Saturday, February 23, 2013


Water IV

The Supply at Le Ripe

Our drinking, washing, and for now, irrigating water (more on this in a later post on Water) all comes from an 80 metre-deep well drilled in 2006 which is situated on the hill about 50 metres above the house. When the engineer who oversaw our works asked us to choose between a water diviner and a geologist we opted for the latter. He got it right. Apparently there is a lot of water in our hill (there's water in them thar hills) so either option would probably have come up with the goods, as long as they dug deep enough.

well drilling project
The well is not the attractive, ding dong dell pussy's in the well, built-in-stone sort, but an entirely utilitarian concrete one with a heavy manhole-type lid; the water is drawn up by an electric pump. The first pump died after about only two years. When we tried to replace it we realized that the cyinder you can see in the project above encasing the water pipe was in fact a series of metal cylinders screwed one into the other. To pull out the pump this contraption had to be removed using a crane, so that the heavy cylinders could be unscrewed one by one. The man who installed the pump was not available at the time, but luckily our builders and their crane were still with us, and we took the opportunity to replace the metal cylinders with a more modern, flexible rubber one which can be removed easily while the pump is pulled out.

Le Ripe's unpicturesque concrete well, one cistus plant to right
Each year we have the well water analysed chemically and bacteriologically. The results tell us that our water is sound from both points of view even though it is very hard water (alkaline, with a lot of lime). This is good for bones of course but not so good for kidneys. More on our drinking water later.

We have attempted to conceal the well with cistus bushes but for some reason they are painfully slow to grow: however over this last season they showed more oomph...In any case the well and the compost bin are hidden to some extent by the vegie patch fence and creepers. 

white cistus which should one day conceal the well - we live in hope...

 ...content by De Rerum Natura

1 comment:

  1. Did a geyser of water rush out of the ground as soon as the drill hit water? Our drilling was fairly dramatic with a huge gush of water rising, pushing upwards into the sky when the drill perforated a layer of marble between 11 and 12 meters.
    Our well is some 63 meters deep.  We drilled through four water-bearing strata.  Our neighbour's brother, well known in the area for water divining, was our water man.  Everything he said about the geology, depth, layers containing water, amount of water was spot on. Of course, we could not resist watching with him tell the drillers that they were going to hit water in a meter, then a half a meter and whoosh!  He was far better than the geologist we had for the well that now serves our vegetable patch. If I find the black and white picture of the geyser shooting upwards and outwards, I will send it.  It was dramatic. Comment from Explicit


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