Saturday, October 16, 2010


The water tower at 23b
How we convinced the boys not to climb is a mystery

After some days without water our property management company finally got a crew over to investigate.  
To fill you in, it hasn’t rained since March.  Our water is CONSTANTLY running -- watering the garden (not by choice), filling up the pool (a selfish priority) and from normal daily use.  Where does the water come from?
Some houses have ‘Council Water’ which is piped into luska from a river somewhere, filtered and treated (hopefully).  Our old house had Council Water; the water bill was somewhere close to $150 a month and we did not water the grass all thru the dry season.  There was a tank to serve as a backup for when the water was shut off (which it is frequently) but it was sited at the bottom of a hill and our two-story house sat at the top of the hill.  This meant that when the water was off, the pressure was low or the power  went out (also frequent) we were instantly without water in the house.  Also, our cheap landlords bought the tiniest little pump they could find in all of Zambia (oh, did I say that?) that was meant to get water up the hill and into the house -- so the pump was always breaking.  It was also somehow hooked into the pool pump and filter setup (saves money, right? wrong!) so the little thing was working quadruple time on top of having to handle power surges, etc.   at any rate, our house now has a totally different and really beefy setup.  We have no council water and we get all the water from a well, or a ‘borehole’ as it’s called.  It’s common that houses have both so when one is finished they can switch to the other.  Boreholes and pumps and the setup required is a really costly initial investment but in the long run saves money and hassles. 
So, from our water troubles this week I learned that our borehole is 43 meters down.  The water table starts at 5m from the top even, so despite the lack of rainfall, the water table is actually fine -- it's in great shape.  This is a relativley shallow borehole, apparently.  The crew reported that some are 100m, 150m and more in some places.   Amazing.  
At any rate, we have this borehole and a borehole pump, and a booster pump and a tank that sits high up on some scaffolding (the first photo) and perhaps another pump somewhere in there b/c we have a double+story house and a hot water tank (a “geyser”) that sits on the roof which  must be set at about 200 degrees F b/c it’s really that freakin hot.  When your geyser blows (which of course they do!) you do not want that thing INSIDE your house, up on the roof seems a strange location but it’s best you leave it up there.
There were two surprising things about this borehole crew and their work besides the facts about the borehole.  The crew came and spilled out of a truck with about 10 workers and it included 4 women.....dressed in coveralls, steel-toed work boots and they worked right alongside the guys.  and the other funny and amazing thing was that one of the guys wore SHORTS.  I don’t know that I have seen an adult in shorts here ever.  This was my real reason for wanting to take a few photos of their project.  

The "Simply Red Pump" crew at work. 

The borehole pump that needed servicing and a new coupling. It should have come up sparkling clean.  clearly there were some issues....

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