For my entire life, whenever I’ve turned on a faucet, water came out of it. I didn’t know where it was coming from, and as long as it wasn’t brown or have visible things floating in it, I didn’t much care, but I took comfort in the knowledge that if water stopped coming out of our faucet, it would stop coming out of our neighbors’ faucets, because all the water was coming from the same place, so we would all stink equally from not being able to take showers.
Now when I turn on the faucet, water still comes out, and I still don’t know where it’s coming from, but I do care, because it’s well water from our well, which is presumably somewhere on our property, and different from all our neighbors’ wells, and if ours dries up and theirs don’t, they’ll be able to smell me coming!
Most of the homes in my neighborhood were originally built in the late 50’s, so I imagine if we had been around at that time like a Marty McFly* on the wall, we would have seen all these giant holes in the ground. I would have liked to have been there, because then I’d know where our well is. I sincerely don’t know where it is, or where it gets its water from, or if something bad will happen if I accidentally step on it. Most important, I don’t know how likely it is to dry up in my lifetime.
I mean, wells do dry up, don’t they? What does a homeowner of average means do if that happens, carry buckets down to the river? I’ve grown accustomed to indoor plumbing, and I don’t want to think about such things. I’m worried enough about all the contraptions in our basement that do things to the water coming in from the well and going out to the septic tank without having to fret about not having any water for our contraptions to do anything to!
Speaking of which, we had a guy here a few weeks ago who tested our water (good) and looked at our system (old). He told us we didn’t need to use water softener, which I could have told him, because it doesn’t feel like I’m being pelted by hail when I take a shower. Then he spoke about our pump system, making it sound as though it is only slightly newer than the Roman aqueducts. Apparently I had a choice of “being proactive” and replacing my system now, or waiting until our system blew (which could happen ANY DAY!). I had visions of something like Old Faithful in our backyard when the well water shot upward, which wouldn’t be entirely bad, because at least then we’d know where the well was.
Yes, that’s right, Mr. Well Water Specialist didn’t know where our well was, either. He said we’d have to go down to the Hall of Records or some such thing and see if there’s a well map. If not, he’d have to undertake a complex procedure, possibly involving either explosives or burrowing animals, to determine the well’s location.
Anyway, aqua man described the new systems they have now and how great the pumps are and, as I do most of the time when people start describing any sort of technology, I tuned him out until he got to the price. Then I decided to be reactive.
*Really clever Back to the Future reference.