Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Water matters

One of the crucial issues when we bought our house in Italy was the question of water. One of the ten or more houses we visited with the intention of buying was perfect for our taste and the price was right, but it had no sewers and no water supply.

Initially, I thought this was a misunderstanding due to inferior Italian language skills, but the estate agent, who was not really an estate agent but a kind of janitor with a very strong local dialect, insisted. There was no piping connecting the house with a main grid, but the system consisting of a fresh water tank, a small electric pump and a cesspool served the purpose all right, so there was absolutely nothing to worry about.

Our Copenhagen-based Italian lawyer did not quite agree, and I recall a telephone conversation between her and the estate agent, which really tested his patience.

- Senti, he shouted, rolling his eyes. There are no water pipes to country houses in this town or in this province. It does not exist in the entire region. But we manage all the same.

After the shouting, he hung up, and sighed “polentone” to indicate the vast gulf separating north Italians from their compatriots in the south, and experience has subsequently proved him right.

All houses in the countryside in our area get by without permanent water supplies and without drilling a well on the premises.

The water tank, which is buried under the house and brings cooling to the kitchen, has a capacity corresponding to 3-4 weeks consumption, and when it is empty, we just call the waterman, who arrives with his “a” marked camio filled with clean water in a matter of hours. One tank costs 17-20 Euros, so the price is more than reasonable. And in addition you get a chat about the weather and the water demand.

The only minus is that you cannot drink the water unboiled, because lizards use it as their private swimming pool, and it is difficult to rent or lend the house to family and friends, who have not learned to handle the water works.

1 comment:

Eric Bentzen said...

Lovely story :-) I really enjoy following you around, thanks!


Related Posts with Thumbnails