us how during the Depression he went to Detroit in search of a job. "And I woulda made good money too but I couldn't drink the water. Just got on the bus and come back the next day."

I grew up drinking the city water in Tampa and always assumed that was how water should taste. But after I'd lived in the mountains half a year, drinking the water from our own spring -- I was spoiled. Totally and completely. When I returned to Tampa for a visit, the water tasted so much like chlorine that I found myself using bottled water even to brush my teeth.

Our little spring puts out a tiny stream, the size of a pencil, but (so far, knock-on-wood) it's never slackened. It was adequate for our needs till our older boy went to college and began coming home for spring or fall break with five or six friends. The little spring just couldn't keep up with all the showering and laundry and flushing. So we had a well dug.

We planned to use the well water for the laundry and bathrooms and to have another pipe to supply the kitchen from the spring. My husband, the resident DIY plumber, was resigned to a long, unpleasant session in the cramped crawl space under the house, tackling this complicated reworking of our plumbing. Then we tasted the well water - and lo and behold, it tasted just the same as the spring!

The best water in the world!
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17 comments:

Witch of Stitches said...

Yum! How I wish I could have water like that. The water here in South Florida is awful even with a filter.

Martin H. said...

Oh for the taste of good well water, Vicki. For the first ten years of my life, I knew nothing else. My grandparents still used it until about 1970, when their well became contaminated with agricultural chemicals.

So that was that, until we visited my step-brother in a remote part of Wales. His reservoir was under the kitchen of an old drover's cottage he owned. And there was that pure water again. Nothing to beat it.

Joan said...

As children we lived where there were springs with 'the best water in the world' too. We would be sent down to the spring in the bush with the glass water jug and bring it back full of cool fresh water for the table. Oh such memories.

Brian Miller said...

nice...nothing like spring water...and i grew up on well water...

looking foward to the weekend in your town

Brenda said...

Clean water is such a precious resource that we should never take for granted. And I'm with you on that Florida water - it has a SMELL. Personally, I don't think water should smell like anything!

My Carolina Kitchen said...

How fortunate you are to have spring water. It's the best. Water in Florida has a funny taste to me and sometimes leaves sand in the dishwasher.

In NC we have a well and our water has a lot of rust in it. In fact it was coloring my hair red (horrors) until we got an expensive filter system.

When we lived in the islands, we collected rain water in cisterns and that water was sweet and wonderful. Isn't water amazing?
Sam

Jill said...

There is nothing like good mountain water. I cherish it.

Kath said...

Lucky you.
I've moved 27 times in my life. And along with a library card, one of the first things on my list is the water, taste. I'm not a fan of bottled water, so this is crucial.

Now you're making me wonder about a well. This area was once tenant farms and there is an old water pump just two houses away, so ...

Louise said...

I live in one of the last areas in this county that isn't on municipal water. Village water comes from an underground aquifer that runs out into Lake Ontario. It, of course, has to meet standards, but they have to add very few chemicals to do so. It's wonderful water that, even in the middle of summer, runs icy cold from the faucet. The only bad thing about it is that it is as hard as rocks, but I'll deal with that, in exchange for the good taste.

Darla said...

There are infinite blessings in crisp, sweet water, aren't there? Yum. I still have memories of how much I loved the well water on my grandparents' farm in the Ozarks of Missouri. And the incredible bliss of ice cold river water when hiking the Rocky Mountains.

Thanks for the memories, Vicki! :-)

Bouncin' Barb said...

My grandma lived upstate NY near Bear Mountain. Her water was spring fed. I can still smell the smell when I close my eyes. This was great.

Tess Kincaid said...

We have the most delicious well water here at Willow Manor. I love when it's extra ice cold in the winter. I am always amazed when city folk come to visit and turn their noses up, since it doesn't taste like city water!

maría cecilia said...

Dear Vicki, I do understand what is to have our own water, clean and pure flowing right from the mountain. We too have our own water here where live, so good!!!
hugs my dear

Vagabonde said...

When I came in this country I stayed in Montana for a while. My friends had an old cabin in the mountains. I remember drinking the water from a small stream there and it was a revelation. But on another note, my husband, who was a “Environmental Water Planner” too (that’s the special project he had taken for Gov Jimmy Carter and why we moved to Georgia) told me that all these tons of salt and other chemicals Atlanta has been pouring on the roads to de-ice them will go… where? In the streams and water. Think of that.

Elora said...

And now comes the specter of deep---very deep--drilling of the Marcellus Shale for gas.....which has the potential to completely destroy our water sources...and there's virtually no regulatory structure in place. and much money to be made. The profiteers own the day.

Elora

Vicki Lane said...

Most animals know better than to foul their own water. Perhaps because our water just appears out of the tap, it's easy to ignore the numerous ways our modern life contributes to the degradation of our water supply.

Tipper said...

When I was in about 8th grade Pap decided to have a well drilled-he was tired of unfreezing our gravity water during the winter months. He worried and worried about the taste of the new water-but like yours it turned out to be as good as the spring we'd used for so many years.