Water Issues

We live on the second floor of a 2 story house.  The house is situated on land considered  to be part of Monte San Savino.   I think (operative word here, think) that we receive water from the comune of Monte San Savino.   Recently, there has been a big push to upgrade water systems here in Italy.  The pipes running along side the property have been replaced.  And little cabins with water taps have appeared at the edges of towns and villages.  Curious about these little cabins I stopped at the one in Montagnano, our small village that is part of the larger town of Monte San Savino.


john, richard, renata moving day 016


john, richard, renata moving day 017


john, richard, renata moving day 014


You can buy 1 liter of filtered, still or fizzy water from the machine using your own bottle for .05 a bottle.   In the stores, 1.5 liter bottle costs between .10 and .20 a bottle.  So probably not a great savings, but the bottles are reused, contributing less to the landfill or recycling and it  is local water contributing less to transport costs.   The fizzy did not look real fizzy, but I am willing to try it.  I just did not have a bottle with me that day.  (I was watching someone else fill up) 




After a few months of living here I realized that we had real water quality issues.  Now like most of Italy, we don’t drink the water straight from the tap.  We do use it to cook with, wash with, brush our teeth with.  It does not have harmful pathogens or viruses, but, it is, just like Tuscan red wine, full bodied. 


leaks oct 2013 004



Here is our shower head after being used 10 times.  The tan stuff is sand and grit, what fell out when I shook the shower head. 


leaks oct 2013 006


I had to soak it for a day in vinegar to get rid of the things like this.  I know that our fav cute plumber, Valerio thought he was doing something nice for us when he upgraded our shower head to this fancy one.  The old one I could take apart completely to clean.  This one I have to soak. 



leaks oct 2013 009


And this is the filter that was installed to catch all the little rocks and sand and grit.  See how stuff has built up around the edges at the bottom.  My feeling is that if I can see build up in the filter it is time to clean the filter.   I ask Valerio about this.  ‘Oh,no, no, no Marta!  Wait until the filter is full’


leaks oct 2013 011


‘But Valerio, if this amount of sand is getting caught in the filter on the kitchen sink spout in 2 hours doesn’t that mean that the filter is not doing its job?’  Valerio, ‘not important, not important, do not worry about it!’   Famous Italian code for ‘ go away, you pesky woman!  I am not doing anything about this’  But sometimes it is not code.  Always tricky to figure out when it is and when it is not. 


The shots above were all taken  before we left for vacation.  I remembered to tell the folks staying in our house about the kitchen sink filter but forgot the shower head.  Our first showers after coming back had water coming out of about 1/3 of the holes available.  A good soak fixed that. 


A week or so after returning, I washed several loads of clothes. (There was a sunny day.  Quick, do laundry!)   On the last load, I had no where to hang them so I just left them in the machine for a bit.  When I went to get them out I realized they were still pretty wet.  It was sheets… so maybe the load was too heavy to spin right.  So I separated it and set it to spin again.  Did the first half.  Just fine.  Did the second half.  Just fine.  Took those sheets out.  Walked away, a bit later came back to do another load, but there was water in the washer and ON THE FLOOR!!!!!  Oh NOOOOO!


I pulled the machine out to look for a cracked/split pipe.  But no.  I could hear water running so I cut the water to the machine off at the valve and bailed all the water out of the tub of the machine.  No  more water came in.  I wandered around for a while pondering it.  Consulted with John and Richard.  Useless!  Finally looked on the internet.  Possibly a clogged intake valve that kept it open.  Hmmm, very probably.


So I pulled out the machine.  Took off the intake hose and….



late  dec, 2013 007


This is what I washed out of the valve.  I wish I had been pannin’ for gold.  I mean look at those nuggets!  I could be rich right now.  Anyway, that was the problem.  The washing machine is happy now. 


Meanwhile, the pump which brings water into the building has been acting up, it gets stuck on and runs and runs and runs.  Costantino and I have been trying to get Valerio to come since before Christmas.  For various reasons he has not shown up.  Costantino does feel the urgency of this issue that I feel.  I.E. , he does not listen to the pump running all day or watch his electric meter spinning around.  Or worry that the pump might burn out.  Marie-Claude, the relative of the owners who pays the bills and helps look after things was disturbed that Valerio was going to have to come back for this.  And she should be.  She is right, she has paid Valerio several times for fixing this.  But the fix only lasts until surprise, surprise the pump gets clogged again.   I wonder if there is a hole/crack/breach in the water line that feeds the building and that is why so much sand and grit get in the line and clog every thing up.  So, we will see what happens when Valerio finally makes it here. 


Until then,  maybe I can add a new task to my long list,



john, richard, renata moving day 019


Walking to the water cabin with empty bottles to fill up….Seriously doubt that will happen.


1 Comment

  1. Pat

    Oh, the joys of living in Italy! But, I bet you wouldn’t trade it for anything. Our count down is 4 years :)) if we don’t like it we can always move across a border somewhere. Our oldest daughter has been living in Germany for the past 1 1/2 years and loves it! Say hi to Ben…Ciao…Pat

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: