Technological Challenges of Off-Grid Homestead Living, Part 3: Water

| 11/17/2015 9:27:00 AM

Tags: small homes, home energy, water, home building, off grid living, winter, Christopher James Marshall, Oregon,

Read Part 1, "Resources," of this series here. Read Part 2, "Electricity,"  here.

Choosing an off grid site for its water qualities makes good sense. In fact, with the right water supply you could have a constant supply of hydroelectric power as well as irrigate your crops and water your livestock.

My homestead water supply is not yet ideal. I get water from a local spring and haul 55 gallons at a time and store it in three 55 gallon barrels in my root cellar and then pump it up in batches into another 55 gallon barrel on the second floor of my house, which then provides gravity-fed water pressure for my sink, shower, and greenhouse.

cold creek spring

Cold Creek Spring--Where I Get Water

On the other hand, I recently discovered greener vegetation just over the summit of the mountain where I live and suspect that the water table is contained in sub-surface strata. My house is on top of the strata, while the lush vegetation is receiving water because the strata are exposed. I might be able to drill a shallow well next summer.

12/11/2015 7:42:42 AM

Bathtubs from older mobile homes are smaller and require much less water for a bath.

12/9/2015 11:38:08 PM

re "Shallow wells can use a hand pump instead of an electric pump." The Simple Pump will give you water from as far down as 300' water level. And it not only CAN pump from 300'; it requires only moderate force to do so. 18lbs on the handle. Moderate effort for the average person. Simple Pump Co.

12/4/2015 11:25:22 AM

I use an 80 watt solar pump for my off grid water supply. The pump is at a 50' depth pumping 4 liters (1 us gal) per minute for a distance of 850'. A 100 watt solar panel will operate the pump, but I charge an RV battery with the panel so that I can pump anytime I want. You can get a bigger solar pump for greater water needs. We also use a water-less composting toilet and no dishwasher, other wise we have all the luxuries any other home has.

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