Our Water Returns!

By , February 13, 2018

Sunday evening, we sat upstairs watching a movie. Just short of the film’s climax, Aly suddenly asked me to hit “pause.” When I did, we listened for a second, until we heard what she had heard:

The sound  of running water.

After 11 days of frozen pipes, our water had returned (see Hygge NOT).

running water tap

A sweet sight! (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

We rushed downstairs and started adjusting to the new/old conditions, turning off the shower spigots, emptying the catchment kettle, then refiling it while we analyzed the shape and pressure of the faucet’s flow, trying to tell if we had full flow, or only partial.

By Monday morning, we realized that we didn’t yet have full flow. Water had built up on the long run from up the hill, so initially, we seemed to have plenty, but pressure tapered off alarmingly during the first shower (mine—my first since the system froze February 1st! And, because I shave my head, the shortest in the household). After that one we switched to spit baths with heated kettle water, backed up by a hot rinse from the shower.

Still, the fact that the ice had released any water at all Sunday evening seemed phenomenal. The wind had shifted to south that evening for the first time in weeks, but it had hardly risen above a slight breeze for more than a few minutes. Still, it seems to have brought enough warmth to thaw the ice in the system at least partially.

Since then, our overnight low has been around 37° F, and our pressure has slowly increased.We’ve even gotten a little rain along with the snow, which should help melt any ice inside the tank as it collects.

dish drainer full of bottles

Time to catch up on dishes and sterilizing, also hand wash laundry (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

We now face a bit of uncertainty: normally, a thaw drives cold underground, which is why pipes commonly freeze after the thaws starts. That could well happen to us. I like to think that if we’re going to freeze up, it’s only going to happen once, but I know that is pathetically naive. We’ve been slow to let go of the water we’ve saved up from the roadside spring and other sources just yet.

But, it’s so good to have our own water back! Both Aly and I dislike the flavor of the roadside “spring” water; it seems flat to us compared to our own tannin-filled catchment water. Like most people anywhere, we’re most happy with the water to which we are used.

We’re more than happy to return to normal, for the time being, at least.

One Response to “Our Water Returns!”

  1. Garry says:

    Hi Mark,
    Great article “Our Water Returns”. In winter when water pipes freeze. They create many problems for us we all know. When water returns to our home we feel happy. Thanks

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