For the last few weeks our well water has been really bad. I don’t know why. It tastes awful. It has black residue in it that clogs the filters straight away the black particles can be clearly seen in the bath and stuck to the porcelain.
We live above an ancient swamp where there is a lot of coal and natural gasses in the earth, water travels through the rock in the ground dissolving some of the natural mineral deposits and carrying them along and this mix ends up captured in our well so our water smells like sulfur on a good day. Any silver worn around the house goes instantly black. But the water is filtered twice before we drink it. They tell me the sulfurous bacteria is organic and occurs naturally and is not harmful to health.
But lately the water has worsened and the taps are delivering this salty, brackish blackened water.
But the water heater could be the problem, or the water softener that filters the water could be the problem or the well could be the problem or the pipes could be the problem. All of these things deteriorate over time especially in water that can contain the naturally occuring hydrogen sulfide or sulfur bacteria from the well water.
The last time we had this blackened water the well was running dry and we had to dig deeper, but we have had so much rain in the last season that this cannot possibly be the problem.
I have never bought drinking water before. And water is a dollar a gallon. Bottled tap water is big business.
Of course there are moves afoot to find the problem with our water and clean it up but this period of undrinkable water has really made me think of the value of good water. Having unreliable drinking water has made me truly appreciate water like never before. I used to drink piles of water but not so much now that I am buying it. I never waste it. Anything left over in my glass is poured into the kettle to be boiled for tea. The water I cook with is strained into the pig bucket. If I run out I have to get in the car and go off to obtain more so I am careful with its use.
I save the containers and carry them into town and fill them there carrying my precious clean water home in the company of women down the ages.
There are many countries in the world that have dubious water quality -some people have no water at all.
If I were a woman in a refugee camp in semi-arid Dadaab I would be grateful for my smelly dirty water. Many peoples walk miles to get good water.
In fact there are some towns and cities in America who have frequent scares due to scary drinking water pollution – being told to boil the water before drinking or simply not drink it for a period. Flint being the most publicised. Many large cities have water with terribly high levels of harmful chemicals.
And this problem is world wide.
I remember when I lived in Portugal for a time, every weekend the family would drive up into the hills to an ancient water gathering spring with an old tap in a field, we would park by the road, walk up the track then sit on a rock and fill many jugs with the sweet mountain water then take the weeks-supply of drinking water back down to the city.
So, my little problem with my own little well pales in comparison, however it has made me truly appreciate having the ability to control the quality of my own ample supply of water. (And hopefully soon we can regain that control). And the value of it. no more wasting water.
So I am loading up the empties in the car this afternoon and going off in search of good drinking water.
Boo can come for a ride.
I hope you have a lovely day.