Top­ping up the tank with coun­try koha

The Napier Mail - - WHAT’S ON - RACHAEL KELLY

Water. Ev­ery­one wants to tax it, clean it up, bot­tle it or ir­ri­gate with it. I’d just be happy if we had some.

‘‘Hey love, the tanks are nearly empty,’’ The Bloke hollered on Sun­day.

Crap. Just as well I didn’t wash the cow shit off the car then. And in­deed he was right.

I climbed up on the top and in­serted my head into the black abyss. The as­sorted-de­tri­tus-offthe-roof-that-we-don’t-talk­a­bout-but-should-re­ally-cleanout in the bot­tom of the tank was vis­i­ble.

No dead an­i­mals float­ing about though, so that was a bonus. It’s not un­usual to have pos­sum or rat flavoured water com­ing out of the taps when you have to har­vest God’s wees off the roof to re­plen­ish the house­hold sup­ply.

I should have seen this com­ing re­ally. It hadn’t rained in some time de­spite the fact it’s the mid­dle of win­ter and The Bloke’s ob­ses­sive com­pul­sive clothes wash­ing disor­der has taken a toll on the tide­line in the tanks hid­den at the back of the house.

Not that I’m com­plain­ing. Every load of wash­ing he does is one I don’t have to do.

Buy­ing water and get­ting it carted to this neck of the woods is a costly ex­er­cise, so it was time for some Kiwi in­ge­nu­ity to kick in. A pump was ac­quired from a farmer up the road on the pro­viso that when it was re­turned it would be ac­com­pa­nied by a 24 pack. Coun­try koha at it’s finest.

The pump had had sheep dip through it, but The Bloke said he’d flush it out with some water be­fore he used it.

I’m feel­ing re­as­sured that there’s no chance of us suf­fer­ing from itch mite this sum­mer now.

Some 1000 litre con­tain­ers were ‘bor­rowed’ and water was pumped in the dark hours from some­where I can’t men­tion be­cause it’s prob­a­bly not le­gal to take water from there with­out con­sult­ing with iwi and

DOC or get­ting a re­source con­sent.

Back in the days be­fore health and safety, the lo­cal vol­un­teer fire fight­ers were the first port of call when the tanks got low.

Not that it hap­pened that of­ten.

Sum­mers were long and hot, but gar­dens were wa­tered in­fre­quently. If you wanted a bath you jumped in the river - be­fore there were Bathing Stan­dards.

Now house­holds are run­ning dish­wash­ers, do­ing a mil­lion loads of wash­ing, and in some parts ir­ri­gat­ing their lawns to keep them look­ing lush in­stead of let­ting them burn off for the sum­mer months to save on lawn mow­ing time.

Be­fore water test­ing be­came A Thing, the brigade would fill the tanker from the lo­cal creek and pump it into your tanks for you.

It gave them the chance to make sure their gear was still work­ing if it had been a while since the last call out, and also the chance to have a few quiet ales at the sta­tion af­ter­wards. The cost?

The good old 24 pack. I’ll drink

to that.

While some peo­ple are pump­ing water onto their lush lawns, for oth­ers it’s not un­usual to have pos­sum or rat flavoured water com­ing out of the taps...

‘‘Back in the days be­fore health and safety, the lo­cal vol­un­teer fire fight­ers were the first port of call when the tanks got low.’’

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