Fixing Old Water Pumps in a Drought

In a lot of places around the U.S. there’s a drought right now. And where I live it’s no different. Which sucks.

This is the biggest drought we’ve had in a long time and because of it, cities are restricting people’s water use. They aren’t allowing people to use their water whenever they want. This means that people can’t water their lawns, and people who live in suburbia love nothing more than their lawns to be bright and green.

Running Water in Sink

Doesn’t seem so important until you ain’t got it one day….

So what have some people done? Some residents have found old pump wells on their property and decided to get them working. These are the kind of pump wells that you might find and think, “Wow, that rusty old thing used to actually pump water?”

To use most of these pumps, you have to manually pump them up and down until water comes up. Maybe you’ve seen them in old Western movies.

For homeowners to decide to use these pumps to get more water so they can water their lawns, they’ve got to get the pumps fixed. And that’s where I come in. And what do I know about water pumps? Jack squat, more or less.

Fortunately, most of the problems with the pumps not working is that their handles or shackles are broken (people never fixed them originally because they just abandoned them when city water became available). A handle or shackle is definitely something that I can fix.

For most of them, because they’re so old, I’ve had to fabricate handles and shackles on-site. Welding comes in pretty handy here, and like I said before, I get paid extra when I get called to jobs that involve welding.

It’s pretty rad that people are getting these old things working again and using them. Their lawns would definitely die otherwise. It’s so freaking hot and dry. It’s so hot that the pavement in a lot of places is actually buckling. You can see little piles of asphalt here and there where it’s buckled and crumbled!

People get inventive when times call for it, and I’m glad to be able to fix things so that people can keep being inventive.


Fixing Old Water Pumps in a Drought — 11 Comments

    • Yeah, it’s pretty expensive for the sake of a green lawn… but never underestimate the “keeping up with the Jones'” factor!

  1. We’ve had an extremely dry summer here as well, but if it doesn’t rain, we don’t water our lawn. The grass has been dormant for weeks and my husband is happy as a clam because he hasn’t needed to mow since sometime in June! Having said that, I think it’s great that these people have found wells on their land. They could come in handy.
    Plowing Through Life (Martha) recently posted..Teenagers and Broken HeartsMy Profile

    • Seems like more people should just take the time off from mowing their lawns and make the best of the drought in that way! But since they aren’t and are finding those pumps, it’s more work for me :-)

  2. I can’t imagine being in that kind of heat and have to deal with a drought too. That’s so cool you’re able to fix so many things. My dad has a well but it’s not the handle kind. I think it used to be on some type of pulley system but he eventually hooked it up to an electric pump which made it a lot easier for him.
    Untemplater recently posted..How To Cope With The Agony Of WaitingMy Profile

  3. That’s interesting about the pump wells. One of the things that’s always mystified me is the custom of dumping (expensively!) treated city water on the ground to grow grass.

    Here in the Valley of the (We Do Mean) Sun, old central-city housing tracts that were build during the 50s and 60s on land that had until then been citrus orchards managed to retain irrigation rights. This meant that untreated surface water, which to this day is still carried into the city through open canals, was (and still is) piped directly to people’s lawns. It’s extremely cheap — I think my ex- and I paid $120 a year to have a third of an acre of St. Augustine watered with flood irrigation. It’s a hassle because each homeowner has to maintain berms around the yard, and because you either have to hire a xanjero to open and close your floodgates or you have to get up in the middle of the night to do it.

    People who don’t have it highly resent it, because they think it’s unfair that some folks can get their lawns watered for cheap. And as for the rest of us: only the wealthy can afford to grow grass here.
    Funny about Money recently posted..An Alternative Option to a Standard PensionMy Profile

    • That’s really interesting actually, the open canal thing, but also the idea of using runoff for irrigation. It’s a good idea, although yeah, the rich get the first shot at it, like always!

      I like a nice lawn because it makes it nice for my girls to play outside, but in times of drought, it’s a weird thing to be worried about a lawn.

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