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Problems with water PDF
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 15:00

Over the last two years our relationship with H2O has been fascinating. From flooded house in England to leaking house in Spain; from a downpour on our wedding day to falling in the canal on honeymoon; from flooded garden and sewage on the lawn to sodden field and rising damp; from overflowing storage tank, via a drowned horse, to contaminated well water. Then to cap it all our domestic water and heating system crashed!

Yes, it’s been quite a water saga.

During freakish low temperatures in the UK in January 2010, the pipes in my house in Warrington burst and gallons of water flooded a bathroom, landing, hall and cellar causing 1000s of pounds worth of damage. That took six months to dry out and renovate. See Wash Lane Awash!

At least that won’t happen again – I sold the house!

In the meantime, unusually wet weather in the Serranía de Ronda for three years on the run caused leaks and damp in our house in Montejaque, which required repair, drying out and total redecoration. See "Rain, Rain, Go Away..." (1) 

In July 2010 it poured down on the day of our civil wedding in Germany, but two days later it had cleared up, leaving a day of hot sunshine for our church ceremony. But water reared its murky head again when, during our honeymoon in August, I took an impromptu dip in a canal in Friesland, northern Holland (Man overboard!).

When we moved in February 2011 to our new home near Ronda, the first rains flooded the garden and turned our field into something reminiscent of the Somme in 1916. We also noticed damp and efflorescence at the base of our internal walls – no DPCs here, of course!

We drained the garden by building a stream across it leading into the arroyo below, but we still had the problem of several natural sources of water serving our field overflowing because of blocked underground pipes. Read about it here: Waterworld

In August a water tragedy struck. A friend’s horse, which was living in our field, ended up in our alberca. The fire brigade spent five hours draining the storage tank and rescuing the poor animal. Although a vet checked her over, by the following day Perdita had sadly died.

In the summer our depósito, which stores our well water before being pumped to the house as required, overflowed. The sondas, or probes, which are supposed to cut off the supply before it rises too high, had failed.

In the autumn, in anticipation of another wet winter, we got a new system of underground pipes and arquetas installed, which has brought all the water arriving unchecked into our field under control. See The Olive Press - Spanish irrigation unravelled.

Our damp internal walls were re-plastered and repainted in the hope that all the water that had ended up under the house in previous years would not come again.

In November we noticed that our domestic water – from our own well – was yellow in colour. I got a sample analysed and we learned that it was contaminated with animal or human bacteria and should not be used until it was cleansed. A treatment of concentrated Chlorine soon sorted that problem out and we thought our bad experiences with water were over.....

..... but in December, after a short trip away, we returned to a malfunctioning water and heating system in the house. Fortunately that was soon rectified by the técnico.

As I write, we now have a lack of water. It’s not rained for weeks, so I have to water the plants again. The lawn has turned brown.

Let’s hope 2012 brings some much needed wet stuff from the skies but no more water problems ..... please!

© Paul Whitelock

This is a slightly different version of an article written recently for the Olive Press

Tags: water problem, H2O, flood, flooded house, flooded garden, sewage, downpour, wedding day, falling overboard, rising damp, drowned horse, contaminated water supply, heating, hot water, paul whitelock, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ,


Paul Whitelock

Paul is a Joint Honours graduate in Spanish and German, a qualified teacher (PGCE) and has a Member of the Institute of Linguists (MIL) qualification.

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