Clean country living

ShowerheadBeing out in the country has its benefits. Wildlife and a quiet life being just two. What you can’t do though is assume you’ll have access to mains services like gas, electricity and water. Gas we can live without, electricity is just a matter of linking in to the nearby network. But water, that seems to be a challenge.

In the beginning there were just 5 establishments at Edenmouth – the big house, the farm steading and 4 cottages on the hill. They all got their water from a small reservoir on the top of the hill refilled by a pumped supply from the local main supply.

The problems started when plans to extend the settlement at Edenmouth were first mooted. In the end, we will double the number of dwelling places at Edenmouth, and all of these new places will want water. And the supply from the small reservoir is at full capacity already.

What to do?

After much toing and froing with Scottish Water, Pete, who was building a new house and selling off some of his land for the other new houses, installed a new water pipe. All of 900 metres away at Ednam East Farm there was another water main. So Pete did the negotiations with the various landowners in between, dug a 900 metres trench and put in a new water supply over the fields to Edenmouth. The farmer at Ednam took a cautious approach to this and agreed to join the new pipe to his main supply but only if Pete attached a 63mm pipe instead of the usual 90mm pipe.

Pete also installed stop cocks (called a “toby” apparently; I thought it was a stopcock) in each of the four plots to be fed by this new pipe. Job done, and one I’m glad we didn’t have to do ourselves..

But then he had another think. What if everyone in the new houses woke up in the morning and switched on all their showers at the same time? It was only a 63mm connection after all. The prospect of finding himself standing shivering in the shower covered in soap suds waiting for everyone upstream to finish their ablutions did not fill him with joy.

Then a brainwave – insert a paragraph in the land deeds that makes everyone install cold water tanks in their new lofts and supply water to their boilers from there. So, no more mains pressure water, but at least the water will keep flowing no matter what our neighbours are doing.

We’ll be installing a whole house water pump in our loft to pressurise the cold water after it leaves the cold water tank. New hot water tanks need to work under pressure. If you want toasty showers in the morning with loads of hot water, a pressurised system is really essential.

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