Kachreti water supplies were the same as in many Georgian villages and small towns. Water is delivered by what are known as “stand-pipes”. Every street has at least one stand-pipe, often two or three. Kachretians have always had to take bottles, water tanks etc to the stand-pipe to collect their water.

Kachreti water supplies as they were

Later, people who lived near to the stand-pipes, began to tap into the water pipes and run their own supply directly to stand-pipes of their own albeit a pipe with a tap in their gardens near to their doors. The problem was that water was not available 24/7 so the next step was to run the pipe not to their own stand-pipe but to a water tank so that when the supply was open to them, they were able to accumulate a tank full of water to last throughout the day, to be refilled the next day when the pipe again opened.

The control of Kachreti water supplies

The water to the tank was controlled by a ballcock in the top of the tank to prevent overflow. This still meant that although water was now available 24/7 from their own tanks, the tank had to to be raised far enough to allow a tap to be fixed at the lower extremes of the tank to collect water into bottles or containers for use in the home.

Electricity to the rescue

The next step came when electricity supplies became regular enough to add an electric pump to the tank. This allowed taps to be placed conveniently in appropriate locations in the home, such as kitchen and in the outside toilet. The pumps are controlled by a unit which senses an imbalance in the water pressure. When all taps are turned off, the water pressure on the inlet and the outlet of the controller, senses the balance keeping the pump from switching on. When there is a demand for water, by turning on a tap in the home, the pressure at the outlet of the controller drops and the controller registers the imbalance between the input and the output. This imbalance is used to electronically turn on the pump, delivering full pump pressure to the taps.

Into the new century

Overall, the system works very well except for the times when the water supply is outstripped by the demands of the tank, when one may well find themselves again waiting for the next days supply to the tank. Over the past year, this has begun to be addressed with mains water supply pipes being laid all over the town. This is by virtue of the number of properties a large and expensive project. Mains water pipes have been laid to every property in the town, and the next step will be the fitting of water meters for each home.

The future of Kachreti water

Water for irrigation has always been a bone of contention as being primarily farming land, smallholdings and vegetable gardens often ran short of water in the summer months when it was most needed. It remains to be seen how the new water system will benefit home gardeners.