How to preserve water supplies on smallholdings
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Ask the experts: during the hot weather, here’s how to preserve dwindling water supplies
Q. During this very hot summer my well has almost run dry and I’m worried. Any advice?
A. Kim Stoddart says: I have experience in this matter as it has happened on my smallholding this year for the first time in the nine years I’ve lived here. Therefore, you are far from alone and the main course of action is to make the best, most efficient use of the water you do have and be more economical all-round. Adding water butts as a back-up supply to your property and outbuildings is also a sensible measure for when it does eventually rain.
The key to harvesting the water remaining in your well is to let the pump run in small bursts less often. Chances are that there is still a little bit of water trickling through, so just using your external well pump for an hour in the morning and again in the evening, for example, and making sure that it is switched off before you go to bed will prevent it burning out by working overtime. It will also enable you to make the most of what water there is.
Additionally, it is important to make sure that none of your taps have a leak, inside or out, and to use the eco setting on appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines when your supply is dwindling.
If you run out completely, call in a favour from friends and neighbours, asking them to collect water to pour into your tank. Unfortunately, extremes of weather like the summer we have experienced are a feature of climate change in the future.
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