After almost 2 years of next to no rain at all, it finally rained last week. Normally it rains for short periods, short bursts of heavy rain but not last week. It rained constantly for 5 days and now our water tanks are full. They hold 60,000 litres and we would think about 50,000 came from this rainfall. This is fantastic news for us but it gave us some serious problems at the time. These are problems that we thought we would never face and now the rains have stopped we can laugh about them...but for the last day of rain we were getting a little worried. Intrigued? Then enjoy reading on.
If you read my other blog post... water the source of all life... you will know to what lengths we have gone, to save water and ensure we have a store through the summer.
Day 1 - It rained steadily all day and night. The ground now looked soaked...everything in the garden looked very green again. Kev dipped the tanks to see how much water had been collected when it rained and we were surprised to find that the first back tank was full and feeding into the front tank. This made us very happy indeed to think that so much water had been collected over such a short time. Kev had been collecting the water from the shed roof and every so often would go out and bucket it into the water butts. (In the rain of course!) After the first 24 hours of rain all of the butts were full so he had to fix a pipe from the roof directly into the main water store to ensure we could catch as much water as was possible.
However, it was still raining.
After 48 hours of rain our second tank was full and feeding into the main tank. This tank was almost empty and was now 1 quarter full. As you can imagine we were now jumping around the room with delight. The tanks had never been so full since the day we bought the house. We could see the vision of not worrying about our supply, at least for this year and if the rains come again in September we will be set and it was still raining!
Day 3 - This is where it all started to go a little bit wrong. We noticed that the hole where we put our shower water collector was filling up with water. The collectors would not fit in as they floated. This meant that the shower water was going straight into the hole and adding to the rising water level. Our garden is set on bedrock and because there had been so much rain the water had no where to go once the soil was sodden. So it ran across the rock face under the soil and stopped at our shower hole. Every time we wanted a shower Kev had to bucket the water out to lower the level so that our collector would fit in...within minutes it was full again and we were getting worried that this much water would flood the garden. Also as the water level was above the outlet pipe for the shower there was actually no where for the water from the shower to go and we had visions of the bathroom flooding with muddy water from the hole. Bucketing the water into containers was all we could do. We were fighting a loosing battle too. Kev removed 1000 litres from that hole in 3 days and that was just wanting to have a shower. Kev went and dipped the tanks again...the main tank was now half full and still it was raining.
Day 4 - In the morning it had stopped raining and the sun was shining. We surveyed our garden and everything was well and truly soaked. Kev was very happy, no watering while it was raining and no watering for at least another couple of days. It has been very rare that he has had a day off from watering...so almost a week was like a holiday to him. At midday it clouded over and started to rain again. To say we were getting a little fed up is a bit of an understatement. It felt like we were living back in England with all the rain. The only thing that kept us going was the fact that by the end of that day our main tank was 25 cm away from over flowing. Trouble was we noticed that the pool water was rising too...it was 3 tiles away from the coping stones and still raining. By now we had filled every single water container we had available so we couldn't even pump any out. We just had to keep an eye on it and hope that it didn't overflow. If that had happened we would have been flooded on the covered terrace too and straight into the kitchen and the house! We were getting a little worried by the time we went to bed as it was still raining.
Day 5 - Got up and it was still raining...the pool only had 2 tiles to go. We were trying to think of ways that we could pump the water from the pool onto the land! (This was so against the grain you would not believe, the heart ache we had thinking this may have to be done!) By midday it had stopped raining and the sun shone once more. The garden was flooded in places and we were still bucketing water from the shower hole for another day. Slowly everything returned to normal and our lives went back to working outside. The only difference being now...we are not worrying about our water supply.