Of the First Water

Some of you may remember the drilling of our new well last June (If you don’t, the blog entry is here: Ceci n’est pas une pipe « The Shambles under Highland Butte).

It took a long time to get down to the water, and has been longer still waiting for the installation of the pump that brings it to the surface. At the time of the drilling, the team of guys said, yup, it was good water. They had tasted it, but neither of us had been here at the time, and once they’d taken their sip, they pulled up their equipment and went away. So we have looked at that bit of well pipe sticking out of the ground for some time now, wondering what we bought down there under the volcano.

Last week the pump man finished his job, and we now have water running from the new well. It was time for a sample of the goods.

First water

A taste test is a formal thing. First you must catch the free run.

Imagine how far this water has come to spill from that glass! Actually, I don’t have to imagine it. I know it’s come 545 feet to the surface, and then a short run to the hydrant. But let me wax appreciative of the long years this water has lain in an aquifer beneath us. I do realize these actual drops are part of a cycle of flow and replenishment, but as a unitary thing, water underground is a long-term asset. And though it may flow copiously when we open the pipe, it deserves our respect and our special care now that we have brought it to the surface.

On with the ritual of the first taste: assess its appearance.


Looks good. Clarity is a relief.

Take a sniff…


No nose. That’s good.

Down the hatch. This is not wine, so no sipping. It takes a great good glug to know what you’re about.


And the verdict is…



Yes, it is good. It’s interesting to set it against the water from our old well which, though it comes grudgingly from its vein down below, is water we like very much. If there were more of it, we’d have been happy to leave well enough in the well. This water is, how shall I say? It has a softer feel. Neither has much of any mineral flavor, no chemical flavor (are we not relieved?), no breath of taste that returns across your tongue when you breathe over it. All good. But they are different. It would be worse than describing the subtleties of a market wine to try to put labels on the differences. But the drillers were right, it’s good water. Sweet day!

Of the First Water

Published in: Uncategorized on February 24, 2008 at 4:18 pm  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Could you pipe a little bit of it down here to North Carolina? Pretty Please???


    — ge

  2. Hm. Maybe we could ship you a bottle.


  3. Nothing like well water! We miss it so much when we go away from home– everything else tastes like chlorine!

  4. Oh, yes. City water… I suppose it’s better than what COULD be in it, if not for the chlorine. I remember when I thought we had pretty good water in town. The smell of chlorine on lawn still reminds me of sprinkler-jumping when we were kids.


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