Friday, October 13, 2006
Urban water savers, Part 2
THE drought is worsening. Water sources are running dry over much of the Australian continent. The rural sector, long accustomed to coping with drought, is running scared.
A report this week in the Rural Press newspaper, Queensland Country Life, said the record numbers of sheep through Wagga Livestock Marketing Centre was solid evidence of the drought’s severity.
The centre continued to set record yardings as farmers offloaded stock rather than feed them through another dry summer. The weekly record stood at 67,000 after a massive six-week sell-off.
In the urban context, we are told virtually every day this region, south-east Queensland, is on the brink of a catastrophic water shortage. Politicians, planners, scientists and experts from many disciplines are looking for solutions.
A few weeks ago Classie Corner presented the first of a series on home water savers from the marvellous community of classified advertising.
Today, part two, also comes from the Redland Times, another Rural Press title. Water watchers aside, media watchers may note the report in The Australian today about some interesting activity in Rural Press shares. I hope the buyer is not the Irish invader.
Now, back to water …
THE warnings about south-east Queensland’s dwindling water supply prompted retired plumber Norm Thompson to use a bore he had left idle since he moved to his Victoria Point home about two decades ago.
Now, after recommisioning the bore that "came with" the Colburn Avenue address, Norm admits he should have bought a pump many years earlier.
"The water tastes good," he says. "I sent it to a laboratory to be tested, and it’s good to drink or do whatever you want with it.
"I don’t know why more people around here don’t have bores. There’s a hell of a lot of water down there. Right here, there’s about two metres of it, about 10 metres down."
The hook-up was not all plain sailing, however, for even an old hand with pipes and pumps.
A few months ago, Norm, 68, bought privately a pump that the vendor assured him suited the task but expert advice later was that the pump was unsuitable for depths greater than seven metres.
Norm bought another. That is why our Classifieds featured a four-impeller Pump Easy unit, "as new with manual" for $350.
The lack of response to the For Sale notice has puzzled Norm in view of the continuing publicity for the drought.
He received only a few calls during three weeks of advertising, even though he says the price is several hundred dollars cheaper than that of a new pump.
Norm says his bore, which was sunk about 45 years ago, is a reminder of the recently "suburbanised" area’s rural heritage.
"It was all paddocks and bush around here," he says. "You would never have thought we’d have two Woolworths and a picture theatre down the road."
"But it’s not all bad. I use the facilities and I reckon they’re fantastic."
Pending the opening of the new Victoria Point cinemas, went to Loganholme this week to see the new Aussie flick, Kenny.
" Kenny is a plumber – he puts in portable toilets for the Melbourne Cup, shows and that sort of thing," Norm says. "It’s hilarious, especially if you are a plumber, I guess."
Norm, by the way, helped about 15 years ago to found the social golf club, The Hackers, on the nine-hole Coochiemudlo course.
He had a break from the administration after serving in most positions but he says he is now starting to get involved again and playing off a handicap of 16.
Classie Corner readers or indeed any classified advertising users with home water-saving products or ideas are welcome to send me a report for publication on this website. Use as many words as you wish and cap off the package with a low-load Jpeg, even if it is of just your own face. Even bores are allowed to take advantage of this free offer.