Many rural properties have a concrete tank for rainwater supply storage. Our tank has been cleaned once in the ten years we’ve been here. Over time salts leached from the tank walls and cracks have appeared in the walls. This year, Himself and I decided our tank should be cleaned and resealed by a professional contractor. We thought our backup fibrolite tank should have enough rainwater to see us through. Simple matter. All good.
Learning curve. The best laid plans of mice and men go awry. That one task and cost leads to another. Remove some Alders screening and overhanging the tank to reduce leaf litter and the potential for invasion by tree roots. Clear felled trees.
Use the wait-time for the sealer to dry and do water pump and other maintenance tasks. Buy replacement inlet taps and pump filter and install a float and floating arm. Seal the hole around the tank inlet pipe. Replace roof guttering and downpipe filter. Inspect backup tank and discover a near-invisible slow leak. Plan to demolish and replace this tank.
So we had less stored rainwater than we thought. We siphoned water from the second tank. For a week now, we’ve been into water conservation big time, safe water use and water recycling strategies. As we face the prospect of an El Nino climate situation this summer, it’s a timely reminder for us adults about respecting the preciousness of a clean supply of rainwater. Great first-hand life lessons for the kids in the household.
Their greatest source of fascination was when the contractor flushed out the carcass of a dead possum from among the black sediment from the bottom of the tank. Their words to the effect, Yuk! We’ve been drinking that water! They took some convincing that as they’d never been sick they were okay. Guess it was a case of what they didn’t know didn’t harm them. Still, this week we’ve been drinking boiled or bottled water.
Now it’s a case of hurry up and wait for rainfall to refill our cleaned concrete water tank.