Living Off Grid - The Cost Of Water

| 11/14/2012 4:20:00 PM

Tags: off grid, living off grid, good ideas for life, well water, Ed Essex,

Old PumpAs most of you know I’ve been defining living off grid as someone who provides their own sewer, water and power. It all costs money whether you live in the city and use government provided (public) water, private water association, or your own water.

We provide our own water from deep water well. It was here on the property when we bought it. The well is 300’ deep and has a 6” diameter casing most of that depth. The thing I like most about this water is that it is everything you would imagine fresh mountain water to be. Clear of anything harmful, full of minerals, and very good tasting. We don’t need a filter for our water so we are very fortunate.

If you have access to either public or private association water you either pay a monthly fee or have a water meter which keeps track of the actual quantity of water used and you are charged accordingly.

Having your own private source of water from a spring, creek, or well doesn’t let you off the hook for having to pay for it. In my case you would have to drill the well, put a pump in the well, provide an energy source for the pump, and a system for pressurizing the water you pump.

Here, we have a 300’ deep well. You are charged by the foot for drilling. Just a few years back it was about $35.00 per foot to drill (high) and for casing to line the hole. In my case that would be a total bill of $10,500. A pump would run about $1200 installed and I still have to power the pump and pressurize my water.

My solar power system runs my pump. It provides me with 220V required for the pump I wanted. The whole cost of the solar system was $22,000 but that is for a complete electrical system that runs everything I need to live including my water pump. I’ve calculated about $2,000 of that money would go towards the pumping of water based on average wattage used.

11/19/2012 1:31:28 PM

What that doesn't cover is the replacement costs of various components. I have replaced my well pump three times in ten years at $2300 a time due to lightening burning out the pump. Even three hundred feet down they are vulnerable. Also due to mineral content the piping has to be replaced on occasion and the water heater has to be drained and cleaned once a year and the elements replaced. And yet I would not connect to a public water system if it were available and I could connect for free.

Danny Adams
11/17/2012 12:36:41 AM

This is more than I pay for water every month...but I'd pay it knowing that it was there at need no matter what.

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