Sun Pony Ranch

Diary of novice (clueless) ranch owners

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Water Water Everywhere, and yet Nowhere

Suffice it to say, we've been un-impressed with the quality of construction of the big barn. But one thing we've been heard to say, is that thank goodness at least the water supply was solid.

I was paying bills this weekend and noticed that our water useage has tripled in the past three months - during a period when we are not doing anything extra with water. We speculated whether we had a leak, but we were hard pressed to imagine we could be leaking 20-some thousand gallons a month and we hadn't seen any evidence of it. I called the water company yesterday and they explained how to look at the meter and see if its running when all valves are supposedly shut. Sure enough, Dave found that we're leaking water at about a gallon a minute. Do the math - this is about 40,000 gallons a month. Furthermore he determined that this is somewhere between the main barn shutoff valve (which we already know is faulty because it doesn't actually shut OFF the water) and the barn. Low and behold, half way down the driveway to the barn is a mysterious wet spot. We've never noticed it before because it really hasn't dried out here since Christmas anyways. But we've been blessed with little moisture in the past 3 weeks and that wet spot is pretty unmistakeable now that we were looking for it.

Stay tuned, this one is sure to be tons of fun.


9:00 PM Update - I hadn't expected David to get started quite so quickly, but I came home to this situation:

That is our neighbor, Tom, digging away and Dave was nowhere to be found. Ginger and I got home right on the heels of each other and wandered out to see what was going on. Tom looked surprisingly sheepish when we said hello and asked how things were going. "Well, you noticed you have no water?" No, we hadn't actually. "Because we hit the water line." Oops.

Using Tom's backhoe they had dug down to the faulty valve and proceeded to clear an area around it. Only, for some unexplainable reason instead of running a straight line from the barn to the main water, the seller had put a big zig zag in the line and thus they'd broken right through it - upstream from the faulty valve. Fortunately Dave was by now intimately familiar with where the water meter pit and main shut off was, so he knew right where to go and what wrench to take with him. Dave was off at the hardware store to get repair materials while Tom, bless his heart, stuck around to clear the pipe.

Meanwhile we came on into the house while they worked and Ginger fielded a phone call from Marcello, our other neighbor. He was concerned and wanted to warn us that we were digging right in the vicinity of our water line!

Ah, there is Dave's car pulling in now - it's about 9:15. Do we have water? Yes!

Now that the valve is fixed the search for the leak can begin.



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