Water in Tresanti: A Centuries-old Problem


In August 1913, the residents of Tresanti sent a petition to the Mayor of Montespertoli, suggesting to the municipal authorities some locations within their territory where water could be found. This was because at that time, the municipal administration was heavily engaged in meeting the many demands coming from its population in terms of water supply. The specified location was called “le Fornaci” because the elders vividly remembered that there used to be a pool hole at that point where water was collected even during low-flow periods, but which was now buried. The petitioners noted how the nature of the indicated soil itself was a “sure indication of good drinking water.”

On June 25, 1924, the water problem for the population of Tresanti had still not been resolved, as a letter from the parish priest to the Mayor described how in the “eccentric” hamlet, where the lack of water “has always been one of the most pressing problems, in the last two years of great summer droughts,” the problem had reached an unbearable level because “those populations were forced to ration the very little water obtained from distant places, after long and uncomfortable journeys, often with the fear that even that water would run out as the days passed.”

The above are just two of the numerous appeals made by the population of Tresanti to its administrators during the long period from the 1880s to the Second World War, and beyond. However, they are sufficient to paint a picture of a situation on the brink of survival. Moreover, the extremely serious hygiene and health situation in Montespertoli after the war, defined by the Prefect as the most serious in the entire Florentine territory in terms of deaths from gastroenteric infections, bears witness to how the water supply problem was deeply felt throughout the municipal territory. This was especially true in an area like Tresanti, characterized by the absolute predominance of clays that made those soils almost impermeable to rainwater, vital for recharging the already scarce existing springs.

The problem was finally solved only in the immediate post-war period when, using electric power, the huge reinforced concrete tower reservoir was filled, erected a few meters from the church, at the highest point, from which water flowed by gravity into the various houses of the surrounding village. Even today, the large concrete mushroom stands as a testimony to the great thirst suffered for centuries by the inhabitants of Tresanti.