When my 18 year old got home from caroling, she left every single light on in the house. At some point, my mom sense (or maybe it was the penny-pinching sense) received the message, and I woke up to run around the house turning off lights. This is when I noticed no water was coming out of the taps.
Unlike those of you in colder climates, there was no way that my pipes were frozen, so something had to be wrong with either the pump or the catchment tank. I briefly struggled with my impulse to wake up my husband and let him handle it, but a kinder impulse reminded me that he hadn't slept well the night before....so I trudged (there is that word again, I seem to do a lot of it) out with my flashlight and my cold bare feet to the pump house.
Sure enough, the pump was running hard, but I didn't smell any burning. There were several inches of water on the floor and a sound of gushing. My flashlight is a little weak, and I am not entirely familiar with the system out there, but I located the plug for the pump and pulled it (yes, stupid me, standing in a puddle of water in my bare feet, pulling a plug), then found the valve and turned it off. That stopped the sound of gushing water, which had to be a good thing.
I walked out to the water tanks and, yep, the left tank was nearly empty. Nothing I could do about it at midnight, so I went back to bed.
Fortunately, the pump is not broken, but it seems nearly 5000 gallons of water flowed out in just a short space of time. A joint in the pvc piping around the pump had given way and it was easy enough for my husband to replace in the morning. It is a great blessing that the pump is not broken, because replacing it would have been difficult right now.
Whether the lost 5000 gallons is a minor or a great misfortune depends on the weather. This is the time of year that things tend to dry up around here. Last year, we had a fairly lengthy drought which meant doing laundry at the landromat and short showers. We still have 5000 gallons, but it is much nicer to head into the dry Christmas/early January period with full tanks. Hopefully, this will be one of those short dry periods (I can not believe I am saying that) and we'll have rain.
It definitely won't rain today - the wind is from the south, which means vog and dry weather. It also means that the air smells like sulfur and it is just that bit more difficult to breathe, and you can feel your plants dying....but it is cheerful to see the sun, and to have the chicken run nice and dry.