Water, water, water!

When you live off the main drag like we do there are always water problems. Too much or too little can be equally problematic. I don’t think anyone in New Zealand is suffering from too little water at the moment, certainly we aren’t. Our usually free draining soil has turned boggy and every new rain event strips another layer of soil off and into our water system.

We have a simple system of water reticulation to our house; the water oozes out of the ground from a spring, is caught in a plastic lined aluminium u bar, runs through a plastic pipe into a 200 litre drum, out of the drum down a narrower plastic pipe, through a hydraulic ram which lifts it up the hill to another drum, down again to our water tank and finally it is gravity fed down to our house.

Heavy rain washes silt and pumice into the system and it stops working. This morning when I went to check on it, the water was still going in but the ram had stopped working. The drum that catches the water before sending it to the ram was three quarters full of silt.

The Dog waiting patiently on the track to the ram.
Silt in the drum completely engulfed the outlet pipe. The black pipe is the overflow back to the stream.
The ram. Water comes down from the spring and goes uphill through the smaller pipe on the right.

In remote areas or where there is no power supply, a hydraulic ram is great where there  is a need for pumping water to a destination higher than the source as it requires no outside source of power other than the kinetic energy of flowing water. There are endless plans on the internet.

The Man of the House built ours from bits and pieces and it has ticked away with minimal maintenance for about 10 years, providing our house with pure water from deep in the bush. Before we moved into our house the water was gravity fed down to our temporary accommodation but the house is a little higher. Not something we thought about at the time. But necessity is the mother of invention and all you really need is a very handy mate.

Clean again. The Filtered pipe takes water to the ram and the large black alkathene pipe returns the overflow to the stream, all highly technological and hygienic. 🙂 The lid keeps the critters and plant life out. Little bit of dirt never hurt anyone, just makes us stronger.


  1. Oh, for farming in New Zealand of the main grid.
    Like you said, it’s great to have a mate that can sort it out.
    I agree we have had far too much rain this year it would be nice to see summer and a little rain to keep the grass growing and clean water to use.
    So glad I’m living in town now, I’m over those days after nearly sixty years farming in the hard country.
    Happy days.


  2. I must admit there are days when I wish I lived in town but most of the time the thought terrifies me. One day maybe. It’s been a great day today. Summer’s coming I’m sure.


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