Starting Our Homestead: Pros and Cons of Our Off-Grid Water Options (with Video)

| 4/28/2016 9:27:00 AM

Tags: water, off grid living, cisterns, rainwater collection, rain barrels, Idaho, Alyssa Craft,

When living off grid, a practical water system is incredibly important but the number of options out there can make it tricky to pick the right one for your situation. Since we moved to our off grid homestead, we have learned that there isn't only one right way to do things. Finding a water system that fits the specific needs of any property takes time, research and a careful evaluation of the needs of that property going forward.

Looking Into Wells: The Most Obvious Solution

Wells are a great option for many properties and one of the most-obvious routes to go when living off the grid. Once installed, they are almost maintenance-free and provide thousands of gallons of water. If you know your property is located on a low point on the water table, then it's probably pretty safe to dig one.

However, in other cases wells can be extremely expensive and striking water may not even be guaranteed. Our property is on a glacial outcropping that keeps the water table far below us. Wells are hit or miss around here. When we evaluated our homestead priorities we realized that we aren't willing to sink 10 to 30 grand in a system that might not work so even though this is the route we’re hoping to go in the future, it doesn't make the most financial sense for us right now.

Investigating Rainwater Harvesting

Next we considered harvesting rainwater as we have an abundance of free rain falling from the sky in our area. In theory, no water system can beat the price per gallon of a rain barrel collection system, making this route very appealing. We initially planned on installing an 8-barrel system for our home, but a few experiments proved to us that they would NOT be right for our property for two main reasons.

off grid water systems and rainwater harvesting

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