Water – or lack of it! – Bellaugello: Luxury gay bed and breakfast near Perugia, Umbria, Italy
Water – or lack of it!

Perhaps in deference to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s water pageant yesterday our spell of uninterrupted sunshine was broken and it rained here in Umbria.

Unlike London where rain was the last thing required, here we are always grateful for the occasional day of rain, it helps water the garden, and more importantly, replenishes ground water supplies.  On account of the unusually dry year last year several neighbours have wells that dried up and their water supplies have not yet returned, and here at Bellaugello Gay Guesthouse our spring has been trickling, when usually we would expect 6,000 liters of water daily, it is barely yielding that amount each month.

Anyway this morning I awoke to one of those magical Umbrian mornings, cloud and mist hanging in the valley below, the house shrouded in fine mist, quite divine.  Slowly the mist lifts, disperses, and the full beauty of the Umbrian countryside is revealed.  Only that this morning not all that was revealed was good. Yes the greens of the hillsides were refreshed and are verdant, the fruit trees have not lost fruit, and the air is cleaned, but disaster…

The level of water in the swimming pool is considerably down! Why? surely rain would overfill the pool, also the balancing tank, and any excess run off automatically, it cannot happen, there are non-return valves in all the pipework, but yes, the pool level was down.

A quick run to the plant room to discover one of the pumps had sprung a leak and water was flooding out of the casing.  The only possible section of pipework that obviously cannot have  non-return valve had failed and water was pouring into the drain.  The pool level is down, the compensating tank is practically empty and to make matters worse the electro valve that opens the water supply to refill any loss due to evaporation was open and the pipe was running full blast. Annoyingly no alarm siren was sounding….

How long has this been going on? All was well last night, I think, it seemed to be, but might it not have been, I did not check the plant room at midnight, who does…  A call to the pool company was met with the response ‘there is nobody here we cannot do anything today, switch off the equipment’. Gee thanks!

Fortunately the pump has isolating valves, they are now closed, and  whilst requiring two pumps to recirculate the water I am fortunate to have three piped into the system and so the other two pumps will do the job of keeping the pool operational.

Now as the sun shines down from cloudless skies, begins the slow process of refilling the pool, luckily the level was down only 25cms, but that is still a great deal of water, (25cms x 15m x 5m – plus the balance tank, how many cubic meters is that?) probably having to throw in further bags of salt which we use to make natural chlorine, as the levels are bound to be diluted, and then steel myself to go and look at the water meter, that I really do not want to do…….