Good news. Our leaky cisterna has been fixed and we now have water again. It’s not the first time we’ve had to live for a period of time without water on tap, and it may not be the last. But I’m not one to worry too much about what might happen in the future (The Boss does enough for both of us).
Before our builder could assess the exact nature of the problem, the level of the water in the concrete storage tank needed to be substantially reduced, so we were playing a waiting game. As the level went down, the pressure reduced, which meant that the flow of the leak began to slow. We wanted to be sure that we could get through the long Easter holiday before we ran out of water, so we became remarkably stingy with the stuff.
When the builder came to do a thorough inspection of the plastic lining of the tank, he discovered two small tears in the food-grade material. Thankfully, the situation could be sorted with a couple of repairs, rather than a whole new lining.
Wet socks and kidney stones
First, The Boss decided to give the inside – of what’s effectively a large concrete box – a good clean, after disconnecting the pump. He invested the princely sum of a couple of euros on a soft-bristled broom (so as not to cause further damage to the lining) and, having climbed up a ladder to the top of the cisterna, dropped down into the murky depths – clad in a shirt, summer shorts, and some thick socks. (The latter were ostensibly to keep his feet warm while he bailed out the last few inches of water. Nice theory). Anyway, three days later, I went to see how he was getting on. Only joking, of course, although The Boss did say he felt as though he’d been in there for days.
Mallorca’s water is very hard, and limescale – or cal – is the cause of problems ranging from crusty kettles to kidney stones. The Boss managed to accumulate and remove quite a mound of the stuff, hopefully reducing the potential for any such problems at our finca.
It takes two
The actual repair was unbelievably quick, when two men came to do it the next day: the one who’d drawn the short straw was inside the claustrophobic tank, doing the repair; the other, seemingly, was to keep The Boss engaged in idle conversation. Job done.
Mallorca is a small island. By coincidence, our builder’s brother is the man who owns the water delivery business we use. Not that it did us any good as far as getting a next-day-delivery was concerned. Jaume was fully booked with deliveries. We went to buy some more 8 litre containers of water from the supermarket . . .
STOP PRESS: In the spring issue of Living Spain magazine – now out – you can read my article about our finca life, on the ‘Last Word’ page.