Since I live in the country, my water comes from a well. Let me tell you about my well. It’s 140 feet deep and delivers a quart of water per minute. That’s right — one quart. The rule of thumb is that a well isn’t adequate for a home unless it can deliver five gallons a minute, or twenty times more than what we have.
Here in Oregon’s Coast Range, we have the irony that it rains like crazy half the year (60-90 inches in my neighborhood), but the aquifers are very poor. The dry summers and the lack of water mean that agriculture is difficult — we only get one cutting of hay a year, for example. It’s not uncommon to have no rain at all in July and August.
Not only that, the water quality is poor. Iron and sulfur, plus the inevitable iron and sulfur bacteria. These bacteria are harmless, but they clog filters and make it impossible to filter out the yucky taste.
Oddly, our sharply limited water supply encourages us to ignore normal water-conservation methods. We have an antique high-flow toilet and an immense antique bathtub. Low water pressure has induced me to disable the low-flow features on our sinks. True, we have a front-load washer, but the fact is that the real savings come from not watering the lawn, and none of that other stuff matters at all. The only things that ever ran us out of water were leaks, watering, and running the big ice machine we use as part of the broiler-butchering business. If you have limited water, you learn what’s important and what isn’t. Nickel-and-dime stuff like faucet restrictors don’t mean anything.
Today’s project is to get the Chemilizer chemical injector going . This is a chemical metering solution that puts a measured amount of the chemical of your choice into the water as it flows by. The chemical of choice is chlorine. It worked great for one bucketful of bleach solution and has mysteriously stopped doing anything.
Like everything else that actually works, chlorine comes in for a lot of flak, but I expect it to do the job. It not only kills off the slimy bacteria and will thus make it possible to use filters again, but it gets rid of the iron and sulfur, perhaps making the filters unnecessary.
If I can get the thing to work at all…
[Later] Well, that didn’t work. I guess the unit is busted. I’ll get it replaced and try again.
[Even Later] Okay, it works now. Someone at Chemilizer saw the post and we exchanged emails. My problem was self-inflicted — when the instructions say, “Lubricate lightly with Silicone lubricant,” using Vaseline instead because you’ve lost your can of silicone lube doesn’t work. D’oh!