It's hard to believe that we have been struggling for water now for over 4 months although the rain in the last 4 weeks has helped return the wells to a better more manageable level. When the house was built back in 1884 there were a combination of wells, and surface water collection areas - and up on the hillside two huge reservoirs fed the estate. In short they probably feed the gardens as the main house only had three bathrooms and I understand that washing was not high on the victorian agenda!
One reservoir above the first fairway is still in use as we use it for the greens on the golf course and washing down machinery - however the water tends to have a very high peat content- ideal for adding nutrients to the greens- but not perfect for washing and cleaning people or linen. The second reservoir is above the main house and is now redundant and hidden away behind a protection fence and covered in undergrowth and bracken- indeed I remember when I was small it was an ideal spot for finding and catching frogs!
In the last century a store for water was created underground on the hillside and this was used to gravity feed the main house- it is just above the top of the house leaving less pressure than ideal for the rooms at the top but still enough to manage. Over the summer the tank has struggled to hold enough water and a combination of slightly leaky membrane and slightly smaller size than is ideal has led us to take drastic measures so having bought a new underground tank a month ago with plans in place we are now ready to locate it and link it all up.
This will however be a simpler task than it sounds as we have to first find an area of ground large enough to locate the tank, then make it level enough to hold the tank and finally make it soft enough to bed the tank without damaging it and finally we will have to link the old system all up to it and make it work. Hopefully somewhere in this delegation will be required, but so far Ronnie- the man who helped my father set up the original system in 1973 which still works- if not entirely efficiently- is taking control and no doubt opinions will be offered from many others but hopefully by this time next week we will be able to store sufficient water that we can survive for a couple of days without replenishment and then we can return to our old system without main water reliance!
Best laid plans! What could possibly go wrong?