Wednesday, April 11
Croc in the grass
We had just come down from our water tank where I used our old Garmin Nüvi GPS instrument to determine the elevation at the tank. I subtracted the elevation at the house to see if it agreed with the water pressure we get at the house. Our analog water pressure gauge reads 65 PSI. According to the GPS, we should have 70 PSI. I won’t quibble. It’s close enough to verify the pressure we can expect at our new house site.
Tuesday we measured off the trench we’ll dig from our water tank site to the house, and another trench to the well site. We trudged up the hill and planted little red flags to show where we expect it to be. Jay, the well pump guy, was here Monday and told us what to expect when he comes back with a solar-powered pump, a big concrete ready-mix truck, and a whole lot of pipe. He said one of the most expensive things about putting in pipe is the trench, which is dug with a big backhoe. In our case, the guy who digs the hole for the septic tank will also be digging the water line trenches. (If the septic is dug first, I hope he washes off his digging bucket really well before he digs the water line.)
We think the tank site we picked is 150 feet higher than the house. That will give us the pressure we expect. The pipe from the tank to the house is about 960 feet long, and is big—four inches in diameter to get the flow required at the fire hydrant that will be installed near our driveway, and to provide the flow necessary for the fire sprinklers in the ceilings throughout the house. A smaller pipe will go from the well to the storage tank, and will be just over 1,100 feet long. Over 2,000 feet of pipe! Gad.
We want to install two 5,000-gallon tanks. That will store enough water to get us through any period when the sun don’t shine. They will sit on a concrete pad measuring 14 by 28 feet. Jay says he won’t put tanks directly on the ground because they’d be undermined by squirrels and gophers and eventually sink, breaking the connection to the pipes. Good idea.
The pump is a three-stage helical-impeller affair that can push water over 600 feet upward. It runs on any voltage between 30 and 300, either DC or AC. Very versatile, methinks. He expects to get five gallons per minute in our case. Not as capable as the well’s 27 gallons per minute potential, but good enough for us for now.
Jay is working on an estimate for the job, and we will be sure to be sitting down when we open the letter.