We are expecting heavy rain this afternoon as a scirocco builds to the South . We collect water for the house as there is no mains water supply outside of the towns in most of Puglia. Nor is there any main sewage. The E.U. in Brussels are of course apoplectic about so many people without basic necessities as they see it. The Italians unlike say the UK who would be spending millions and moving heaven and earth to conform to the directive merely shrug their shoulders. Sewage we shall quickly gloss over . In most houses in the country it is piped off to the apply named pozzo nero ( black hole) and from there to the garden. Suffice to say that planting seeds in certain parts of our garden is like sowing Jack in The Beanstalk magic beans in terms of growth !
Water is a different matter. We have a 100 sq. metre flat roof on the top of our 2 story house :
The roof is flat and is built with a very slight slope to the middle and then down to the hole you can see top centre. That takes the water down a pipe and
into a 40,000 litre tank at the side of the house. The picture above is the entrance to the tank. The water is then pumped around the house for use in showers, the washing machine, and other household needs. It is stagnant water in the tank so we add bleach on an as needed basis to it especially in the summer. South Australia who have had their fair share of droughts have invested heavily in this type of water conservation and run many tests about the purity of rainwater held in tanks. To date they have in fact found no issues with it and indeed recommend that it is drinkable but we don’t.
The roof we inspect each year for wear and tear and have any fissures filled and sealed to prevent water coming through into the ceilings. The tank we clean each September by emptying it and having a guy come in and get the dust etc that has come down off the roof from the bottom of the tank. Years ago Italians used to keep eels in the tank to keep it clean and then do the tank in December and have the eels to eat on Christmas Eve. Haven’t tried that yet !
For drinking water we use some bottled water but the mineral water here can be very high in salt so you need to watch the consumption so in the main I head off to una Fontana :
There are fontane all over the countryside but this one is right next door to my local bar so I can kill two birds with one stone. Water collection and coffee during the day or beer at night . I fill 4 x10 litre containers and this we use for cooking and drinking.
Now La Fontane is pretty much a male enviroment. Men do the fontana and so you need to make sure that you are not pushed out of your turn . You must stand your ground if the queue is long especially in the height of the summer when the Milanese will try to ride rough shod over us locals who they see as poor cousins. The only time I have seen the posturing stop was last summer when a Mini Cooper pulled up as about five of us guys were jostling for position and out stepped a drop dead gorgeous Italian girl clutching three canisters. . A path was immediately cleared for her to the tap . We offered all of us to help with filling, carrying, loading etc and 4 mins after she arrived she was off in a cloud of dust. We old codgers then returned to our pushing and shoving .
It is now pouring down with rain outside as I write this and those of you with math brains will already worked out that a 100 metre square roof and 25 millemetres of rain water falling on it, or about an inch in old money will put err lots of water in the tank ( I was never any good at maths ).
A song about the rain I think while my brain recovers.
Fiorella Mannoia who sings this is now 58 years old. She started as a stuntwoman in the 60’s working in the then large Italian film industry before beginning her singing career. She won awards at the San Remo Music Festival and in 1987 had her first #1 hit in Italy Quelle che la donne no dicono or What women don’t say. Now I’m a sucker for an italian ballad . It may be an awful language to try to learn but boy is it lovely in music . Here it is
And finally apropos nothing Italian other than a stereo typical funny remark about them at the end of this clip here is how a Regimental Sergeant Major conducts a tour around the Tower of London . It is quite brilliant and thanks to Jonathan for sending it to me