Thursday, January 22, 2009

All Will Be Well

I moved into the present rectory in the latter part of 2007 and have been learning about the wonders of well water ever since. I live in a strange liminal region of Columbus, known as The Land That Time Forgot. In TLTTF, many of the normal laws of human living do not apply. For example: while the church is in the City of Columbus, the rectory, on the other side of the street, is not. Thus, no city water or sewer. For some time now I have been concerned that the well pump was running too often and too long. On Sunday morning, shortly before 7 a.m., when I had finished washing and shaving, the system failed. The pump ran and ran and could not build up any pressure whatever. Paradoxically, the upstairs toilet, which has a pressurized flushing system called the "Flushorama" (if memory serves) was able to spray a couple gallons of water all over the floor at the same time that I turned off the pump. I quickly mopped it up, dried off my shoes, and ran over the Church for the first of the three Sunday Masses. After the last Mass on Sunday was celebrated and the usual crowd of people clustered around the sacristy door had dissipated, I went back to the rectory to consult with Mike the Plumber. We decided to try to prime the pump. To that end we went back across the street and filled various containers with thirty gallons of water and poured same down the pump. Nothing. It appeared that the check valve at the bottom of the well pump had failed. That meant we would have to extract the pipe that goes 30 or 60 feet down into the earth. Great. We appointed Tuesday afternoon to work on the well. There was a funeral Monday so I got up early and went to a neighboring parish to shower. On Tuesday morning I went ot the church office and cleaned up there in campground fashion. On Tuesday afternoon we opened up the well pit outside and found a broken pipe staring us in the face, only 5 feet down. Good news! I climbed into the pit with a hacksaw and cut out the broken section of pipe. Then one of our dedicated volunteers took my place in the pit and installed a coupling. There is not much room to maneuver in there and it took him about an hour (see video). It was all worth it in the end. Next time you turn the faucet and water comes out, be grateful.
By the way some have suggested that we connect the house to city water. That is possible. But the "tap fees" alone would be around 5000 dollars. That does not include any of the work to dig up the ground and install any plumbing. So we will make do with the well for the present.

2 comments:

Fr Jay Scott Newman said...

Perhaps, dear Reader, you will recall "MacGyver"--a television program about a secret agent who could make a nuclear bomb out of a paper clip and some WD-40.

Well, when we were in the seminary, it was revealed that Fr Buffer is the Church's answer to MacGyver. Once upon a time, in a hotel room in Paris, Fr Buffer repaired a severely damaged shoe with nothing but a Swiss Army knife, some wood screws purloined from an old night stand, and his ingenuity. To say nothing of the many times he has created glorious pipe organs from tin whistles and shoe boxes. Which is why I am not surprised to find him diving down his well with a hacksaw to make living waters flow.

Father Thomas Buffer said...

Father, you are too, too kind. Now, where did I put that WD-40?