I realized a couple days ago that I have been neglecting to post monthly reminders of chores and tasks. If you are a newer reader, I used to put these up on the first of each month, not just as a reminder to my readers, but also as a reminder to my self. If you have any suggestions to add to the list, please let me know.
It's the first of the month, have you...
Test run your generator?
Rotated you gasoline stores?
Tested your smoke and/or carbon monoxide detectors?
Checked your household and vehicle fire extinguishers?
Given your dog his heart worm pill and flea/tick treatment?
Changed your HVAC filters?
Test run all your small engine equipment?
Checked your tires, belts, hoses and filters on your vehicles?
Last week my wife noticed that the water in the house was smelling kind of "swampy." I broke out our Big Berkey water filter system that I bought some time ago from my very first sponsor, The Berkey Guy. The Berkey works really great. If you don't have one, I'd really suggest everyone should. Whether on city water and a malfunction in the treatment causes a "boil water" order, on a well that goes funky, or in a grid down situation and you have to cart in water from a nearby farm pond, the Berkey is effective, efficient, and much more inexpensive than bottled water on a per ounce basis. When you put it together the first time, be sure you tighten the inside nut on the spigot. If it is a little loose, you'll end up with a big puddle on the floor overnight... trust me on that one.
Anyway, I called the local extension service and asked for advice on getting my water tested. They referred me to a lab in a nearby county. I went Friday and picked up the sterile vial. Sunday night I followed the detailed instructions to ensure no cross-contamination and collected 100ml of tap water. Monday I dropped it off and today I got the results... We have coliform bacteria at a higher level than the health department allows. We do not have e. coli so in reality, our water is still pretty safe, it just won't pass an inspection. We've probably had the coliform for years and just never knew it.
Our next step is to shock the well with bleach. We'll need to run the bleached water through all of the faucets until the flow smells of bleach, then turn them off. The bleached water then sits in the pipes and faucets for 12 hours before we can run them again.
When I took the sample for the lab it cost $50. Searching today I found a test to buy for $20.90, including shipping from Amazon. Near as I can tell, it is the same test that the lab did. I ordered one using Amazon commissions earned from readers using my Amazon links to make any purchases - Thanks! Simply from a time standpoint, we won't be able to do the shocking until weekend after this coming one. I'll share details after we do it.