Monday, 6 May 2013

We've been boring on the block!

We bit the bullet and bunged in a bore.

Every year we run out of water right when crops need it most and our succession planting goes to pot.  (well it never goes to  pot, because that which is not planted cannot be cooked).

I've always been very suspect about the use of bores but we did the research and discovered that in sandstone country groundwater replenishes annually from rainwater and in an area which is using 5% of sustainable groundwater we decided to splash out (yeah, it's a deliberate pun) and secure a reliable water supply and use it wisely.

The drillers were great. When we mentioned divining they immediately started spluttering about the idiocy of water divining and water diviners. They said we could put the darn thing where it was convenient because geologically speaking we could pop a hole through anywhere with equal likelihood of success. 80% likelihood.  Which meant we had a 20% chance of blowing  $7000 and still not have any water. The day they came I told Trev, I psychically predict it will be 42 metres deep (but I didn't share this with the drillers). I didn't even think about it being the answer to life, the universe and everything, just to our water issues.

I was in the garden furiously rotary-hoeing new land to put into crop for this still mythical market garden. when they hit water at 15 metres, but just a little bit of water, not enough to do anything with. They went further. Then excitement, roaring and jumping, they'd hit something at 36 metres and it was gushing out at 3.3 litres per second. It was black and oily and was running into the chook paddock. Had we hit oil? I bloody hoped not. It was black mudstone. I was told it would soon clear and if our water quality is like any of the other bores around here it will have low conductivity (be drinking water quality).

Then they told me, 'Once we hit water we go another 6 metres to create a sump'. 36 + 6 = 42
Yup, we have a 42 metre deep bore! With my 'gift' I might hang up a psychic shingle. (not)

What having a 42 metre bore means is we will be able to grow more than just our own food, we'll be able to grow enough to supply local cafes and restaurants and sell direct to other families and create a small income from our 3 acres. We're already on our way to growing the food and setting up relationships with local businesses. It's been a big investment but with our increasingly hot, dry summers... worth it.

We've purchased a solar pump setup which will slowly feed into a water tank during daylight hours at a rate of 13 litres a minute (once we get the darn thing working).


Crunchie's Mum said...

Where did you get your pump? We have been looking for a solar powered pump and the best quote we have so far is for $6000 which is a tad more than we want to pay.

Linda Cockburn said...

We've spent about $2000 with bits and bobs of extras. It's only just arrived and we're having issues getting it working... if it all goes well I'll let you know.

Anonymous said...

Hi Linda....... well done! As you can imagine, I'm more than interested in this and was thinking that when we buy our land I might actually do this FIRST....

Is this 'easy' access to water common everywhere in the Geeveston area, do you know? I actually would've thought it'd cost more to be honest...

I'm even wondering, should we get an appropriate site and get enough water flow, of generating micro hydro power by running water from a bore located high on the land, and running it downhill to a dam (so as not to lose the water) with the micro hydro located at the dam...... bit of dream really, but it sounds like a plan.

42 is always the answer......!

Linda Cockburn said...

It's possible I guess Mike. One of the reasons we like our set up is there is no evaporation loss. Plus, you need a pump to get the water out of the well, and while you may recoup some of the energy by sending it down a hill... not sure it really makes sense in the end. Plus you're talking small amounts of water (particularly if using a solar pump)Only 13 litres a minute max.

Linda Cockburn said...

Crunchie's Mum, it turns out the wires had been reversed accidentally in the factory. We've reversed them and the pumps a wee ripper. 17 litres a minute in mid-afternoon winter Tassie sun. We think that's pretty good, and the price is excellent. Tuhorse in NSW sold it to us.