Slice of Life – New Water Tank

August 29, 2023

“Argh, Lori! Look at the water!” I shouted to my sister, as I ran the noodle pan to the living room to show her the brown gunk that just came out of the tap. We were fixing Thai food for my sister, my brother and his wife on Sunday night. “We got a load of water on Thursday! How can it be out already!?”

Oh, yeah. My sister had warned us that this almost-forty-year-old tank was vulnerable because it was about the same age as a tank that was leaking at one of her houses. We didn’t do anything about it until today, when we were forced to. We were almost finished preparing a six-pot dinner (we definitely would have had a different menu if we knew this was coming), but now we were committed. We all ran out to check the water tank, feeling the side of the tank for the water level. Unlike the usual phenomenon, of the bare metal in the sun being very much hotter than the metal with water behind it, now the whole tank was hot! And empty. My brother left to buy some gallons of drinking water. My sister went and got ten gallons of water for flushing toilets. Then we proceeded with our meal (and games even). Afterwards, I washed a bazillion dishes camping-style, while my husband went to buy and fill some clean five-gallon buckets.

My husband and I were musing about what we would have done if we didn’t live close to these desert rat relative-friends. They have helped us navigate so many difficulties. We probably would have packed up and moved into town many times over the past two years. This time with having the water go out, even with their support, we are still on edge, feeling the vulnerability everyone on the planet feels when water is not easily accessible.

On Monday morning, we called Underground Economy Tank and Supply, who was recommended by the water hauler. Mike said he could bring a new tank out in the afternoon. What? Wow! But we had to put it off for at least a day The former tank, which was metal and now giving us rusty sludge, was set down on gravel. The new plastic tank will need to sit on a smoother surface, like sand.

So Monday evening, my brother came over to help us remove the old tank. He attached it to his truck with a cable and pulled it over pretty easily. I didn’t have my camera out when it toppled over because I was holding my sister’s dog. (The future of that water tank on its side in our yard is still in question.) It was obvious from the rust and pressure on the gravel below that there had been a leak for sometime, which caused a little stream through the gravel.

My sister came to help us haul sand from the intersection where cars get stuck, and we dumped it and leveled it in the frame. Now it’s ready for the new water tank to be delivered in the morning.

Thank you, Water, for your cleansing, life-giving presence. 

Our water supply for a few days
Disconnected water line
The 1985 water tank
Keith moved some of the gravel out and around the edges of the pad.
The rusting process was working hard throughout the bottom.
Can you see how the water moved the gravel under the tank to form a little river of leaking?
My sister shoveling sand
Keith joining the sand crew
We finished adding the sand by moonlight. After settling for a day, we’ll check it before the new tank arrives.