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Friday, February 7, 2014

Winter banished from the oasis

Determined not to waste another day indoors, I dutifully went to work when it warmed up to around 50°. Unfortunately, it didn't take long to totally wear myself out. Somehow, I'll plug away and get that tank cleaned and coated. I put on the first gallon of Drylok coating today to see (1) if I would like the stuff and (2) if I could determine how much of it will be needed.

I like the stuff, and more so if it actually works. I figure between 25-40 gallons should do it. It costs $25 a gallon, so I'm estimating around $600, but not more than $1000. And wouldn't it be wonderful to have that tank full of water and not leaking? In case you're wondering, the directions on the Drylok said you could add concrete stain to the stuff, so I added a little color to keep it more interesting. Once the tank fills with water it will color itself anyway. That coloring has been taking up space on my shelves for over 20 years. Feels good to use some of it now and then. When I mix it into gray cement it makes the cement reddish brown, but it only pinkens the white coating.

I still have some water in the tank and lots of dirt. Sweeping it up and carrying the latter in buckets out of the tank is hard work too. But I'll be lucky to be able to afford the Drylok coating. Money to hire help is not an option. I don't mind the hard work, it's just my joints that don't cooperate. At this time, I don't plan on coating the top 2 feet. It doesn't leak any faster when the tank is full than when it's 2 feet down, so I don't think there's enough surface pressure up there to make a difference. I am sealing any cracks I find up high though. 

I can surely do at least one gallon every day that I'm at the oasis. So if I'm here 4 days a week, that means it shouldn't take me more than 2 months to finish, which is plenty of time before rainy season. Sometimes we get big rains in May, and with this weird weather lately, I need to be ready. But whatever percent I get coated is that much percent less leakage. It would be nice if I could find a hole causing the leakage and patch it soundly, but I'm convinced there isn't one. It's just millions of pin-holes.

Once I get the tank sealed, I plan to focus on getting the road improved.

I did a little work on one of the table benches. I plan to level and concrete the legs in place next trip to the oasis. I need something from town before I start that project though. Decided to just do two benches with 3 legs each instead of 3 benches with 2 legs each. That area doesn't get many people at one time.

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