Water Question

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by pekin84, Jun 8, 2005.

  1. pekin84

    pekin84 Member

    Feb 18, 2005
    We have lived at our present property for 11 yrs. The water situation is very iffy - our well produces less than 1 gal per minute. With 4 children it can be a challenge but we are all good at conserving. A cistern collects rainwater and that helps too. We may add a pond at some point for a more reliable source.

    On to my question - we've been buying 5 gal. bottles of drinking water the entire time we've lived here and I shudder to think of the money we've spent that way.
    What would be a better option? Our water is kind of rusty and slightly sulphury. Every once in a while we have water delivered to our cistern and it's chlorinated city water. The rainwater off the roof isn't real clean, I'm sure.

    Does anyone use the British Berkey filter on a regular basis? We drink a ton of water so whatever we get would be used hard.
  2. labrat

    labrat Well-Known Member

    Jun 3, 2005
    central Bluegrass State
    Well Pekin, I just joined recently and my first post was essentially the same question. This is the response I received.

    You will find past info on this filter system in the archives, in the 'water' catagory after you click 'countryside'.

    Please note that now you have registered you will see other hidden forums not available to you in the past. Welcome on board.

  3. backwoods

    backwoods Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2004
    Middle TN, Where the Hilltops Kiss the Sky
    Hi Pekin,
    The Berkey will work very well but the filters are fragil.Serch the web for Texas Rainwater and read Richard's Water thread.Good luck.
  4. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

    May 12, 2002
    In beautiful downtown Sticks, near Belleview, Fl.
    There is a bit of info about 'air wells' over at Backwoods home forum, its basically a system that condenses water from the atmosphere. First a long pipeline is buried as the air inlet, so that the air will cool. Second is a chimney type system where the air rises due to a black colored steel exit chimney heated by the sun. As the air rises it condensces on stainless steel plates to drop into the reserve area. The SS plates are shaped a bit like a group of pie slices that are seperated, the plates also slope into the reserve area. Condensed water is then pumped out of the holding area for use.
  5. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jun 6, 2004
    Michigan's thumb
    When I lived near the Lake Huron shore, I found that many of my neighbors did not have water. If they couldn't get a well, or when the well went dry, they had the water trucked in. The container would be in the garage, or underground.
  6. Sedition

    Sedition Well-Known Member

    May 30, 2003
    A lot of it depends on where you are at.

    1 gallon a minute is not a bad well if it is tapped into a robust aquifer. If it can produce that constantly, you have 1,440 gallons per day, and over 40,000 gallons of water a month. Even with 4 children, it would be difficult to use that much water.

    Your problem is not water supply, your well produces enough of that. Your problem is the sudden use of a lot of water all at once – like laundry, or irrigation. Your well sounds like it does not store enough volume, not that it does not produce enough water.

    What you need to do, is find some place to pump and store the water – and it sounds like you already have that with your cistern.

    The system you need is simple.

    Run a pipe from the well to the cistern.
    Install a float in your cistern that is wired to a shut-off switch on the well pump.
    When the float gets low, it turns on the pump and refills your cistern.
    As long as the capacity of your cistern exceeds the daily needs of your house – it will refill overnight as water seeps back into your well.

    I have a similar problem, and this is the system I’ve penciled up for my homestead. My problem is that I have no cistern, and I live in the northern states where cisterns need to be deeply dug – more than 42”. The cost of digging one is as much as driving a new well – and I don’t have money for that either. So I haul 400 gallons of water twice a month to off-set the usage of water by my well.

    Other options that you have.

    You can dig a French well (a cistern filled with gravel and sand), and replumb your house so that gray water goes here instead of into your black water system. This allows the water to filter back into your soil more quickly. This is particularly useful if you have a mass-water consumer like a water softener.

    More roof-top cisterns – on the garage or barn. Embank slopes near your well so that they hold water longer to trickle into the soil faster. There are several things that can be done, it depends on your specific location and issues. Drive a new well - $4k to $15k depending on locality – but you can often finance this with a home loan if you are not bothered by debt.