this is the water wagon station where you can fill up your containers. A delivery truck can be seen on the side of the station filling up so he can go out and deliver water to their customers.
Water—we tend to take it for granted. Turn on the faucet and out it flows. Oh, sure, while we lived in Portland, we had drought warnings in the summer sometimes and being a person who believes in conservation, I was always happy to try to cut back on my usage. And I thought I was doing a pretty good job! It didn’t take very long in Fairbanks, though, for me to learn that there was more to be done.
Fairbanks is very dry. There are also permafrost areas. So ground water is not abundant. Building a house off the city water system means making choices. You can try to dig a well, but it will probably have to be very deep and expensive. The quality of the water may be questionable. You can go without running water altogether—many people do this. There are cabins all over the area with outhouses and no water.
|4.40 for a 10min shower|
A few days after our arrival in Fairbanks, someone flushed. It was pretty clear from the resulting noises that we were not getting any water coming into the house. Bill and Rick climbed underground to have a look. Yup, the tank was dry. They tried the button for the well pump. Nothing happened. Figuring that there was a problem with the pump, we looked up the number of the company that had recently installed the pump, though since it was Independence Day, we knew we wouldn’t be talking to them until the following day.
Someone came out in the morning, tested it and said everything was fine. We just had a well that was producing variably, we were told, and to test exactly how much would be an expensive proposition. We were advised to just have water delivered. Back to the phone book we went. Rick called around town and discovered that everyone’s prices were the same—six cents per gallon with a $50 minimum. They kept asking how big the tank was and Rick kept guessing 500 gallons. We picked a company and they came over. The guy went to look at the tank and informed us it was 1500 gallons. Then he began pumping the water through the black pipe sticking up from the ground (so that’s what that was for!). It was just like an oil delivery that you might get to heat your house. It took several minutes and that was it! We paid the bill and the guy left.