The Bore of Boreholes


So we have a borehole. Our borehole is linked to our irrigation system and it’s wonderful because we tend the garden with water from the earth, not the municipality and I’m sure we do pay for the electricity of the borehole pump and the sprinkler system, but I can’t say it’s caused a serious dent on our monthly electricity bill. So it’s been great, up until now. About two weeks ago we noticed that no matter how much we were emptying the borehole, it was continuously full. It was pumping more water than we were able to use. And while I love that our lawn is lush and green all year round, I am not going to be wasteful and water five times a day to keep the borehole happy (our water is not filtered so it’s not fit for human consumption). This week water has started to collect at the bottom of our garden from what we think is the outlet pipe. Today it looks like a swamp down there.

Husband and I have no cooking clue about boreholes and I can’t say that Google has been particularly helpful either. We figure there must be a leak or a blockage or something, right? Now  correct me if I’m wrong, but logically, to stop the immediate problem, one would cut the power supply so that the pump would stop working, right? Until we can get a professional in to assess and give us an informed diagnosis, right? Surely the remaining water would dry up and yes we wouldn’t be able to use the irrigation system but at least I wouldn’t have a swamp at the bottom of the garden, right? Right.

Husband and I cannot locate the power source. It seems the only possible button doesn’t work, as in you can’t switch it off because the switch is broken or something? We have looked at the DB board in the house and in the garage; we have flicked, prodded and banged switches up and down – nothing. We can turn the irrigation system off but between us two – two grown, mentally stable, logical thinking adults – we have no idea how to switch the borehole pump off! And it’s not like it makes a noise or there’s a hum or there’s a definite sign to indicate that it is on or off, we have to base it on the water level. So we think? We actually don’t know!

So it has become clear that we need to get a professional in. Firstly to educate us on how a borehole works, its purpose and its potential (possible drinking water?). Secondly to fix the problem and to assure us that we aren’t in fact stupid and that there is something funny or different or weird about where our borehole pump is getting its energy supply from! I said to my hubby that as a last resort I want to shut the whole house down – like completely power out the property on the DB board and see if THAT works, but obviously we live there, need to eat and bath and sleep there, so my test does have its flaws.

First professional I called charges R850 for a CALLOUT! Note to self, borehole fixer-uppers clearly make big bucks. Second professional I called charges a callout fee of R450. Third company I called charges no callout fee and will assess and quote basically for free! Who do you think I went with? Hoping it’s a simple solution of a switch that doesn’t work and not a case of having to rip my whole yard up. Eeeek. The first available appointment he has that suits me is next week Tuesday. Let’s hope my garden hasn’t turned into the Okavango Delta by then.

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