Tanks for all the memories

Tanks for all the memories


Ross Pride talks about his luck in replacing his old water tanks just before some welcome rain.

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STORMY WEATHER: An old tank awaits its fate after Ross pride replaced it with a new poly tank.

STORMY WEATHER: An old tank awaits its fate after Ross pride replaced it with a new poly tank.

Our old house water tanks are made of corrugated iron.

They were next to the house but not sitting on the ground because, well, when they were installed 40 years ago, that would have led to the bottoms rusting out, so hardwood tank stands had been built to keep them high and dry.

The other purpose of the wooden stands was to provide a refuge for snakes and a food source for white ants.

It was round about the time we noticed Tank 1 had developed a slight, white ant-induced lean that Tank 2, while still sitting straight, developed rust spots, from which water had started seeping.

At one level this was reassuring - it seemed like forever since there had been meaningful rain, but here we had evidence of some water in the tanks.

The other evidence had been the fact that when you turned on a tap in the house something actually dribbled out, but that something had become increasingly brownish.

It was not rocket surgery to work out those tanks had to go. Sorry about that, multiple frogs.

A lovely 10,000-litre job (I'm not sure whether we ended up with Gull Grey or Earth Tone - so many colour choices) was selected to replace the two 4000-litre antiques.

The key to its longevity, and to progressively starving our resident termites, would be its poly construction, and it would sit on crusher dust, which maybe no one had heard of 40 years ago.

A surrounding lattice screen is to be built, jasmine will be planted...truly a tank for the ages, which, although it may not outlast the pyramids, will see us out.

The two old ones were duly rolled off their perches and relieved of decades of brown sludge.

Tank 1 rests on its side and will soon to be taken to with an angle grinder and turned into flowerbeds, or maybe a firewood stand.

Tank 2 was consigned to the tip.

Next problem, given the state's recent epic dryness - what to put in the new tank?

What we had hoped for was, you know, water.

Oh glory be. Only two days later a dramatic late-afternoon electrical storm rolled across the valley and dumped 50mm of rain, exactly the amount required to fill us up.

Then, 24 hours later, another 20mm, before I'd even had time to connect an overflow pipe.

There was dancing in the streets, or at least there probably was in town.

We don't have streets.

Happiness is a full tank, as we texted to our plumber.

A full tank of clean water.

  • Ross and Gemma Pride have split their time between Sydney and Billagal, Mudgee, since 2001.

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