As I write, rain dumps down on the homestead. The yards quickly became mires, the trails deep puddles and small creeks. Perhaps, then, it’s not unexpected that I’m thinking about water.
Water may be our homestead’s most precious resource. The collection, storage, and use of water occupies much of our thoughts and actions, as you can clearly see from the amount of time and space the topic occupies on this blog (see, for starters, Fresh Water: Collecting and Conserving a Precious Resource).
Normally, we switch from our winter water system to the summer system in late March or early April. This allows the winter water tank to refill for the next winter. We’ve discovered that we can fudge this process, which we’ve followed as a practice the previous owners of the property established. They needed water for six people, whereas we only have two these days. We find that in normal rainfall years, we can stay on the winter tank all summer. The advantages of doing so include better pressure, colder water, and better filtration.
Still, to increase our safety margin, we find it useful to switch to summer water at least for a few months during the warmer months.
This year, things have happened a bit slower. We activated the diversion that fills the summer tank a while ago; we use the water for the garden (if necessary) and to provide rinse water at the compost bins.
However, we have not yet turned off the winter tank’s line to the house, and diverted the cabin to summer water. It just hasn’t seemed urgent, so we’ve let it slide.
Also, we’re thinking seriously of implementing one of Michelle’s long-cherished upgrades: running water to the boathouse/guesthouse.
Currently, that has been a dry cabin. It doesn’t even have a water catchment nearby. Michelle has always wanted to run a line down to it, where it would end mostly likely in a sink outside the cabin, possibly under the front porch awning. This is not an essential upgrade, but we think it might be useful, not only for guests and to expand the usability of the cabin for us, but also to provide a source of water for cleaning fish on the boat platform there.
So, our basic plan is to create a splice in the line that lies uphill of the boathouse, run a pipe down the slope, and install some sort of faucet at the boathouse. This would be best done before we connect the summer water to the main cabin.
It’ll be easy, and it could be done in very short order. But—maybe I’ll wait, at least until the rain lets up . . . .