The first task was to get the water clean to the point that we could use it at all. The water was unclean because some years ago there was a one-time flooding – so we had to have the well cleaned. We didn’t know quite what that meant and were happy to find a local who knew what needed to be done and did the work for us:
- He pumped out the water from the well. The pump was able to pull water out faster then it could fill from the spring. We tried to save as much of it as we could though I think most of it evaporated (you can see in the image the hole I began to dig where eventually the pump would be installed … he lent a helping hand as he was waiting for the pump to finish emptying the well).
- He climbed into the well and roughly cleaned the well from weeds that had grown on the walls.
- He loaded buckets of mud that were at the bottom that his partner, a gypsy from the village he hired for the job, pulled up and dumped next to the well. They hauled out a lot of buckets … there was a huge pile of mud when they finished. He did this until (supposedly, since I wasn’t down there with him) the bottom of the well was once again tightly packed dirt.
- When the work was finished we had …. murky well water … We had to wait a few days until the well settled and the water became clear.
- The guy who cleaned the well instructed us, after the water settled, to throw in 10 tablets of chlorine. We purchased the tablets, then lost them and though have since found them, we have not (months later) yet (I wouldn’t hold my breath) thrown them into the water.
Overall I think they did an OK job. Since then we’ve hired help a few times and my overall impression with Romanian workers is that they work hard but they don’t strive (and don’t achieve) quality. They do an OK job. If you want quality you need to either do it yourself or be very demanding and very specific with what you want done. It can be hard to do without already having experience AND being a foreigner with a 4×4 parked near bye … but I have learned that common sense (especially my own after studying up) should not be ignored.
This is what it looked like mid-day – the workers, our neighbors and Andreea taking a break in the shade.
Officially we were supposed to do a lab test to the water, we intended to but we didn’t. To do the test you need to pick up a sterilized bottle, fill it (and another soft-drink plastic bottle) with water (after cleaning the well and after the water in the well has settled) and then bring it to the lab in the city within hours of filling. It costs around 200+ Lei to do the level of analysis we would need and the result should be specific instructions on what kind of filtering we would need for the water to be drinkable.
Getting all this done requires specific timing and though at first we tried to do it, it didn’t work out. By the time we had the well cleaned we decided to not do the testing (it was one of those things where obstacles kept getting in our way – and we are learning to read such obstacles as signs that maybe we shouldn’t go that way).
We also didn’t start drinking from the water for quite some time because it had (still has!) too much stone content in it – it is hard water. We now have a rock-salt kind of filter on the main line – it needs to be cleaned every few weeks for optimal performance. We also have a separate drinking water filter and we run the water that comes from it through another passive filter for any sedimentation that may be left in the water. We drink and cook with this water.