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Sat Jun 30, 2012, 01:53 AM

the old windmill part 1 and 2 NOW with ***PART 3*** !!! [View all]

Last edited Mon Jul 23, 2012, 10:47 PM - Edit history (3)

that is my artsy intro picture

When I was a kid, the ranch water supply consisted of several dirt stock ponds that would hold water most of the year, and two hand-dug wells about 20 to 25 feet deep. The one up the road had a gas motor attached by a belt to a lightweight pump jack. the water in it has sulfur bacteria or some kind of problem that makes the water taste like shit although it is ok for livestock or bathing (and I suppose one might eventually get used to it but...bleh. It never got used much other than in the summer to water the old apricot tree and supplement the water storage for the corrals. Grampa would fill the gas tank and start it up once a day and that was about all it produces - 4 or 5 hours of pumping. (no idea of rates anymore)

The main "house well" was down below the pecan trees. It is a concrete lined box about 6 foot sqquare. There was always a windmill over it but I have no memory of it pumping. The tower seemed to exist to temp kids into scaring their Grandmother to death. We weren't allowed to climb on it. You can imagine the reality.

It had a much heavier pump jack that also ran by belt only off an electric motor in my life time. It was covered with old bridge ties and was not the most "sanitary" situation in the world. It was my job until too recently to climb down inside to recover various deceased wildlife. Sometimes not deceased. Ever try to fish an angry racer out of a well with a stick?

This well supplied the house and the corrals both up until just a few years ago. OK more like 10, I am getting old. The southwest entered what was predicted to be a 20 year drought about 24 years ago. The well hung in for about half of that. We eventually dropped a little submersible in there and sealed the top up with concrete. About 5 years ago we had a collapse and the bottom filled in about 6 to 8 feet with soil and rock from the sides down low (that were not cased with concrete - and I always thought it was solid rock when I was hanging off that damn ladder) and buried the pump.

That was also about to where the water level had dropped, so without somebody going down in there to clean it out we were done with it. Because of the way it had caved I had extreme safety concerns - and if you know me and the sort of normal risks we live with you will read that as I was majorly askeered of going down there, or letting anybody else do it.

Jump ahead a few years and the talk of getting it cleaned out picks up - knock the concrete off the top and start watching it. It will show a little water through the year, if we could do something - clean it out someway, maybe we could at least use it for house water again - it was good tasting water (when there wasn't dead squirrels in it). The thought was to maybe drop a 20 foot length of 4 foot diameter culvert pipe down there and then start shoveling and pulling it out with a bucket like the bad old days. And there it sat - on the back, back back burner.

THEN...a couple of weeks ago...the livestock storage tank drained out one night. The husband went down to see if the cattle had broken a float or some pipe had finally rotted through. He couldn't find any mud or overflowing troughs and was standing around scratching his head when he thought he heard water running. Over by the old well.

too be continued...

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Reply the old windmill part 1 and 2 NOW with ***PART 3*** !!! [View all]
Kali Jun 2012 OP
CaliforniaPeggy Jun 2012 #1
bluesbassman Jun 2012 #2
texanwitch Jun 2012 #3
Kali Jul 2012 #4
Kali Jul 2012 #5
Flaxbee Jul 2012 #6
struggle4progress Jul 2012 #7
struggle4progress Jul 2012 #8
Phentex Jul 2012 #9
corvidsupply Feb 2013 #10
Kali Feb 2013 #11
corvidsupply Apr 2013 #12
Kali Apr 2013 #13
corvidsupply Apr 2013 #14
Kali Apr 2013 #15