Click any photo to enlarge

Monday, March 4, 2013


In-ground tanks should be lined with plastic, then concreted (with steel re-inforcement) as fast as possible so the cement doesn't set up in between pours. Then the surface should be coated with some good stuff that bonds with the cement, like swimming pools are lined with. However, in my real world, where my tanks hold between 300,000-500,000 gallons (or 500,001..... not sure), practicality and finances have to enter the picture, so I did the best I could. In hindsight, with the same amount of time, labor, and money I could have done much better. As things are, the tanks will always get water into their structure, deteriorate, and leak some. And evaporate a lot. I merely hope to slow those processes down. Except the evaporation. Can't fix that, but by rationing water, I have plenty to cover that loss-age....assuming it rains hard at least once a year.

Here is half of the stucco tank this morning. I shovel the dry stuff into 5 gallon buckets and carry it out that way. Even doing a mere 50 gallons a day I'll finish long before it rains. And if not, no big deal. Will enjoy the water and continue cleaning when it's empty again. (That big heavy rock is sitting on the pump to keep it from vibrating so much. Remember, my last pump vibrated bolts loose and ruined. This is a pump that's meant to be wedged tight into a well hole, not laying loose in a tank.)

The other tank (shown below) still has 7' of water in it, so I'm good. I could have pumped the last drop from the above (stucco) tank but then I'd either have to net the millions of gambusias out, or watch them die. Hopefully, they'll survive until migrants show up and have them for a snack.

The above tank is loaded with gambusias too, so if I add more, then pump water out for the trees during the next couple of months, it'll just get real crowded, so no need adding more. The only solution is hungry birds or critters. I don't really know what birds eat them. Shrikes do, but I haven't seen any around. Egrets and other shorebirds will when they migrate through. Of course, frogs and snakes adore them.

The dark patches in the water are gambusias
I finished all the patching I'm going to do this year, so all I lack is the cleaning on the empty tank. Both tanks were clean when it rained last June, so the other one probably won't get cleaned out this year unless it doesn't rain. Don't even want to think about that. Only if I knew the stucco tank wouldn't leak, would I be willing to pump the other tank's water into this one in order to clean the other one out. And that means moving gambusias back and forth. Not gonna happen unless I magically get years younger than I am now.


  1. Carolyn,
    It's amazing what you have done to help all the wildlife in the desert. Connie and I were
    really surprised to see such a beautiful place and can't wait to return.

    Marlin Andrus

  2. I look forward to your next visit and will do my best to be here to meet you next time.