Time to Switch to the Winter Water Supply

By , November 10, 2009

The weather report is predicting a low of 22° tonight, so unless something else comes up, we’ll switch from the summer water to the winter water today. This requires a little bit of strategy, as the summer water tank needs to be drained so it doesn’t freeze later this winter. We don’t want all that water to go to waste, particularly after the drought conditions we dealt with in the summer.

That means that we’ll be sure to get showers this morning before we switch tanks. It’s not very likely that we’ll run the winter water dry this year, but as long as the summer water still flows, one last shower on that reserve before switching over seems like a really good idea.

To switch tanks, we just need to flip a toggle on our outside spigot to cut off the summer water inflow, then go up the hill to the winter water tank. There, at the base of the tank, we clear a small tunnel of styrofoam packing and burlap insulation. Inside, at almost an exact armlength in, is a spigot that must be opened to start the flow from the tank. It’s not a pleasant chore—it requires laying full length on the ground, feeling around with your face in the dirt, and cold hands.

When the winter water’s flowing, we’ll then detach the hose from the summer tank, run it out to the beach, and let it drain till it’s mostly empty. We’ll also need to hike up to the bog creek and decommission our intake collection bucket for the winter, allowing our diversion pipe to drain into the creek bed once again.

Once it’s done, we’ll have colder, cleaner water with better pressure from the gravity fall from up the hill. Another seasonal milestone will have passed as we continue to adjust to winter.

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