What a beautiful photo (no it's not. not at all) This is the pump to our well. It looks as if it has seen better days doesn't it. Well it's not a youngster that's for sure.
I had no idea that we even had a well when we bought the house. But apparently, when the house was built in 1961, there was no city water on the island. Every house has it's own well. Once the place was ready for city water to be piped in to all of the houses, and honestly I have no idea when that was, the well was relegated to irrigation instead. And I'm sure that at some point, that even worked. Here and there around the yard I see sprinkler heads, most of them broken, and there is a Rainbird timer system attached to the wall in the utility room. But none of it works now.
Of course, again, we didn't know that it didn't work when we bought the house. And I didn't know about the well. It's entirely possible that someone told me at some point and the words just drifting in and right back out of my brain. We looked at so darned many houses before we bought this one that the tiny details of each one kind of muddled together. This information might very well have been included, along with a zillion other pieces of information in the five zillion pieces of paperwork that require signature when we got to the closing of our house purchase. Honestly I do not remember. I do remember being surprised to find that the sprinkler system, which I saw clear evidence of, did not work. At all.
But we moved into the house in June. June is the beginning of hurricane season here so it will come as no surprise that it's also the beginning of the rainy season. There is no need for irrigation when it rains nearly every day for at least a few minutes. Everything outside was green and lush and the lawn was very nearly a carpet of what at least appeared to be, grass and clover. We saw bunnies happily munching away, bunnies each grass and clover so the assumption was made. Lawn = grass, right?
Then, in November, we waved so long to Hurricane season and howdy do to the dry season and the weather was cooler and less humid and downright lovely. Except, it didn't rain. At all. For months on end. That was a surprise. I honestly had no idea that Florida had a dry season. Well okay then. Good to know. That's when I found out that we had a well and that it was solely used for irrigation. Cool! So Tim tried too get the sprinkler system to work, to no avail. Dang! At that time we were fully immersed, both financially and physically, with fixing the inside of the house. Our thought was kind of," oh dear the sprinkler system doesn't work. At some point, we will have to find out why." And then it slid to the bottom of the list.
That is when we found out that the lush green of our lawn was not so much grass as reasonably attractive weeds and some clover. I began watering by hand which was a major time consumer and requires a level of patience that I do not have. So we bought a long garden hose and one of those sprinkler things that whips around flinging water in every direction. But, this was using city water. The stuff piped in to the house which becomes prohibitively expensive in very short order. I tried to keep the sprinkling time to a minimum. Bear in mind that this still required a lot of time moving the sprinkler around the back yard and then the front yard. About two hours of my day involved moving the sprinkler, turning the water on, setting a timer, turning the water off, moving the sprinkler and repeat. And Tim worrying about the high price of our water bill. It was ridiculous. I found myself doing it less and less often just because it aggravated me so much.
Which means young shrubs started dying. (the older ones are absolutely fine) The lawn looked worse and worse. And just as I began to despair in earnest, the rainy season came again and the plants and trees thrived and the lawn (such as it is...which is green so I don't care) returned and everything was good. Until the next dry season where it all began to look very sad again. This time I talked to our lawn guy. He told me that the entire time the previous owner lived here the sprinkler system didn't work either. So now I'm seeing that for at least five years there has been no irrigation system. Hmmmm.
Tim and I decided to see if anything could be done about this, assuming the problem was the pump. It does look like a likely candidate for a culprit don't you think? Perhaps if we invested in repairing the old pump, we would once again have a happy green lawn. So yesterday the Well Guy came out to check the pump and the well. Through some magic he actually got the pump to work, eventually, shocking us both frankly. But that's when we found out that although the well does seem to still have water in it, the water is high in iron content which means it will stain anything it touches a brownish red colour. And further, there is a rather important broken line leading from the well. We know this because once the pump kicked in, water shot up out the ground like a geyser. Then following the sprinkler lines around the house, most of them are broken. I mean seriously broken. It appears that some madman with a hatchett chopped them into pieces. Or mad woman I suppose. I don't want to be accuse of being a sexist.
So, good news, the pump works after a fashion. More good news, the well has water, heavy in iron, but still water. Bad news, the irrigation system is broken beyond use and the entire thing needs to be dug up and replaced. And the cost of all that is insane. Ratz. Well that won't be being corrected today. Or tomorrow. Or next week. And heck, the rainy season is nearly upon us again which means all things green will be absolutely fine until the next dry season.
We will think about it then.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.