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Discussion Starter #1
Our farm is on city water. We just got a hand delivered notice that they will be doing maintenance on the water supply in two days. We won't be able to use the water for 24hrs without boiling first.

We keep a back up of water for "just in case". This is going to be a good drill for what to expect if we can't get water from the tap. The notice says no water for drinking, washing, dishes, pets etc without boiling. We've got that part covered. The tough part will be the livestock. And I milk cows. Sanitizing tanks/equipment is going to be rough. We'll be dumping the milk to the pigs until we're back online.

At least we had a 48 hour notice. And now we get to put our plans in to action. Really need to get a well put in.
 

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I learned that it takes a lot longer to get things ready when there is a deadline than I expected. It's one thing to have all the pieces and know where they are for when you need them. It's a lot different when you have to actually put them all together and get everything done by a set time. Especially when you still have to run a farm and take care of animals.

Oh, and one of my milk cows had her calf a week early the night before. So I had to deal with getting her into the stall, cleaning her up all while watching the clock tick.

So my main concern was being able to safely milk the cows without water from the tap. I use a hot water heater, sprayer and a clean in place unit for washing and milking. My husband reminded me that we have a pump that is actually capable of providing stored water to our house. We've just never needed to use it. He ended up staying awake practically all night getting everything in place. It worked fantastic, by the way.

I like to use lists to stay on track. I posted one on the fridge with things like 5gal bucket of water next to toilet for flushing, gather water jugs for the poultry and put in place, etc. All of our livestock is on automatic water and we were going to have to shut it off until we got the all clear. It took a long time to place and fill extra stock tanks with the animals all being spread out across the farm.

We supposedly will have no problem putting in a well. It's one of those things that we always planned on doing, but were so busy doing everything else that it kept getting pushed further down on the "to do" list. But this little drill really drove home how badly we need to get that done. Not to mention the enormous amount of money we will save by taking the livestock and produce off city water.

The best part of the whole situation was when my husband agreed to get that well dug asap.

Boil water is in effect until noon Friday. It will be informative to see how much of our stored water we end up using by then. And how quickly the cattle deplete the tanks.
 

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Why can't you just fill up the troughs, skip washing dishes, laundry, shower, etc for two days?
We do that at least once a year when the electric goes out and the well can't be used.
Fill the sink, soak the dishes. Use paper plates, eat sandwiches.

Wet wipes are great for keeping body parts clean.

I can certainly understand the need for a protocol for milking your cows, but 2 days without water in the house really isn't a big deal.

Even if you have your own well, unless you have an alternative way of pumping your well water, you'll still be without water if the electricity goes out.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
We had the household water supply covered, no problem.

The struggle came with the dairy cows. They have to be cleaned preferably with warm running water. While I can skip a shower for days, that's not an option when milking cows and drinking their milk. Then washing and sanitizing the tanks, equipment, milk jars, strainers etc was what had me concerned. Obviously we need a better back up system to keep the troughs filled. Dairy cows will decrease production as soon as their water supply decreases. I wasn't too worried about the beef cattle- they are hardier.

24 hours without tap water was a good learning experience, especially since we had warning. But it did drive home the need to be better situated for a longer term water outage or one that came with no warning.

And when we do put in that well, we will also install a hand pump for those times when the electricity goes out. It's worth researching, anyway.
 

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Um.. I don't get why the cattle and pets can't drink he water? I mean, they drink water out of creeks, mud puddles and where ever else they find water when they are thirsty. I'd imagine the water from the city would be cleaner than those sources even if it was contaminated by dirt.....

I get needing clean water for milking, but that could be accomplished by having a huge cauldron over a fire if need be..
 
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