I have been impressed to do a series of posts on the basic necessities of twenty-first century life. Why? Because independent living means that doing all of that stuff on our own, we need to know exactly what to consider.
Our bodies are made up of approximately 60-75% water. Each of our individual cells are largely water; our skin needs water; the digestive process requires water. We need water to remove wastes from our body. Water keeps our blood pressure stay at a normal rate.
Water is a necessary part of our lives. We need it for consumption, hygiene, preparation of food, and hydrotherapy treatments. So, recognizing this fact, what do we do when we choose to no longer depend on municipal water? Let us look at our options and what they entail...
- Well. This is the most readily understood independent water system. Perhaps your current property does utilize well-water. What is different is that when the power goes out, your well might not be helpful because most use an electric pump to carry water to your house. The most reliable resource is a hand pump (though that is only as reliable as your ability to pump it!). Secondarily, you can have electric pump if you have an energy system that is capable of supporting it. You may choose to have both.
- Springs. (AccessScience has an article on springs). Some properties have these on the premises; so if you buy the land, you own the water on that land. Some things to note about them is that they may not supply a steady stream of water. If you understand how springs work, you will realize that the amount of water supplied by them varies with the seasons. If you are blessed to have a number of springs on your property, then it would do you well to test them all, or as many as possible, to determine which one has the greatest output. Of course, springs must be developed for use in your plumbing system: an article is available on the Mountain Media Ministries website. They also have a DVD that explains.
- Ram Pump. This is a nifty set up that allows your house to be elevated, and yet still able to have a solid water supply. If you find that the nearest water site is below your home site -- meaning that you are unable to take advantage of gravity flow for your water system -- then a ram pump is your deal. The system is extensive, but relatively straightforward, and easy to use. Instead of talking like I know everything, I am going to send you here.
- Cistern / Holding Tank. This is a basic need for any water system that you choose. Having a cistern is vital to a ram pump system; but it is also useful for a spring or well. (A) With the spring, since the water is constantly available during whatever season, it is prudent and wise to have that water flow into a tank; and from the tank, flow to the house. That way there is no waste. (B) With a well -- especially a hand-pumped well -- it is a lot of work to pump all of that water. So if you were to pick a certain day out of the month, and pump water into your tank, that might be better. (C) A holding tank within your house is also of value. What happens when your spring-filled cistern gets full? Do you stop the water? Or, is it prudent to keep water sitting in pipes, waiting to be used (especially considering winter)? Not really. Having an indoor tank has its benefits. Especially if you intend to have hot water. But we will get into that on the heat section.
While the information here is minimal, Mountain Media Ministries centered out of Cornelia, Georgia has a great deal of knowledge on the subject. I really encourage all to go through and get the information that they need. Go now.
"I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water."