Thursday, September 13, 2007

No Eau

This morning, after slapping the snooze button repeatedly, I stumbled into the bathroom and turned on the shower.
Only there was no shower to the shower. From the shower head, a tiny trickle pattered onto the tub floor.
I turned on the sink faucet to double check, as if somehow only the shower might be waterless. Only a few token drips fell into the sink.
When you live out there and your water comes from beneath your feet via your own well, being waterless will occur much more often than those who live where water comes from a municipality. Any disruption in the power supply or any of a host of pump/pressure tank mechanical problems will leave you high and dry.
Such is life in the sticks.
Realizing the situation would not be resolved quickly, I drafted some subteacher plans for my classes and gently, nay cautiously, awoke Mrs. FC and informed her she had a showerless morning ahead.
Poor Junior, he takes a waaaaaaaaayyyyy too long shower every morning and today he had to bath with the contents of a gallon jug of store bought water that was in the back of the pantry.
We had a case of store bought water bottles left over from the Gulf camping expedition, so coffee and tea were made, and teeth were brushed appropriately.
Toilets are another matter of course. You get one flush per toilet from the water in the holding tank, so you have to spread things out between the various bathrooms in the house. This is also where living in the middle of dense woods with no neighbors comes in handy.
The black barrel full of water in the picture is just one of the two barrels of emergency water that I keep full for hurricane season. They are actually full all year, but their primary purpose and most likely use is as a temporary water supply during hurricane caused power outages.
The water pictured was actually put into the clean food storage barrel (Greek pepper shipping container) with some chlorine bleach last year as Tropical Storm Ernesto headed this way. Ernesto fizzled as did the whole 2006 hurricane season and the water sat for a year.
This morning I dipped some out for various uses and it was of excellent quality.
Even so, a year is long enough and today I will give both barrels a scrub and refill with fresh water and a bit of Clorox.
(Yes, I know I posted recently about the taste of chlorinated water, but it is an effective germ killer, and this water is gonna sit for awhile.)
Of course, being without water on the same morning as Hurricane Humberto is pounding folks across the Gulf of Florida makes me want to check the Emergency Supply Box in my closet. It's a big rubbermaid box of storable food, meds, and comfort supplies. Nothing in the box is expensive and it's all off the shelf items like canned goods, dried beans, rice, pasta, coffee, tea, Tang, pancake mix, salt, pepper, batteries, am/fm radio, granola bars, basic first aid items, and peanut M&M's (mmmmm, a complete meal , protein, fat, carbs).
Everything in there was purchased last year, so certain items should come out for use while new items are rotated in. The tub itself is portable so if we had to bug out it could easily go with us.
I'm no survivalist, but I believe strongly in personal responsibility for the safety and well being of my family. We won't become wards of the state because we failed to take a few simple precautions.
Will you?
But what about the waterless Pure Florida HQ situation you ask? Did we get our water back?
Here's a little contest. The winner will get ... hmmmm ... a Florida style surprise in the mail. Yes, you'll have to send me a snail mail address if you win and want the prize, but you can still play just for the fun of it if you want to stay undercover. (email me:
Contest question:
What caused the water shortage at PFHQ today?
Be specific.
Contest closes at 9:00 pm tonight.


Ava said...

Hmmmmm ... I would guess an animal ... say ... a racoon interfered someone how.

That's all I've got!
Talk to you Tuesday!

roger said...

when my gravity powered water supply came from a half mile of 2" plastic pipe the interruptions were mostly from bears chewing on the pipe. i don't suppose that's the case at PFHQ. i'm hoping it was a broken pressure switch or some such simple and inexpensive (relatively) sort of electrical malfunction. please don't tell us that the pump came loose and fell to the bottom of the well.

robin andrea said...

I don't know anything about wells and pumps, so I'm going to guess that it had to do with a valve. And for me that is as specific as it gets!

Good reminder on those emergency kits.

Anonymous said...

My guess is that one of those horizontal trunks from your favorite palmettos grew and interfered with the electrical system or the pipes? Original guess though don't you think?

SophieMae said...

Ants in the control box?
Am I disqualified coz I've been there done that? 8-}

Alan said...

Ants in the well pump points?


kathy a. said...

you would have mentioned an earthquake. i'm going for roots. or bugs.

ditto to robin about keeping up the emergency boxes. hate to think how many years since we changed out the food items in ours....

kathy a. said...

specific. hmmmm... not in the pipes; in the mechanicals. bugs, it has to be bugs. or wires, something with wires. the mule deer ate your wires.

Danielle Blogging for Balance said...

Did lightning strike the pump?

Deb said...

A mouse electrocuted itself chewing on the wire to the pump, thus tripping the circuit breaker.

I figure it had to be a quick, easy fix!

ArtfulSub said...

Agree whole-heartedly on the lazy people who make themselves wards-of-the-state during hurricanes and other disasters.

Does everyone who guesses correctly get a prize or just whoever is first?

Cathy S. said...

Do I get three guesses? We have been there done this until we got county water, bless them even if it does taste icky sometimes. One advantage (the only one I think(of hoards of new neighbors) No more showerless mornings for us. But, they are planning on taking away our septic system which we are not happy about.

1. mud daubers in the switch thingy
2. a saterated bladder thingy that won't let the water move through the filter
3. a fried reptile, most likely a lizard in the power supply

Isn't it a good thing I have a husband who takes care of this kind of stuff? I can hear myself now calling hte plumper, "It's broke, you know the thing that the water goes through?"

Cathy S. said...

Plumper. Har! Har! I meant plumber.

SophieMae said...

Cathy listed my next guess, a lizard. We've been the 'no eau' route 3 or 4 times. As I recall, ants were responsible twice. Then again, my memory sometimes gets gummed up with ants... 8-} Still, I'll take the well over bleach water any day.

Hurricane Teen said...

Cathy beat me to my guess of a fried lizard. Those things can sure wreak some havoc on outdoor electrical things.

Sharon said...

blown fuse?
Foot valve fell off?
ants in the control box I've seen too, other than that you got me. :)

Floridacracker said...

Excellent guessing!
Thank you for playing along. I have three winners and they are all Floridians so I'm not sure how exciting a Florida-ish prize will be, but I will put my 3.5 pound brain to work on something fun.
Sophie, Alan, and Sharon... you guessed correctly.
It was ants in the pressure switch. I called the well service company we like and they said, "it may just be ants in your switch, if we come out we'll charge you 85 dollars, so you may want to go check first."
Ants it was and it took me 5 minutes to have the water running again.
Now that is customer service!

You three need to send me a mailing address if you want a tangible prize. Use that email address in the post.

Thanks again for playing even if it wasn't bears, valves, lightning, non ant bugs, wasps, lizards, mice, soggy bladders, earthquakes, roots, or horizontal stems.
Yowza, it's a wonder anyone's well pump works for more than a few minutes at a time! So many threats!

This was our first contest here. I think I like it.
Stay tuned.

Sharon said...

Awesome!!! Emailing you now :)

SophieMae said...

WAHOOOOO!!! Thanks for not disqualifying me. LOL!

Anonymous said...

Damn I'm late to this and I would have gotten it! Camponotus floridanus taking up residence was actually guess #2, however - after lowered water table due to drought.

Floridacracker said...


We teachers love prior knowledge... it's what we build on!

There will be other contests, that was fun.

edifice rex said...

Oh crap! Ya'll are scaring me to death with all this pump and pressure tank death talk and I haven't even gotten to take one shower yet with mine! Tell me it will be OK...;)

Floridacracker said...

Edifice Rex,
It'll be okay.
No, really, it'll be okay..

Laura said...

*sigh* I'm a day late, but I could have sworn the developers came along and used up the last remaining bit of water in North Florida....


good to hear it was the ants! Was it carpenters ants, busy messing up the wiring? those union guys, always screwing things up.

oh I slay myself with bad puns...

Floridacracker said...

That first guess is a day in the future if we're not careful.

No, the union ants were off somewhere on one of their mandated breaks.

Leslie said...

Well I knew it must have been something with a quick fix but I would have guessed a tripped circuit breaker.

I LOVE the title of the post, and the water container lable "H2O only". So punny, and so geeky. Both near and dear to my heart.

Glad y'all are hydrated again.