Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Our Windmill Arrived!! Finally...

Oh my goodness... What an extraordinarily painful mission that was!

At the end of last year we began having problem after problem with our borehole pump, mainly due to power surges. Every so often we'll have a problem and it can leave us without water for days at a time. As you can imagine with all these babies, never mind the big people, it presents quite an urgent problem. We've had to call the fire department and water companies in the past to come to our aid and deliver water to the property. So we decided that we needed to find a way to back up the system so as to avoid this ever happening again.

Our general plan to begin with was to drill a new borehole pumped by a windmill so that we always have a manual backup that would not require electricity. Simple enough.

What we decided on in the end was to drill a new hole nearer the house and run the electric pump from that borehole. Then we would place the windmill over the original borehole halfway down the property.

The second round of drilling...I do have better pics. I think on my laptop. I'll upload soon.

We managed to get the driller to come out after some weeks and he drilled down to 60meters. As we have a very high water table he thought that would be ample. So then the tedious task of arranging the 'windmill man' to come and put the pump in. He eventually arrived one day and informed me that the hole had collapsed... so I had to call the driller again who came out, put the casings deeper and drilled to 50 meters or so...the windmill man took his sweet time and finally sent some guys who told me the hole had collapsed again to 33meters...everyone involved told me I'd get enough water from that depth so we left it, sunk the pump and connected it up... It must be said that connecting up this system was done in tiny stages by the windmill man and his crew with every appointment they made was missed and every addition created new problems. 

I'll spare you the pain of recounting every frustrating detail just know that it was an ordeal.

There was some urgency to trying to get the windmill up faster than we manged to, as the donor that paid for the windmill has withheld further, much needed donations until we had it erected. The reason I was given in the beginning by the windmill man, as to why we couldn't put the windmill structure over the borehole was because we wouldn't be able to pull the existing pump out with the structure on top because of the anti-theft setup we had to prevent our electric pump being stolen... however, now, after screaming and swearing and threatening to sue he actually delivered the thing, he built it right on top of the existing setup and said 'no it won't be a problem to take up with the windmill on top'...hate that guy!! In a way it's lucky because we don't have any money left for the actual windmill pump any longer but we can still rely on the old electric pump as a backup.       

So here it is. It's up and turning but doing nothing but looking pretty. When I asked for the initial quote he left out the important bits to make sure he closed the deal I suppose...which is a massive irritation as the donor would likely have covered it. That was the subject of our very first disagreement I seem to remember, and I specifically asked in the beginning if that was all and there would be no more costs. Boy was I wrong.

Anyway after the very aggressive phone call that saw him actually, finally deliver, he said he would see what he can do about getting us the pump at around half price. Well if he actually manages to do that it would be the first time he has done what he said he would. The original quote for the pump was for R7500...so we shall see.   

Looks great!


  1. seeing how close to the fence it is, I will pray nobody steals it...
    how exciting to have it up!
    Way to go Rhys!

  2. No the guard house is only 100 meters away in line of sight. They won't be able to get it down without waking the guards :o) Well I hope.It's really big. Pretty safe.

  3. Great work Rhys!
    Hopefully the pump will be up and running soon!
    It does look very pretty :)

  4. Good to see all this stuff coming together Rhys. You must be proud : ) I'm loving that all you Jarvis's are blogging, it makes me feel like I'm not so far away. xxx

  5. Glad everyones enjoying it. Motivates me to keep it updated!

  6. Hey i just discovered your blog! great! what happened to the pump? did you get it?