Locating The Rural Water Supply

What you need to know about locating your rural water supply, from the Have-More Plan.

| March/April 1970

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    GOOD - This well is located where it is not likely to be polluted by the sewage disposal system or livestock in the barn. Cesspool is over 100 feet from the well.
    Illustration by MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
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    Here is a simple septic system with only one tank and a tile drainage field. Inside the septic tank are anerobic bacteria which decompose a part of the solids into liquids and gasses. Incidentally these bacteria are killed by pouring strong disinfectants and mouth washes down the drain in your house.
    Illustration by MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
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    Here is a septic tank with a separate siphon discharge system. Another workable combination is a single septic tank like the one shown above which drains into a cesspool instead of a tile drainage field. The whole problem of proper sewage disposal is so important to health that it will pay you to go into the subject pretty thoroughly before you decide which system to use.
    Illustration by MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

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When we bought our house in the country the water, sewage, electricity , and driveway were supposedly finished. They looked all right to us. But we’ve had to spend additional money on all four.

Our main expense was the need to rebuild our sewage system, the builder had installed  a minimum amount of drainage pipe and no siphon discharge system. We’ve also piped water to our barn and to our concrete pig pen. It was an easy job to write our barn with electricity.

We’ve had to add more fill and build an edging to our driveway. In short, we’ve found that knowing a little about country water supply, sewage, electricity, and road building is most worthwhile.

If you are used to city water service, you probably think it means an awful lot of expense and trouble to have your own rural water supply. The expense of digging a well is uncertain because you can’t be absolutely sure how deep you will have to go. Still there are a lot of people living within 100 feet of town water main who find it is less expensive to dig their own wells that to buy water from the city. One man I know, who is now building a house in town, has discovered that installing city water will cost him about 300 dollars. On top of this he will have to pay a water bill of about 25 dollars a year. He figured up this bill for a period of ten years (250 dollars) and added it to the 300 dollars he would pay for installing the city water, getting a total of 550 dollars. When he compared this cost with that of drilling a good Artesian well 100 feet deep and putting in his own electric shallow well pumping system, he found that the city water over a 10 year period would cost him 50 dollars more…and in 20 years this city water would cost 260 dollars more. In 30 years he could install an entire new pump and tank and still beat the cost of city water for this period by 400 dollars!

Here is a comparison of costs:

Your Own Water System

Low Estimate


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