How to lose 5000 gallons of water

…in just 19 hours.

We have two cisterns that hold 5000 gallons. One day this past summer, they were almost full. The next day, they were bone dry. And the food forest was flooded. Oops.

I knew the water timer connected to the food forest’s drip irrigation system was broken, but I was too lazy to fix it that day. I literally said to myself, “It will be fine until this weekend.”

And then we had friends over, the kids play with the water sprinklers, the hydrant was accidentally left on, and the broken water timer locked into the open position. 24 hours later I went down to water at dusk and…nothing. No water. 5000 gallons gone.

It occurred to me on that fateful day – after I stopped cursing myself – that if I was a real subsistence farmer, my family would be in serious trouble. Thankfully, I’m not. So a bone-headed mistake like this simply meant that I had to run hoses from the house out to the various gardens, berry patches, fruit tree areas, and chickens.

Here’s the new timers that I like (and trust) more.