Last night it rained. This morning it rained. 6 days ago a drought was declared up here, so these showers will be welcomed by the farmers, and also by those folk on tank water who are running short.
The man and I are on tank water too, so logically we should have been low on water too, except we weren’t. The water level in our two connected tanks (we have a third, unconnected tank too) has remained consistently at just over 3/4 full since we arrived a month ago. And therein lies the mystery – with no rain topping them up, how come the level hasn’t gone down?
Now we are not new to this tank water lark, having lived with it for most of the last fifteen years. But we confess, we are flummoxed.
We do know that the tanks are fed by rain from the shed roof, but from what we can see, the house roof is not supplying.
We also know that in a former life, the property was part of a farm, and in another life, calla lilies were grown here commercially. Each of these operations would have required a serious water supply way beyond what a roof or two can provide: the black alkathene pipes which zigzag across our paddocks in a haphazard way from the taps nailed onto fence posts to the troughs, or to form the regimented lines of a very sophisticated irrigation system are testament to this.*
So where did this water come from? And is it still supplying us?
On Sunday, Kevin, the next door neighbour, popped in to introduce himself. Over a beer, we mentioned our magic never-ending water supply and Kev said it was sourced from our pond; except we think he is wrong. Actually, we hope he is wrong. You see after he left we visited the pond and there are no pipes, pumps or other paraphernalia down at the pond to make this possible. Also the pond was full-on disgusting and if we’ve been drinking that water, the man and I are convinced we would be dead, or soon to be dead.**
Which makes the man and I think that our water supply is something to do with a strange small round concrete bunker thing which sits besides the tanks. It is always full of clear water, although it is not connected to the roof. We think that it might be something to do with a spring or a bore. Both of which would explain our omni-present water supply.
Fortunately for us, the original builder of our house lives about 500 metres away; one day we’ll pop in and ask him.
*sadly, pipes and irrigation have been cut and left in quite a random fashion, rather than kept in good nick or removed. This makes it a bit like solving a jigsaw puzzle as we try and work out which troughs and irrigation pipes are still connected to water supplies.
** our tenant farmer is going to clean out the stagnant pond.