A Homemade Overshot Water Wheel

This homemade overshot water wheel pumps 1,440 gallons of water a day at a total energy cost of three shots of grease a year.


| September/October 1977



The Woodings' 500-gallon storage tank is easily filled overnight by their homemade overshot water wheel.

The Woodings' 500-gallon storage tank is easily filled overnight by their homemade overshot water wheel.


Illustration By the MOTHER EARTH NEWS staff

This homemade overshot water wheel pumps 1,440 gallons of water a day while saving the homesteaders money with a low energy cost.

A Homemade Overshot Water Wheel

The Waterpower Winner and Still Champion!

Back in 1947, Popular Science printed a five-part article by C.D. Bassett that very concisely sketched out every step necessary for the establishment of a small water-power plant on a farm or homestead. That information is still just as valuable today for many of MOTHER's readers as it was 30 years ago . . . and that's why THE MOTHER EARTH NEWS asked for — and received — permission to reprint the whole series as a two-part article in MOTHER NOs. 13 and 14. The Popular Science material was also included — by permission — in THE MOTHER EARTH NEWS Handbook of Homemade Power.

If any of the terms or ideas in the accompanying article are unfamiliar to you, then, you have three choices: [1] You can trot on down to your local library and exhume the old, original C.D. Bassett articles from the 1947 issues of Popular Science, [2] you can order out MOTHER NOS. 13 and 14 at $2.00 apiece from the ad on pages 114-115 of this issue, or[3] you can get your own copy - $1.95 plus 75¢ shipping and handling — of The Handbook of Homemade Power by using the MOTHER's Bookshelf ad on pages 174 -177 of this issue. Any way you go about it, you're going to learn all you need to know to lay out, install, and operate your own water-power system. All you'll need to add to this information is a free-flowing stream . . . and you're in business.

One final note: The following article describes a homemade overshot water wheel set up to do only one thing . . . pump water from a spring to a set of farm buildings 100 feet above. If you're more interested in learning how to use the same kind of wheel to generate electricity, see the article, schematic drawing, and photographs of Thomas Oates' water-wheel powered DC electrical system in MOTHER NO. 24. That piece was also reprinted in The Handbook of Homemade Power. — The Editors.

Today's politically created energy "crisis" has had at least one good effect: It's inspired a good many backyard tinkerers to unplug themselves from modern society's increasingly expensive "conventional" sources of energy . . . in favor of some of the more environmentally sound — and far less costly — energy sources of great-grandpa's day.





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