Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Water Delivery!

Water delivery truck
Sometimes I still shake my head in amazement that hundreds of households in the Homer area, particularly on "the bench" below the ridge, have water delivered to their homes.  Water delivery trucks like the one pictured above are common sights around town.

We run out of water when our 1300 gallon bladder in our crawlspace is empty and we weren't paying attention to how much water we were using.  That is not a problem when it happens on a weekday, as our water company, Moore & Moore, is good about putting those who are completely out of water high on the delivery list.  But twice this summer we were gone on vacation and we ran out the weekends we returned, probably because our housesitter had to water the garden and greenhouse so much with this hot weather.  Either we call and pay the $25 weekend delivery premium or we just hold on till Monday.  We actually have a cistern in our cabin as well, so we are never completely out of water, we just have to haul it from the cabin and no showers for us!

The price we pay for an awesome view of Kachemak Bay:  water delivery!
At 5.5 cents per gallon, the water is not cheap.  Teenagers, watering the garden and washing the cars can all throw off our water consumption, which for years was a very steady 100 gallons per day.  I collect rainwater for watering the garden, though this summer it hasn't rained enough to keep us supplied. 

Most people have cisterns, either above or below ground, and are on a regular fill-up schedule.  When delivering to cisterns, the delivery guys blast the water at full pressure and when it comes out, the cistern is full.  With a bladder that doesn't work.  They have to run it at 50% pressure and they have to watch that they put in only the amount we request, which is usually 1100 gallons.

This is one of those things we've gotten used to, but it seems to me like an uncommon luxury to have a well with an unlimited amount of water--free water once that well is put in!  Every so often we dabble with the idea of putting a well in for outdoor water use or, even, we can filter the water in the house, but the water is so full of minerals that even filtering it would be costly, and it wouldn't fully clean the water.  Even the well drilling companies we talked to seemed to think it was a 50-50 proposition as to what quality and quantity of water we would get, and we wouldn't know until they started drilling. So we look at it as one of those things we just have to deal with to live here, and we are happy that we have water, because we know people who don't have water to their house in any form!


Tiffany Davidson said...

I love your blog! We're planning on purchasing land somewhere on the Kenai Peninsula within the year and I enjoy reading through your posts here.

Thank you for taking the time x

MichelleW said...

Tiff, glad to hear you like my blog--even the boring posts like this one!

Audrey Welborn said...

I am always amazed to learn about how different living in Alaska is. With all the water surrounding Homer, especially after visiting there last summer, it is interesting to hear about the water quality that you would have if you drilled a well. Is this something people all over Alaska have to deal with or just around Homer? I realized a lot of people had water tanks, especially around Juneau, but I thought it was because of the rocks.

MichelleW said...

I don't know about water quality issues across the state. I do know my relatives in Ninilchik have the best water I have ever tasted, and some people in Homer, on top of the ridge, have good water too. My only take is that water quality is sporadic. It is ironic in light of all the water surrounding Homer!

I was talking to someone who grew up in Homer and she described taking a shower with well water: there would be an oily film on you and it smelled bad!