Dismantling our Gravity-Fed Water System

Now that we have contacted F! and have arranged for excavation of our sauna and cabin building sites, it is time to prepare the location for some heavy equipment, followed up by some exciting construction!

I first prepared the area with Grandpa by staking out approximate squares where both the cabin, and the sauna would go. I placed our first two stakes where I thought the south-west wall should be, approximately 24′ apart. Then, using a rope that turned about to be nearly a perfect size for it, I tied three knots – two that were 24′ apart, and a third that was 34′ from the second one. In my head, 24^2 is 576. 576*2 is 1152. The closest square to 1152 is 1156. That’s close enough for my tastes. Thanks to Pythagoras, finally, a practical use for geometry!

After the ongoing failure of our water system over the winter, I had cut out a segment of the raised water lines to keep it from blocking our sunlight. Now that the snow was off the ground in that area, I decided to dismantle much of the remaining water line as it cut off access to the cabin site from our main driveway. Carefully saving the tie-wraps, I clipped free both the water line, as well as the electrical line that powered the sump pump.

With these lines out of danger, I knocked apart the log supports and untwisted the wires that had helped to hold them together until we could drive in spikes and screws. I tried as best I could to make the locations of the screws and spikes that I was unable to remove from the logs.

Piling the logs together, I got out the chainsaw and very gingerly cut them into stove lengths. As dull and beat up as my current blade is, I still wasn’t interested in seeing what happens when chainsaw meets spike. As much as I put great effort into putting up the original water system, which did serve well until the lines froze, I took uncommon delight in cutting it down and rendering it too into something to keep us warm this upcoming season.

For now we will schlep buckets from the end of the hose, which is still closer than the neighbours. I also have decided to purchase a water filter – likely a Big Berkey with British Berkeshire filters. Not that I’m an expert, by any means, but a bit of internet research seems to indicate that the “American” filters are of very poor quality, and the British ones, while making fewer claims to their abilities, are nearly bulletproof in terms of quality – and they have over 100 years of history to back them up. I’ll try to remember to do a bit of a review of the filter after we have it and have used it for awhile.

Having our source of water back has been great, and now if we can also drink said water, we will be much further along our journey to some independence!


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