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Journal of the Nelson and Marlborough Historical Societies, Volume 2, Issue 4, 1990

Household Water Supply

Household Water Supply

To collect water for household use, most homes had a red iron tank, with a capacity of four hundred gallons (1,818 litres), to store the rain water which drained off the roof. These square tanks, which were in general use, came into the country as safe containers for the shipment of crockery, or other fragile imports. As well, most homes had a hand operated lever pump, to lift water from an underground well, Even when a few odd windmills dotted the countryside, the red tanks were still in evidence.

With no running water, it was natural that bathing took place in a large oval tub, which was moved into the house for the occasion. Water had to be specially heated for the purpose, but bath time in front of a winter fire was quite an event. There may have been a mineral deficiency in our district's water, as many of us had rotten teeth as children.