Water, Water, Everywhere And …

… not a drop to drink. At least not potable water, and we live on an island, in the middle of a lake!

When we moved here in 2012 the water, straight from a well, tasted divine. Certainly nothing like the city-water we were used to drinking in Vancouver.

In fact, when we drove out here to check out the place before we signed the lease, our prospective landlord at the time, offered us a glass of water, and it was probably one of the main things to convince us to move here.

Not so any more.

We’ve experienced a slow decline in water quality, but the stressors on the water-table this past year have been the final nail in the coffin – metaphorically speaking.

Population pressure: Since the farmers sold off their acreage this little island has been sub-divided, and sub-divided until there are far too many houses for the land to sustain. The older houses have septic sewage systems and the newer ones have pump-out ones.

The small creeks upstream of the lake are surrounded by commercial greenhouses. More and more are being built every day as people are finally starting to realise that food security for decades to come will have to be sourced as locally as possible – a legacy of the collateral damage from the last two years. And no matter how stringent their safety protocols are for their waste water something always gets past the system

This last summer heated up the lake and raised bacteria levels until swimming was a health hazard.

Our well water has been treated with chlorine to combat unsafe levels of bacteria four times, so far. It’s reasonable to expect we’ll be receiving ‘boil-water’ advisories next summer. (if we’re still here)

We don’t drink water straight from the tap anymore.

One of the things we were saving up for to buy next year as part of our preparations to head off for parts north-west of here, (and become the ‘Wunder-Lusters’ we’ve been hoping to be for the last two years) was a Berkey water filtration system.

With a little rearranging of priorities, we had the rather large, for us, sum of money to buy it now instead of next year.

Having a glass of water is a pleasure we cannot take for granted again.


‘… Water, water, every where,

And all the boards did shrink;

Water, water, every where,

Nor any drop to drink …’

From ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ by Samuel Taylor Coleridge



30 comments on “Water, Water, Everywhere And …

  1. I remember when a hedgehog fell into our well unnoticed, and the consequences rather put me off drinking well water forever…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. quiall says:

    There is no taste like well water or spring water. I have lovely memories of it. Our tapwater is OK as long as you run it for at least 30 seconds. I miss the days…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We have a water filter on the refrigerator/ice maker line for taste, and have just installed a reverse osmosis system for the humidifiers – you can’t take anything for granted!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ian Hutson says:

    Tis a sad reflection that the water the Cardinal floats upon is such that I would find almost any other source to filter before filtering and drinking canal water! Puddles, fish ponds – heck, I’d even wring out wet dogs and filter the hairy squeezings before being desperate enough to use canal water. We are not a clean species. ;-(

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Suzanne says:

    Gosh. Water is a big issue these days. I bought a water purifier this week too!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A good analysis, but such a shame

    Liked by 1 person

  7. acflory says:

    Ugh, that’s really nasty, Widds. Melbourne still has decent water quality [tap water] because our catchment areas are wooded and ‘wild’. The ever present threat of bushfires puts those catchments at risk though.
    We’ve had an under sink water filter for a number of years now. You have to change the filter cartridges twice a year, but our drinking water always tastes good. A good water filter is an investment in health, and taste buds. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  8. That’s so sad to hear. Climate change and poor resource/waste management are going to create havoc with water in one way or another all around the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Jay says:

    I live in a city and the water here is “free,” such a big change from growing up as we lived off a well and tended to our sump pump as if it was a cantankerous grandma in the basement.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. […] particular cycle started with my post on getting our Berkey water purification unit. (which by-the-way is absolutely […]

    Liked by 1 person

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