Topping the tank

Water tank

Back in Texas, water came out of the faucet, and that was that. I never gave it a moment’s thought, and I don’t recall paying much for water either.

Likewise, I don’t pay much for water now, but I sure have to give it thought.

About three times a year, I must fill this tank. Yesterday was one of those days. I put the ladder there to provide perspective. It’s a big ole tank. There are no pipes to or from this tank. It only has a faucet on the far side.

And that faucet gives this tank its reason to be, its raison d’être, a phrase that has never before been used in reference to a water tank.

Years ago, this tank fulfilled a grander purpose, but times changed, and now it only exists to pour water from its little faucet into a galvanized-tin tub, and that water is used to exhilarate plants on the terraza, nothing more.

We have one huge underground tank, and four more tanks above ground, one of which is on the roof. They all have pumps connected, save this one.

This is a lonely tank, no social connections, little use in life. Were this tank a woman, she would be in therapy. A man would just eat a gun barrel.

Briefly, for you guys, this is how the tank gets filled: A street pipe feeds a smaller tank that sits by the faraway front gate. From that tank, I fill a larger nearby tank via pump. From that larger tank, which is primarily for watering the entire yard, I fill this tank by another pump and a very long hose.

Before moving over the Rio Bravo at the age of 55, I had never owned a single pump or tank. I now have three pumps and five tanks.

That’s the kitchen window you see to the right, top photo. My child bride is standing in there making picadillo for lunch, but she’s lost in the dark. I don’t much care for picadillo, but I’ve never told her. Maybe I will.

Just one week away from March, I now proclaim that winter simply did not happen this year, first time since I moved over the border, a mystery that I cannot explain. No matter. It’s wonderful. I like living here . . .

. . . with my pumps and tanks.

Tanks by the front gate.
Tanks by the front gate.

14 thoughts on “Topping the tank”

  1. Tanks a lot for the tank update! With your artistic talent I am surprised that your tanks are not painted in many colours like those pieces of furniture you had shown us in prior pictures.
    You could go green and get one solar panel with a 12 pump and hook it up to your house system as a back up also. Can never have too much water, you know.


    1. Tancho: As you likely recall, I already have a solar water-heating system on the roof, and it’s not worth warm spit. Take a lot of convincing to get me to do solar anytime soon.


  2. Here in Texas these days, at least in San Antonio, we are always on edge wondering if our aquifer will supply us with drinking water. The yard water is restricted to one day a week. Population growth, being what it has been even in lean times, has put us in this situation. Politicians have had the opportunity to connect San Antonio to above-ground water supplies but as politicians go, ya know, they kicked the can down the road and here we are.


    1. Carole: If there is anything American politicians these days are good for, and it’s ain’t much, it’s kicking cans down the road. No matter the political party. With every passing day, I am more and more thankful that I live here, not there.

      Strange thing is that for a good many years after moving south of the border, I yearned to return. I did not much like it here. That yearning has long since dissolved entirely, and I like it here a lot.


    1. Actually, David, that’s a fine idea that had never occurred to me. As you can see from the top photo, the roof is not far away. There is the matter, however, of the seven months in which it rarely rains hereabouts.

      I do a variation of your idea during the rainy season. Not visible in the photo is a drain pipe from the roof over to the right. I keep two big buckets filled with rainwater that way during the rainy days, and I use it to water the terraza plants, so that’s water I do not take from the tank.


  3. One of the things I like about Mexico is that I have the opportunity to learn skills my rural kin once knew. Perhaps that is the reason I have flirted with home ownership down here.


  4. Frankly, given its location, your tank needs a razón de ser, not a raison d’être.


    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where, given the amount of rainfall, water rates are absurdly high.


  5. can’t say i’ve ever owned a tank although we did have a water pump when we lived in fl. guess it was in a well, not sure i remember the terminology. it too was for watering plants. enough about that. just wanted to ask why you don’t like picadillo? any particular reason? my husband and sons love it, cuban style. i wonder if the mexican recipe is very different. we’ve had a very cold winter and although i prefer it to the heat and humidity of the summer, i am ready for a break.

    teresa in nagoya

    p.s. as per your previous post, i personally think ankles are ugly and feet come in a close 2nd.


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