A short history of water on The Rock

April Wamhof

You would think that if you live on an island and you are surrounded by water there could not possibly ever be a problem with water. Only here is the catch. It’s all in the lake. And as adventurous as it may seem at first; lugging buckets for dishes, jumping into a cold bath, or drilling holes in the ice, eventually our modern, comfort-seeking minds or our aging bodies turn to the option of having running water indoors.
Of course, our journey began with water like any other. You know, it’s only a short distance to grab some 5 gallon buckets for house water and dog water. The dogs, of course, never actually drink from the lake. They also liked it pulled up. Is it girls or boys at the docks for the first ‘bath’? And, lest we forget, the midnight jaunts to the little cabin in the background. Of course we modernized as best we could: electricity meant a heater and a light that we could turn on from the house before we went to the cabin, and finally we could tap lake water for house water and a potty in the summer! The addition of a water heater meant hot showers on deck. Oh, for luxury in the wild!
All of which left us stranded off the rock for the winter, or how we thought about it, back to the caveman days of drilling holes in the ice and carrying buckets. I doubt cavemen had ice drills and plastic buckets but still….
When I decided a few years ago that the rock would be my full-time home, I installed heating pipes in the water lines. A huge improvement for taking water from the lake in winter. Goodbye, caveman! Nearly.
While the heating pipes kept the water from freezing, other factors seemed to affect the pipes themselves. The plastic pipe itself would shrink or the ice would shift and pull the pipes apart at the weakest joint. I found myself a couple of times running out of water in the middle of a shower while quickly producing a nice rink in the front yard. And of course it always happened when it was at least 20 degrees below that.
Now that I have a little do-it-yourselfer bone that I get from my dad, I decided it was time and maybe time to turn to the pros. I don’t suppose I can give a shameless tip to someone I now consider MY plumbers and well drillers, but I contacted Froe Brothers and they called me right back. Yes they would look at my lake water system and see what could be done but the real solution to my water problem was to drill a well. Oh boy…
And so the decision was made. I cannot speak highly enough of the professionalism and dedication of the Froe Brothers and staff. They were almost as excited as I was when we hit water at 65 feet. They kept giving me pieces of drilled rock from the well shaft and I still have them. The water is clear and delicious. And they end up saying we have enough water to run a car wash. An interesting idea for an island spot, so stay tuned!
Do you think I’ve reached the end of the water story on the island? Or maybe the peaks just change every century or so. My modern comfort-seeking mind and aging body hope so.

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