Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Impending drought advice please  (Read 4007 times)

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Impending drought advice please
« on: July 15, 2021, 03:25:47 pm »
It looks like we are in for something of a drought, even here in Scotland.  It's great for the hay crop, which is making at top speed, but leads to a possible water shortage for us.


Our water supply is from a hand dug, 4 foot wide well, dating back to before the late 16thC, so is well silted. At the moment the water level is at about 20-22 feet down, with only 2 feet of water until we reach the silt.  Ultimately we know we will have to dredge it, not sure of the practicalities of doing that, but in the meantime we are worried we will run out of water for the house.  We use captured rainwater for the livestock and veggies, which is a different problem.


The well supplies our house plus an intermittently occupied flat, which usually has a lot of people staying through the summer, so our water needs will be high and the water table is low with little or no rain forecast.


Does anyone know if the water board (Scotland) will help supply water in an emergency to a rural setting, or are we on our own?  If we have to sort this ourselves, presumably we need to get some sort of bowser.  Where does one buy/hire such things and, more importantly, where can they be filled with potable water?


Has anyone else got similar concerns?
« Last Edit: July 15, 2021, 03:27:30 pm by Fleecewife »
Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

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arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow in October: reclaimed !
Re: Impending drought advice please
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2021, 03:39:18 pm »
Thanks for the warning @Fleecewife - how certain are the forecasters?  (I can't help with water supply matters.)

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Impending drought advice please
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2021, 04:52:26 pm »
I don't know about down where you are, but there's a large High pressure system settled over Scotland and the north for a couple of weeks at least, the Jet Stream is curving to the north of us and we have had no heavy rain for ages so the water stocks in the ground are poor, with a low water table.  If you have a deep bore well or similar or have a mains supply you would be fine, but our well is very old and is on a high point so is fairly vulnerable to lowering of the water table.
Meanwhile West Germany has severe flooding with loss of life.
Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Impending drought advice please
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2021, 06:44:09 pm »
It seems unlikely the water board will supply you with water as you are not a customer. However you can buy a bowser quite readily. I have several which I have bought off ebay. There are often ex water authority ones for sale and the the ones that have had drinking water in  are blue. I would recommend getting at least 2000litres (Unless you have an available tap on a nearby property, where you can fill it.)
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  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

oor wullie

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Strathnairn
Re: Impending drought advice please
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2021, 07:01:02 pm »
Scottish water says get in touch with your local authority.
https://www.scottishwater.co.uk/your-home/your-water/private-water-supplies

My experience is Scottish Water are brilliant - I called them to ask about getting my private supply tested and 90mins later they had an engineer at my door even though I'm not a customer!  Unfortunately they had to pass it onto the council and now I've lost all hope of ever getting some simple tests done.

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Impending drought advice please
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2021, 07:47:09 am »
Is this a lined well or carved through the rock Fleecewife? Wells were progressively deepened over time whenever they went dry. Climbing down there may be difficult and you would need to supply fresh air.


As to the short term problem- our tap water is totally unfit to drink and we buy 60 litres of bottled water a month for that. Flushing the toilet can be done with a bucket of rainwater but washing remains a problem and we have to use the tap. The point is that the water stored is going to go 'off' I think, so you will need some for drinking. Everything else can be from the bowser.

Backinwellies

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Re: Impending drought advice please
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2021, 08:46:44 am »
Here in Wales 2 years ago it became evident that if you have your own water supply and it fails you are on your own!  Getting a bowser with water cost a fortune.     Funny thing is if you have a bowser and fill it from a neighbour who is on mains but without a meter your water is free!!    (people round here were filling from the tap in church yard ... no idea if church was out of pocket!)
Linda

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Scarlet.Dragon

  • Joined May 2015
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Impending drought advice please
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2021, 09:17:44 am »
Ultimately we know we will have to dredge it, not sure of the practicalities of doing that

Might be worth contacting the company that empties septic tanks locally.  Granted you won't want their usual pipe end in a potable water source, but they may have a "clean" pipe end for doing this type of work?  Basically it's a giant hoover so wouldn't take them long to hoover out the silt - which, let's face it, is similar to what they're pulling out of the septic tank at the end of the day.  Not sure how you then go about allowing the water level to regain it's normal level and everything settling before you recommence using the water.

As others have said, find someone local who's not on a meter to fill your bowser but use bottled water for the house (even if that means filling the water bottles separately and more frequently than you do the bowser).
Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.

Steph Hen

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Angus Scotland.
Re: Impending drought advice please
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2021, 12:58:15 pm »
Would you have a friendly farmer who would fill and lend you a couple of IBC’s of water to keep you going?
At least to tide you over while you sort the dredging/deepening of the well?

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Impending drought advice please
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2021, 01:13:56 pm »
Thank you all - some really useful advice there.


Your link has given us a lot of info oorwullie, thank you.  Once the hay is stored (today hopefully) we'll enquire from the LA as to what they can do.  There was an outcry in a previous year when farmers were left with dying stock through lack of water further north.


landroverroy I looked at the bowsers on ebay but nothng round here, new ones are decidedly cute but everyone else round here is also on their own water supply or metred mains so in the same position as us, or too expensive to help with filling, so I think we would have to hire a filled bowser if it gets that bad.


Flushing with rain water isn't possible as there's no rain and what we have collected is being rationed for livestock and veggies.  So flushing is also rationed.  At a push we can collect buckets from the stream 1/4 mile away, but that may well dry up too.  The nearest river is 1 1/2 miles but feasible to carry for flushing so not too bad.


Washing us and clothes will be the main sticking point  :poo:


We will stock up with bottled water although it's against my principles!!


Sp thank you all as we now know there are ways to get through it.


For dredging the well, I think it would be best left until we have enough water available and the water table is a little higher before we start playing with that. Good idea to check with the septic tank sookers scarlet dragon.


chrismahon, the well is dug through the rock (dolorite) but lined at the top with big chunky worked stone. We assume it was once deeper and has over the years silted up, but perhaps we will find that not to be the case.  We also assumed that whoever dug it had done something wrong to be given the task  ;D
We have been down before the last time it ran dry 25 years ago, and we have the equipment and fear of deep holes.  When I say we, it won't be me  :roflanim:


I think it might be possible that after our visitors have gone and the big birthday party is over, that we can manage on what's left in the well for now, with the backup of understanding the situation better and knowing where help is available thanks to all your input.  I really appreciate it  :bouquet: :bouquet: :bouquet: :bouquet: :bouquet:
« Last Edit: July 16, 2021, 01:18:46 pm by Fleecewife »
Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Impending drought advice please
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2021, 01:35:57 pm »
Now we're looking into getting a borehole drilled. Costa fortuna I think but given the way climate change is having a big effect already perhaps that is the way we will have to go.  Apparently in Britain we don't need permission
Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Impending drought advice please
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2021, 01:48:42 pm »
Now we're looking into getting a borehole drilled. Costa fortuna I think but given the way climate change is having a big effect already perhaps that is the way we will have to go.  Apparently in Britain we don't need permission

I expect you are right for the amount of your expected use, but just in case others with greater consumption take that at face value...  I found this on the gov.uk website

Quote from: gov.uk
...
Illegal abstraction is on the increase in some parts of the Westcountry where boreholes are drilled without the appropriate permission. Prospective abstractors should first contact the Environment Agency that can advise landowners and businesses on how to stay compliant with UK legislation.

...

Anyone intending to abstract more than 20 cubic metres per day from a groundwater source needs an abstraction licence. They are also likely to need a groundwater investigation consent (GIC) under section 32 of the Water Resources Act and need to notify the British Geological Survey (BGS) if they intend to drill deeper than 15 metres.
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Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

oor wullie

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Strathnairn
Re: Impending drought advice please
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2021, 02:33:34 pm »
No paperwork at all for abstracting less than 10m3 per day in Scotland regardless of borehole depth.

Drilling a borehole can be a bit stressful!  There is no guarantee that you will hit water and you will probably end up paying £10k whether or not you do strike water.  If you do hit water there is no guarantee what the water will be like.

For example, the company that drilled mine said they had a success rate of about 97%, good but when they have drilled 40m without finding anything you can't help wondering if you are in that 3%!

I've 2 neighbours with boreholes about 250m away from mine (in different directions) 1 has quite a lot of iron in their water, the other has all sorts of minerals which need a load of fancy filters to clean out.  Mine is clean, tasty, reliable and needs no filters at all.  Our water sources must all be in total different bits of geology.

Backinwellies

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  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
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Re: Impending drought advice please
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2021, 02:00:45 pm »

We will stock up with bottled water although it's against my principles!!


Just stock up on bottles and fill from neighbours water .... 
Linda

Don't wrestle with pigs, they will love it and you will just get all muddy.

Let go of who you are and become who you are meant to be.

http://nantygroes.blogspot.co.uk/
www.nantygroes.co.uk
Nantygroes  facebook page

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Impending drought advice please
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2021, 02:41:24 pm »

We will stock up with bottled water although it's against my principles!!


Just stock up on bottles and fill from neighbours water ....


Unfortunately the neighbours are not nearby and are all in the same situation with a dwindling water supply. One has metred mains for the dairy but I wouldn't ask. Husband and I both have a strong 'do it ourselves' ethic.  Between the collected rainwater for the livestock and veggies, and being very restrained with the little we have in the well, we'll hobble on until it rains  :raining: :sunshine:  Then we'll see how investigations of a borehole go or dredging the existing well.
My son has gone shopping for bottled water today so we'll be dirty but hydrated  ;D


Now I'm worried about the 150 odd trees I planted over the winter- they've had to be watered by hand a couple of times already but it takes a lot of fillups and to-ing and fro-ing so they'll have to take their chances  :tree: :tree: :tree: :tree: :tree:
« Last Edit: July 17, 2021, 10:04:23 pm by Fleecewife »
Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

 

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