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Sunday, March 23, 2014


No thanks to mother nature! It barely got warm enough to work with the Drylok. Directions say at least 50,° so the minute it got that warm, I braved the raging wind and finished up. I guess I could say, "the difficult I do right away, and the impossible takes me six weeks and two days." The wind kept blowing grit all over the place, so I just kind of helped it blow to the part that was already done. That worked out pretty good.

Looking south
I am going to spend another day soon covering that gray area with a diluted mix of Drylok, though when I started doing that today, it seemed quite durable without the Drylok. Can't hurt though.*

One hard part of coating the tank that you probably hadn't thought about was the knee pads. Not possible to do it without them, but my 74 year old body (in a few months it will be) had a devil of a time getting them on and off. They're tight elastic bands that slide up the legs, which was doable in spite of my stiff hips, knees, etc. But then taking them off afterwards, when they were wet with sweat, and my legs seemed swollen, and my shoulders felt broken, was the biggest difficulty. And they weren't too tight, because sometimes they would work down and I'd have to pull them up. I used to have some that strapped on, but could never keep them in place and the straps cut into my legs bad. I'd like to say one more time with the pads and never again, but I think I'll coat the upper part of the big tank one of these days. It doesn't leak, but the concrete is eroding from wave action. It needs to be protected somehow. Remember a few years ago some friends came and helped me patch it, but that didn't adhere very well. The water level in that tank won't be low enough for me to attempt coating it until at least May.

Meanwhile, next time I come back to the oasis, I'm going to start that rock and concrete diversion  curb. I realize water coming down the arroyo that the tank is built into is probably getting under the tank, as well. Gonna have to do something about that eventually. I think I'll concrete a wider spillway. That should help. And on my list is fixing those two bad places on the road.

Not getting out in this hurricane to take wildlife pictures today. Tomorrow we'll be banding. Maybe I'll get some shots of that.

 Interesting side-note: Yesterday when I was cleaning the very last few uncoated square feet of the tank in preparation for finishing today (an area I KNEW didn't leak), I found an old patch of something rubbery, that flaked off as I was cleaning. Underneath was a round hole about the size of a silver dollar (think bathtub drain here). That floor was, I thought, heavily reinforced and 4 inches think. Had I just patched the tank, like I did every year, and not coated the whole thing, I would never have discovered that hole. The reason the tank didn't leak when the water level was low had to have been because there's a void between the tank and bedrock that holds water when the tank is low. And when I pump water, some of that undoubtedly seeps back up through that hole. I've seen that happen in the walls before, so I know it happens. BUT, when the tank's water level is high, the void beneath overflows up and around the sides of the tank. So had I not persevered to the very end, I would have been whining that I patched that tank so good, how could it be leaking (like I did last year)? The only way it could leak this year is if something caves in where there's a hollow behind it. But that has never happened, so I don't think it will.


  1. Fantastic!!! So glad for you to be finished. You really show the younger generation that doesn't know what hard work is that you can do what you set your mind to do. Can't wait to be back down there.

    Marlin and Connie Andrus

    1. Things are looking good. What doesn't kill me makes me stronger. It's always amazing what human determination can do, even my own. Hope you make it back this spring.

  2. Hip, hip, hooray & congratulations to a job well done!


  3. Thanks, but I won't consider it a job well done until the tank fills with water and doesn't leak. Keep your fingers crossed. It's such a huge tank and it only takes one weak spot to cause a major leak. It still bothers me that water can get under the tank from 3 sides. I'm going to divert the west side, but the two spillways will be more problematic. But I might be over-worrying. Even before I coated and patched it, it held a lot of water for a long time, so we'll just have to wait and see.