The water in our well has iron in it. I have a whole-house filter that works great. With the recent purchase of a hot tub, I needed to fill it, which meant pumping about 160 gallons out of our well. I’ve done this before, and it usually means having to change the filter a couple of times. When the hot tub gets filled, the water still has to be treated for the higher iron content, and it is never a hundred percent satisfactory. The way I filled my old hot tub was to commandeer a former neighbor’s garden hose and run it over to my house. It required a lot of hose, but my former neighbor had a big reel full of hose and was always happy to oblige. It was an exceptional situation, and a big ask that was always greatly appreciated. I don’t want to impose on anyone so this time around I decided to get creative.
Some years ago I bought a 30-gallon poly drum that was food grade, along with a 12-volt portable pump with hose and fill nozzle. The nozzle looks and operates like those you find at gas stations, a very neat and functional bit of kit. I figured all I needed was a plentiful water source and maybe two larger drums. That would be sufficient to fill the hot tub with just a couple of trips.
A small brook runs through my Bio-Dad’s property, so I asked him if it was OK to come over and pump some water out of it. He was good with that so I went over with my 30-gallon container and portable pump. He has a low spot that is easily accessible to drive a four-wheel-drive vehicle to within a couple of feet of the water. My truck made easy work of getting to it and it took about 10 minutes to fill the drum. This occurred just a couple of days before taking delivery of the new hot tub.
I thought about getting a couple more drums and started looking on Facebook Marketplace. Every drum that seemed to fit the application was at least a couple of hours away. I stumbled across a fellow just 20 miles away that was selling poly containers with a metal cage around them with a fluid capacity of over 250 gallons. The price was very reasonable so I contacted the seller and arranged for pick-up the day before my hot tub arrived.
My Bio-Dad and I took his flatbed trailer over and picked up the container. It is lightweight when empty and it had been used to transport avocado oil. I figured I would take the container home and wash it out with my pressure washer. My Dad had the bright idea of stopping at a car wash instead, so that is exactly what we did.
I got up onto the trailer with the wash wand, opened up the eight-inch cap on the top of the container, and scoured it out with high-pressure detergent. I opened up the bottom drain on the container, tipped it slightly, and the warm waste water drained off the trailer and into the car wash drain grate. I rinsed it with water after that and we were good to go. Before washing, I noticed that the avocado oil residue on the tank was sticky as well as oily. The car wash was the perfect solution to make the tank ready to transport clean, potable water.
Later that day we transferred the tank from the trailer to my pick-up bed and I drove it to the brook, put about 170 gallons of water into it, and drove it slowly home. The next morning my Dad and I picked up the new hot tub at the freight terminal nearby, wrestled it onto my glassed-in porch, and then proceeded to pump the 70-degree water from the tank into the hot tub.
By the next morning, the hot tub was at a very therapeutic 105 degrees and we’ve been enjoying it ever since. I will probably change the water in the hot tub twice a year. The poly tank and portable pump set-up works great and is a creative solution to my iron-rich water problem.
The Morning Almanac with Arlo Mudgett is heard Monday through Friday mornings on radio stations Oldies KOOL FM 106.7, 96.3, and 106.5 and over Peak-FM 101.9 and 100.7.