Summer of 2009

The kids are in North Carolina for two weeks, so we decided to see what was lurking in that hole in our backyard. We assumed it was a well, but we all know what assuming makes you. And me.
Here is our story.

Day 1

Here is the location of our well. It had been hiding in privet for many real clues as to when it was filled in, but certainly before any of the current resident's memory.

Our first set-up was on the sawbucks, but we quickly realized that wasn't really gonna get it. Especially not knowing how deep we would need to go.

Instead, we set up a buck of scaffolding and two 5-gallon buckets on a pulley. And of course, the trailer for dumping.

This is what the well looked like at the beginning. Just a bunch of rock, we think. What could possibly go wrong?

Day 2

There is Zac, working his way down the hole, with his OSHA approved hat.

I thought I had actually done something here. Harumph!

There was quite a bit of discussion on who would be the one who would go down the hole. I didn't know if I was going to have to fake a severe case of claustophobia, but I had one word on my mind, snakes. Even though hauling buckets of crud wasn't exactly fun, something about a well just seemed daunting. I never could get used to the idea. Luckily Zac is a man of the world, and fears no hole.

Day 3

This is the day we found water. At 9 feet. Very exciting, as there was always the risk that the reason the well was filled in the first place was that it was DRY!! So of course we had to stop for the day and have a celebratory libation!

This is Zac's view. Lucky for him I'm so pretty.


This was when the task started to become truly daunting. I mean, gross! Yuck! Look at that muck! First we pumped out the water, then continued hauling buckets. Luckily, BOB NAGY showed up (I'm sure that will be the last time he drops by on well-digging day!) and ran the pulley for me, so I could just haul buckets. We made some serious progress, got down to about 13.5 feet. Then it just started to get to us, so we quit for the day.

Even my good man Zac had had enough of THAT!!


The next day we went out for a spell and HIT BOTTOM!! So the bottom of the well was officially at 14 feet. Not very deep, but certainly deep enough for my taste!!

The width at the bottom was 3.5 feet, then it kind of bulbed out to 4.5 feet, then up to the brick, which was about 6 feet down and 3.5 feet wide. Today we will monitor the recharge rate, and get some idea of how to manage our NEW OLD WATER SOURCE!!!

The view from the very bottom of the well, as seen by the salamanders.

Some of the glass I pulled out of the sludge. Can you imagine that these bottles not only made it down into the well without breaking, but made it through Zac's digging and back up again? That is amazing. That should increase their value three fold, I say.

This is the glamorous life of the self-employed musician.

The entire contents of one well.

Joe Powers was our witness for the final day.

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Hurry back kids, I can't take another house project!

Many of you have asked me. What ever did happen to the well? How much money have you saved over the years? Did you win the green yard award of the universe? Did digging the well save your marriage? Make your garden certified organic (Oregon Tilth like)??

Well, the truth is, as of 12/22/10 it remains a mystery. The pump has been an adventure. First pump came from neighbor of Zac's folks. Thanks, Allen. It almost worked. After it was all plumbed in and ready to go, it worked for about 15 seconds. But don't worry, for those 15 seconds we felt thrifty and NEATO as heck!! Then, I found a magic pump at a garage sale (better idea!!!) for $5. Again, I felt so smart. Similar results. Then we bought one online. Never even hooked it up, wrong pump. Resold it. Then we bought a new one, and when the well ran dry right after we left town this summer, well, it stopped working. And there it sits!! Next summer, it is gonna feed us all. You just wait!! I'll post a few more pictures, and then maybe sometime in 2011, I'll update this page again. or maybe 2012. From my condo in Miami.

Diggin the line in the backyard. Power up, water down.

Where the magic happens, or not. I can't remember exactly which pump this one was. But it was exciting, if only for a moment.

How this looked when we left town, June 2010.

Diggin your well will give you a great pair of yams.