Going Off Grid? Here’s What To Do About Water: “Solution With Minimal Effort”

by | Feb 22, 2016 | Commodities, Emergency Preparedness, Headline News | 120 comments

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    There’s no denying that water is among your most critical assets.

    But going off grid, you won’t find it automatically ready and on tap unless you’ve set up one kind of system or another.

    In the most obvious of ways, you cannot survive without water – but did you think ahead about where to get it, and how to store and transport it?

    Especially if you are just starting out with your off grid home or survival shelter, securing potable water for your most basic needs may be very difficult.

    Water is quite heavy, and hence, any large containers will be very difficult to carry or transport if you don’t think ahead.

    This couple addressed their solutions to dealing with water while living off grid in their RV for the first year:

    At the time of posting this video, we’ve been living in an RV on our land for just over four months. We arrived on our property in September of 2015 and had to get to work quickly to prepare for winter. This entailed installing our septic system, getting our travel trailer protected from the elements, and finding a way to keep things from freezing as we don’t have access to power and don’t run our generator non-stop. Getting to our land and getting situated wasn’t cheap…

    Needless to say, we weren’t eager to drop thousands of dollars on a well at this point in the game. We did, however, come up with a solution that works for us with minimal efforts.

    We know lots of you have your own ideas on alternative solutions such as IBC tanks, cisterns, water barrels, etc. We thought through many of these things and in the blog post, covered why we didn’t use each one.

    During their first year, hauling water back to their site from a water station where they filled up at 25 cents a gallon seemed to be the best, and most affordable solution.

    With about 100 gallons a week to be comfortable (for two people), they cut back on extra showers and running water, and figured out how to get by. They hauled it in these [amazon text=very workable 6 gallon &asin=B0002IW6IY] containers – the most they could comfortably carrying without feeling unnecessary strain.

    Back at their RV, they set them up on a shelf one at a time, and used gravity to feed the water through a few simple tubes into their plumbing supply – and stored the others close enough to the wood stove to keep them from icing when the weather was freezing.

    It isn’t glamorous or sophisticated, but this couple sees the value in simplicity.

    Down the road, they will likely think about drilling a well or establishing other long-term water solutions.

    Many off grid homes have successfully utilized rainwater collection for all of their water needs. It just depends upon your resources and innovation to harvest and filter it for use.

    Read more:

    Worst Mistakes To Avoid When Going Off Grid: “We Wish We’d Known”

    The Prepper’s Blueprint: Step-by-Step Guide to Help You Through Any Disaster

    Off-Grid SHTF Survival: Ancient Technology for Refrigeration

    Regulated out of Existence: Off-Gridders Forced back on the Grid, Camping on own land Illegal

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      120 Comments

      1. PO'd Patriot

        For some good water attainment will be difficult depending on what part of the country you are in.

        • Acid Etch

          HOW IS IT POSSIBLE FOR FLINT TO NOT HAVE POTABLE WATER WHEN THEY LIVE IN THE GREAT LAKES REGION?

          BECAUSE IT’S RUN BY BLACKS

          LOOK AT RHODESIA/ZIMBABWE IF YOU WANT TO SEE WHAT 70 AVERAGE IQ LOOKS LIKE

          • john stiner

            It is still the white mans fault. Blacks are
            defacto victims.

          • Tucker

            One also needs to factor in the habit blacks in their natural habitat have regarding peeing and crapping in whatever fresh water supply – lakes, rivers, streams, etc.- that they use for drinking and cooking.

            Without the guidance of White Western man, there is no such thing as hygiene and sanitation in any area where blacks are dominant and are in complete control of their surroundings.

          • Masterblaster

            Ever hear of the Tittabawassee Trout? Many of the water sources were filled with the remnants of heavy metals by DOW and other manufacturers in Michigan. The trout were the blobs of floating poison coming from the DOW chemical company. (Look up the song)

            Michigan is the same stupidity as Cali – building a train instead of desalination plants….it’s the same reason people starve in Africa, political corruption…

        • Masterblaster

          What r you’all planning to do for laundry? I’ve never heard it discussed.

          • fishandmud

            The old knuckle buster, rub board, wash board, scrub board, or you could always use a rock.
            Another choice is an old gas washer.

            • Rebecca

              Fish and mud
              After my big snowstorm I started collecting 5 gallon buckets of snow and letting it melt. Then I used a bit of biodegradable soap in one, and washed with a cheap plunger. Worked like a charm. Then put the laundry in another bucket of water and rinsed with the plunger. Transferred to bucket 3 for second rinse. Each bucket had about 2.5 gallons of water. When the first bucket got too dirty for clothes, I mopped the floor with it then rinsed with cleaner water. Then got more snow, let it melt, and added soap to prior rinse water. washed again.
              I had 40 inches of snow, a temporary water cistern. Washed clothes all through January on snow melt. Recycled all the water and melted snow for houseplants too.

              I called it my shtfplan laundry test drive! I deleted the laundry hookup from my small house plan. I haven’t used a dryer for over 20 years, so already left it out. If my front loader dies, I will not replace it. $10 for buckets and plunger. Check.

              • fishandmud

                Rebecca : I have seen the manual washers. It is a bucket with a lid and a handle. You put your clothes, soap and water in, close the lid and crank the handle. They are not expensive and I think it would work as well as the old scrub board and your plunger, maybe better. I like your plunger idea. We have a dryer but my wife only uses it for a minute to get out the wrinkles then she hangs them all over the house.

                • Ed

                  I lived in africa for quite a while and just washed my clothes in a bucket then hang them to dry. Laundry detergent is best but almost any thing works. Just get in the habit of washing what you wear every day and it only takes a 15 minutes per day.

                  • Genius

                    Ha ha ha, that reminds me of the times that I used one of those plunger bucket washers when I had to live at the cabin full time. I had 3 buckets, 1 had the soap water, 1 had the first rinse water, the 3rd had final rinse. Hell it worked good and I hung my clothes out on a clothes line and they dried in the sun and were as stiff as plywood lol. See, preps come in handy! The plunger deal was from beprepared dot com and was 15 bux. I have had to use my preps many times through the years for all kinds of things (living in the middle of nowhere).

                    • PO'd Patriot

                      I bought one of those buckets that has the wheels and handled mop squeeze ringer and will use that to ring the final rinse water out when the events dictate. I built some pvc clothes racks for hanging shirts and other items in the house(winter time) when I don’t want them in the dryer. Ninety nine percent of the time I wash my own clothes. Helps the missus out.

                  • Leonard

                    I’ve washed my clothing with Dollar Tree dishwashing liquid for the past 5 years. I use less, and it works as well as anything else I ever used…

          • Julie

            The Scrubba bag for laundry!!

        • fishandmud

          I see a few people buying water. That is not going to happen when TSHTF.
          I agree Patriot, it depends where you are.
          We have a primitive living hunting camp, and everybody there has a surface water well. Obviously, we only go for a week or two at a time, so we bring our drinking water with us, but all the surface water is used for everything else. If you had to sterilize it for drinking, it would be no problem.
          A surface water well means one atmosphere or less on the surface water. It can go hundreds of feet deep, but it has to be within 33′ if you want to pump it with a pitcher pump. What I mean buy it could be hundreds of feet deep is, your surface water is anything above hardpan or rock. We actually blew one in 129′ deep before we hit hardpan, trying to get cleaner water, but swamp water is swamp water at 12′ or 129′. It did not make any difference on water quality. Now, you can buy hand pumps that will bring water up more than one atmosphere, but you are going to pay for it.
          Everybody has pitcher pumps, pool pumps, and centrifical or trash pumps to get the water out of the ground. Next thing, everybody has water towers, which are drained when you leave, and you usually don’t have a problem with freezing, but we are not up North. I am sure smaller systems could be placed on the roof, or in the attic, and that would keep them from freezing. All systems are gravity fed. Their are some tricks to getting more flow. remove all screens, from your water saving devices. The only toilets that will work are the old ball type. The newer ones will not let any water in, I guess not enough presure. Sure you can use RV pumps, but conserve every where you can. And that means power to. Even if it is solar, you can use another light or something else instead of that pump.
          The way to blow in a well is simple. You need 2″ PVC, a gas water pump, a few hundred gallons of water or a water source. Hook up your hose and get ready to hang on. You have to stand that pipe up, crank the pump and blow it in the ground. We always start with 40′. Blow the pipe in the ground. Unhook everything. Drop in your sand point, on 1 1/4″ PVC pipe. Pull the 2″ out. Hook up the pump and pump it clean. Hook up your pitcher pump or whatever you are going to pump your water with and you are done. You can pull the 1 1/4″ pipe up alittle to try and get cleaner water. Sometimes it works and sometimes it don’t. But you cannot push it back down. Pull it to far up, and you are starting all over.

          • Genius

            Or just get midevil and make a big assed solar well. Dig a 6 foot deep 8 foot by 7 foot hole, frame the edges and screw and caulk clear fiberglass panels together big enough to cover it. Tilt the panels slightly to the south and put some rain gutter under the edge to catch the water and funnel it into a barrel. So easy even a caveman can do it (if he has a good back) 🙂

            • fishandmud

              That will work too. But to some people, “It’s not rocket science, It’s harder”.
              I forgot to add, You can not stop pumping while installing the 2″. You can stop pushing, you can cut notches in the bottom pipe like a saw and cut through small roots, small pockets of clay or hardpan, but YOU CANNOT STOP THE FLOW OF WATER AND JUST START AGAIN. If the flow of water stops for any reason, pull the pipe and start again. If you don’t, the pipe will blow out of the ground instead of continuing on down.

        • WhoKnewItLongAgo

          So they cut back to 100 gallons a week?? For two people? Holy Poseiden. They must be taking daily redneck hot tub baths. I’m solo at my BOL and use about 4 to 6 gal’s a week. Doing dishes, coffee, spagetti, showers and drinking water. That is very wasteful what ever they are doing. Washing the RV?. Coy pond?

          -WWTI…

          • Rebecca

            Who
            how do you shower cook wash dishes and drink on 4-6 gallons a week? Even drinking water is 7 gallons. I can manage a while on 15 gallons per week, but did not include laundry. Did the test in January when I was washing with snow melt. Testing to see how much water I really need. Less than 25 gallons per day average, which is my predicted rainwater save. I would be good with that for me. I am trying to figure more in case shtf and I have family too. I am shifting to landrace species to cut down on watering outside, not to discount hugelkultur beds that hold water. This year I should be able to feed the family, but water is short still. Got good ideas on here though.
            Just got 2 inches of snow.

            • fishandmud

              Rebecca : At our primitive living hunting camp, before we installed a gas hot water heater, we used a solar shower. The ones we had held 3 gallons. You have to take Navy showers, but I could do it easily on 2 gallons. We always used the last gallon to just kinda soak. We were not lacking on water because of the surface water well. We had all the water you could ever want. Obviously you can take spit baths on a lot less, but I prefer to wash my hair ever day. When TSHTF, your wants and needs are going to be different than now, but small things, like a shower, make you feel good, and that few minutes of relaxation will make all the difference in the world. It is the little things in life.

              • Rebecca

                Fish and mud
                okay, I misunderstood!

      2. Seminole Wind

        We have a few different solutions to water. A flow-jack pump to insert down our well, and enough well pipe, plus a hand pump, to dig a shallow water well. Of course we also have British Berkley filters to “clean up” rain/swamp water too.

        OFF TOPIC: If you are a Christian, or a Seeker, go see the movie “Risen”. Very-very good.

        • Acid Etch

          I went to the theater for the first time in ages to see “The Witch”.

          Highly recommended.

          Was that Rebecca I saw?

          bwahhahahahahaha

          • anonymous

            Oh, did your mommy drive you to the theater and back? Does she leave you all alone by yourself there? If she does, we’ll report her right away for child abuse.

      3. Kyrathyel

        Here on the Navajo Res, the well water is unsafe in many areas, the US gov has torn down the small dams. So hauling water is a weekly or bi-weekly chore. There are seeps, mostly hidden, precious for life, kept by clans for thousands of years.

        • Genius

          I do this and it works great….
          I have a 210 gallon tank in the back of the truck I haul water in, I drain it into an underground cistern (1200 gallons recommended) with a 1/2 hp. submersible pump in it. The pump pushes water (all pipes run uphill) to the attic of the cabin and fills a 35 gallon tank. The 35 gallon tank is connected to a 12 volt rv on demand water pump which supplies the house. When the attic tank runs out I just flip the switch to the underground tank and it fills the attic tank again. This method prevents any freezing in winter (make sure there is no check valve on the submersible so the water in the pipes all drain back to the tank). Drain the house system if you are going to leave the house during freezing weather for several days or more. Simple system that works year round. I also use a 1500 gallon above ground tank in summer. The 210 gal. truck tank is easy to use and about 175 bux. Where the filling pipe from the cistern (1-1/4 inch) comes up and attaches to the side of the house I put a T in it then right above that I have a shutoff valve. That way I can connect a hose to the T and use it for fire (with the shut off valve in the off position to stop flow to the attic) I also use the T to connect a 1 inch hose to fill the cistern with. Just back the truck up to it and connect the hose and it fills the cistern. When Im done filling I put a screw on cap to plug the T and turn the valve back open to fill the attic tank. It can be -20 and I always have water. Many people in my area have issues with water freezing and they are too stupid to listen and figure it out, only 1 person listened and he has never had a problem since lol.

          • Genius

            Another thing I am going to do with my above ground tank is install a 48 volt DC 1000 watt heating element just below the valve and connect it to 2- 24 volt solar panels (in series) then cover the tank about halfway with dirt. The tank is black and will be wrapped in radiant heat barrier also. This should keep an extra supply of water available in winter also.

            • Genius

              I also have my kitchen sink drain plumbed seperately and the water goes out to my trees. I only use natural dish soap in that sink. A porta potty or composting toilet will save you a lot of water also. You can use the DC solar elements to run an electric water heater also they just replace the stock element (also use a dc thermostat).

              • Rebecca

                Genius
                okay, I wrote all this down. Not this week, but I will let you know. Question on the solar well, what is a midevil?

                • fishandmud

                  MORE WORK

                • fishandmud

                  If you have moist soil and sunshine, a giant solar still is a great way to get water

                  • Rebecca

                    Fish and mud
                    a giant solar still is like geniuses hole with translucent panels, right? Also like Kulafarmer’s underground greenhouse? I could figure a way to collect condensation from the underground greenhouse if the soil is damp? And decrease mold or mildew issues on the plants from underground moisture? Do you think it would work?

                    • Genius

                      Reb, you could make the solar well a bit deeper and make it into a combo of greenhouse and well! Damn why didn’t I think of that lol. make it a twofer! The excess moisture will be collected with the condensation on the panels and your plants will thrive in the humid air! I think were on to something here. Call it, SOLARPONICS 🙂

                    • Rebecca

                      Genius
                      Yeah! SOLARPONICS! Because I can catch enough rainwater to survive, and I get enough rain to grow landrace crops. Before the rain goes into the cistern, I am thinking that I could temporarily hold it and rough filter it, then run it through the activated charcoal tube. Would that be clean enough for bathing as such? Because I will have a zenith filter for drinking and cooking. I have 5 acres of woodland so plenty of wood for cooking. I have stuff for a rocket stove outside, but want one in my kitchen. The house design is 400 square feet… and a composting toilet, no way I want to use water to flush.

                    • Ed

                      stretch out a piece of plastic sheeting between 4 poles and throw a rock in the middle. Put a container beneath the rock. As the moisture evaporates, it will collect on the underside of the plastic sheet and drip to the rock then into your container. Ive gotten more than 5 gallons per day in the desert using this method.

                    • Genius

                      Ed, plastic sheeting goes to shit in less than a year. Fiberglass panels will last for 20 years. I know what your saying but I have experience in this and trust me, you WILL be replacing sheeting more often than you want to lol.

                • Genius

                  mid evil is like old old skool. But they didn’t have fiberglass I was just saying it is a primitive way to get water lol.

                  • Rebecca

                    Genius
                    lol
                    remember I am about zero technical.

                    • Genius

                      But hey, you gave me some GREAT ideas! I can work with what you have given me and develop it! The above idea of solarponics is absolutely AWESOME! Thank you 🙂

                  • Rebecca

                    Genius
                    okay, no plastic sheeting.

        • Masterblaster

          Why did your people let them do Anything on Your Land?

      4. shane connor

        Like designing a solar power system, job #1 when figuring out water is conservation, how to best reduce and minimize your needs and waste. Rain catchment at sea or in a desert has been used to good effect and I know many who have done so full time for decades. Extra benefit when you can make it work in an area of scarce water is it’s usually a much less attractive region for the ‘golden horde’ escaping urban areas to ever bother later heading your way, too.

      5. anonymous

        Hyuk,Hyuk, I just dun uses mah Sawyer water filter down at the crick at muh cuz’ bol! It dun gimme the best tastin’ water I dun ever had! Sumtime’s it gits to tastin like goldfish tho, I ain’t sure if it’s the cracker er the fish tho hyuk hyuk!

      6. 44_shooter

        I couldn’t stand listening to the guy long enough to get anything out of the video.

      7. Rebecca

        I go in and buy water once a week. Our community water isn’t fit to drink or cook with. I wouldn’t mind a source for 25 cents! Mine is reverse osmosis and UV light for 26 cents a gallon, about $4 per week. I want rainwater collection that would average about 25 gallons per day. Not much. For purification, a solar distiller.

        • Kulafarmer

          Cant just run it through a Berkey for drinking? And a big chlorinator/activated charcoal for bathing etc?

          • Rebecca

            Kulafarmer
            not putting a dime into the trailerstead. About paid off the 5 acres in 3 years and want to start building this summer. Have put a little labor in to buff it up, locals may pay $5000 to $10000 for it, here in NM. It has been more important for me to get it paid for. $4 per week isn’t much for drinking water but is not a long term solution. I just ordered a drinking water filter system because it will be part of my long term setup. I plan a small 400 sf house but shtf I’d gut the trailerstead and make a tiny house in my 10×12 shed. Easy to keep warm, part underground, and invisible from Google. I have adjacent sheds for storage. Building raised concrete beds around the edges this winter, on bed 5 now.

            Plan… pay off and have no mortgage, while planting fruit trees and increasing edible wild species in the forest, build raised beds for conventional, get landrace species going. Step two build small house and greenhouse and increase water storage

            • Rebecca

              Approaching step two, this summer. I felt okay with that because I have a trailerstead and a shell tiny house.

      8. Taxdn2poverty

        Yes, I’m positive that once the lights go out we can all mozzy on down to the little fountains with the windmills and get all the reverse osmosis water we want for 25c a gallon while the golden hoard waits patiently for their turn at the spigot. Will the people that post these articles please get a life. thanks

      9. Philosopher

        This is fine for two people. If you plan on having animals or raising vegetables it takes water. A lot of water. There is no way I would buy land without a well or some type of year-round spring or creek.

      10. aljamo

        I refill gallon water jugs at Walmart for 27 cents a gallon. The machine says it filters the bad stuff out, but how do I know. I’ve been living in this crowded area for a long time, having never drank the tap water even once. The store refilled water tastes good, not sure if the fluoride is removed.

        • Enemy of the State

          I would bet it’s tap water , city water of the area that the store is in , you might even be lucky that there’s a filter in line , but it’s just a charcoal type for taste , you are still getting your daily dose of fluoride

          • Genius

            Reverse osmosis removes a lot of flouride. Otherwise distilled is about the only way. Get a tabletop filter with flouride reduction elements (NOT A BERKEY). Read up on them because some will add aluminum to the water. Or just use yer still to distill water 😛

        • Rebecca

          Aljamo
          Me too… Culligan’s. It says it is reverse osmosis and you can see the UV light. I think it is 27 cents a gallon.

          • Dave in idaho

            Reverse osmosis (RO) and UV are two different processes. RO is for contaminants and bacteria, UV is strictly bacteria. Both have consumables. Long term shtf, you would need a media filter you could rebuild without having to buy filters or light fixtures. Over time, both loose their effectiveness and unless they are maintained, you could end up with the atomic shits…..if your diet is junk and processed foods, you may not notice a difference when you are destroying the bathroom toilet.

      11. Pam

        There’s nothing wrong with taking a little time to decide on how (and where) you’re going to tackle a project. We hauled drinking water for years while using creek water for hygiene. If we’d been to anxious to drill a well, it would probably been where we eventually built a new house.

      12. Rarefied Snotress

        My little air conditioner gives off over 2 gallons of water a day in Florida, and if I had a dehumidifier it would be more. They say the condensate is unpotable due to possible metals. In an emergency, if there’s electricity, even via generator, I’d test for metals and use the water.

      13. Ketchupondemand

        Water is the least of our concerns, given our location.
        We don’t waste it, but we have all we need.
        I can catch up to 400-500 gallons a day in summer rainstorms. Storage is 2100 gallons.
        Also have municipal water we use some of the time in dry season, (like now), water bill is about $14. month.
        Also have a creek but it’s 100 ft. down a pretty steep slope.

      14. Stan

        sorry but there are many problems to their “solution” for water as even a simple break down of their automobile brings their water runs to a halt. They are simply to dependent on getting to town and back.

      15. rick

        what a waste of an article

      16. Plan twice, prep once

        Interesting story out of New Delhi, India. In a conflict between Hindu castes one cast sabotaged the main water canal that supplies water to the city. Millions are now without water. Repairs are expected to take days.

        The government is running tankers of water into the city, but supplies are limited. This will be an interesting one to watch, pass the popcorn!

        • Philosopher

          PTPO: I read about that too. Of course, silence about it in the MSM.

          From the news and video I have seen coming out of India it looks like a complete shithole. There is no way I will ever visit India. Ever.

          Open defecation, public rapes, and the bloggers that have been beheaded along with local villagers that are lynched or burned to death because they have been accused of witchcraft make it very clear that India is out of control. Most of the articles I have read about India I read on the Drudge Report. Too bad the people in BLM haven’t read those articles, they might decided to shut up and quit whining about how badly they are treated in the USSA.

        • Plan twice, prep once

          The Indian army has taken control of the water canal that supplies water to Delhi.

          19 people have already died in the riots.

      17. Enemy of the State

        I hope to be testing a ground water source that is only about 11 to 12 feet under ground
        It’s in a sandy lomey soil area
        Already have an access to that depth and have a steady stream of water coming thru the substrate
        Hope it ends up good right out of the source , or at least treatable with minimum of purification efforts
        This will bring my non civil water sources to 2 in my area if ever needed

        • Genius

          EOS, The thing I worry about where I live normally is it is farmland. A lot of pesticides/herbicides/fertilizer. I use a zen water filter (had 2 berkeys but every filter failed) it is a lot cheaper than a berkey and is 2nd only to the berkey filters (before they fail). One thing that you can make to filter out a lot of chemical shit is get a 1 inch tube about 18 inches long and fill it with activated charcoal (cheap on ebay) and run water through that before filling your tabletop filter.

          • Genius

            Water filter test results…

            ht tp://www.naturalnews.com/047620_water_filter_lab_tests_arsenic_removal.html

            • Dave in idaho

              Home depot sells a cheap water test kit that also tests for nitrates. This should help you with the shallow well in a farmland area. under 10$.

              • Rebecca

                Thanks Dave

          • Rebecca

            Genius
            I wrote this down too. I’ll let you know. Thank you for so much information that I seriously need.

            • Genius

              Reb, your so very welcome. I hate to see people make mistakes when I have learned them for myself. Read the comments on amazon for berkey filters, there are hundreds of people with the same issue. It is dispicable that they continue to ignore this problem and sell junk that you will never know (it starts slowly) that your water is contaminated and not filtered at all till you see it fookin pouring out the bottom. DO NOT bet your life on a berkey! Ceramic filters are great combined with charcoal and silver impregnated. If I had the bux I could design a filter that would rock them all. Just remember, charcoal for chemicals and chlorine, ceramic for pathogens, silver for bacteria and viruses. Most stagnant water can be sterilized by just boiling it first. A simple tube with sand and another with charcoal will clean it up to drinkable levels. Put it in a container overnight to let any sediment settle then rack it like wine. 🙂

              • Rebecca

                Genius,
                I just ordered a zenith filter for my ceramic holder that I use with 5 gallon bottles. I will order activated charcoal for the prefilter too. Even these two steps help. Water is hardest for me because it always seems to involve mechanical and plumbing. I have figured a lot out for my place, but water is the hardest. Really, buckets from a creek is my level. No creek, dang.

              • Dave in idaho

                You can get a whole house ceramic filter on line for about 150$ plus a spare filter for another 50$. that should last you a whole year if you pre filter or “settle out” the solids and turbidity. 02….sprungl is getting old….I wonder who will take his place…a jackboot or oath keeper?

          • Enemy of the State

            I’m lucky that the ground has never been worked or farmed in this area
            So I hope for a good chance of decent water
            Although I’m aware that a source not directly where I’m at could foul up this source
            Currently I have a piped field at a 12 foot depth
            That brings to a 18″ basin to which I can pump it out every now and than when it fills up
            Looks like cool , clear water with no foul odor
            All I need is a reliable test
            When I make my next hike I’ll gather a jar full and see
            This is just a recent discovery that turned into a pretty good sized project
            But will be well worth it if it’s ever needed

            I always treat an unknown water source as suspect
            It’s getting to the point anymore that we should even suspect our city sourced water and it’s systems
            That’s one of my main reasons for trying this

            • Genius

              EOTS, Just run it through your still after adding some yeast and sugar! Guaranteed to be sterile 😛

              • Enemy of the State

                lol no kidding, or at least light you up

      18. Steve

        I’m having trouble believing the article or the comments. Yes, all of your methods may work for now, but do I have to remind you that this site is geared for when TSHTF?

        If the distribution systems to the stores are down, or if an EMP were to take out our electronics, virtually none of these methods will work.

        Best bet is to get a well drilled as soon as possible, then have a hand pump for backup for when the power goes down.

        • Rebecca

          Hi Steve,
          I understand your concern, but I think Genius’ set up would work for my small u partially underground house. I plan to utilize rainwater collection, and could use this to add outside water to my cistern while water is readily available… or from the collection from an outbuilding or other source. You took it all a bit more literal than I did. But a water transfer can come from many sources. Genius has set his up to make water transfer easy. I can use his ideas.

        • Rebecca

          Steve and Kulafarmer,
          Of course a well is optimal, but I don’t have that option, it is now illegal here. I sure want rainwater collection in before it is illegal here like it is in Colorado.
          Kulafarmer… What about adding Geniuses rainwater catchment well added to the underground greenhouse idea? Seems like it would fit right in. The house and greenhouse would go along way to giving me water security, with no freezing and the ability to add water from outside.

          • Genius

            Reb, If you are going to add rainwater to the cistern be sure to filter ALL your drinking water. Rainwater is fairly dirty, I would use the zen filter as it has ceramic, charcoal, silver plus mineralizes it and alkalizes it. Go to ebay and search zen water filter you will be impressed!

          • Philosopher

            Where do you live that is supposedly illegal to drill a well? If you have the money you can drill a well.

            Once again I think you are full of shit. Living in an RV parked in some RV camp is my best guess for your living situation. Not surprised everything you say doesn’t add up.

            • Leonard

              If Rebecca lives in NM, it’s not that drilling a well is illegal (it does require permits), the problem is the depth to which you have to drill, and the unpredictability of the quality and/or the lifespan of the well. A lot of people have spent tens of thousands of dollars drilling wells to have them go dry in a year or less.

              • Rebecca

                Leonard
                It is illegal to drill a well where I am, I am not allowed a permit because I am on community water.

                • Leonard

                  I stand corrected. I assume you live in the East Mountains, or some similar environs. I’m told the King family (Bruce King, et al) own ALL of the water rights from Moriarty to the Texas border.

                  • Rebecca

                    Leonard
                    It’s a sad state of affairs… are we neighbors, perchance?

          • Steve

            Rebecca, the governments – at every level – are doing all they can to make us more and more dependent on them. You are right to be concerned that collecting rain water may soon There are several local governments that lay claim to rain water, as I’m sure you already know.

            My primary reply concerning doing what is necessary to drill a well was for those who are driving elsewhere and buying water. When TSHTF, that will not be an option.

            • Rebecca

              Steve, I hear ya.

      19. Seasoned_Citizen

        Water storage? whatever you do, DO NOT use old one gallon plastic milk jugs. after about 6-9 months either the seams split or they just plain collapse. ask me how I knew (with about 200 in my basement) ugh!

        btw–plan for your family’s water use, BUT ALSO if you have critters like dogs, cats, horses (5-10 gal daily each!) don’t forget them as well.

        scope out areas where surface water can be obtained–like city parks, ponds, creeks, streams, lakes if you’re lucky! etc. THEN, get you some real good filtering equipment (Big Berkey if you have the coin) otherwise, make your own out of ceramic filters (not hard at all)

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1O9TgD7VK4

        • TheGuy

          5110 gallons off that filter??? For $30…

          Hey not bad. I can get behind that one. That seems very cost effective…

      20. Kulafarmer

        Wheres Rellik,,,
        We know about catchment dont we,,,
        I grew up on rain catchment

      21. Rebecca

        Help…
        I saw online once where someone buried a long pipe and it picked up water and it poured clean water at the bottom. I can’t find anything on this to explain further on how it works, have any of you heard about or have seen this?

        • Genius

          I havent heard of it but anything with above ground air drawn through a cooled pipe under the ground draws out the moisture from the air in the form of condensation on the pipe walls. That is a cool theory and I can’t see why it wouldn’t work. You would need a long pipe with a all downhill slant, the moister the air, the more water. Damn, why didn’t I think of that lol 😛

          • Rebecca

            Genius, they actually had one! They mentioned it in a film clip on plants as they walked past it… blase like anyone had one… so I figured I could find it online… not. It had water coming out of it.
            Pretty sweet if it would work at my house, I have a hill and it could pour straight out by my house into a container.
            A screen at the top to keep critters out.

        • Enemy of the State

          Im basically working with something that sounds like this ..
          I have 4″ perforated PVC pipe buried at 12′ under ground in a 60’x60′ sq..dumping into an 18″ catch basin all buried under 12 foot of sandy soil

          I collect water all day every day 24-7-365, some times quite a lot of water , sometimes much slower

          I feel its a safe source , its filtered through a ton of sand and sub strait that is clean ..I should be testing its purity soon

          this system looks like it could provide me with more than enough water to take care of most all my needs post SHTF ..It took quite a bit of work so its not for a couch sitter or one afraid of getting dirty .. digging like that isnt for the faint of heart ..especially if you dont know what your return on labor will be ..im very happy with the outcome ..just have to see if its drinkable or what will have to be done so it will be

          • Rebecca

            EOTS
            good job and thanks for the information
            no, not for the faint of heart, bit doable. I wonder if I could loop this around my existing dug out portion before I put my house in and fill around with sand. It would french drain the house while providing water. Even if it weren’t perfect water, it would do laundry and such. Mine would be about 8 feet unless I dig it out more, I am right on rock though. What did you use to dig? Hiring machinery is announcing in the newspaper. I have about 36×36, discounting 18×60 for the trailerstead, at least part of which is going to be a sunken greenhouse and solar still. If I dig that in behind and around the house location this summer before the house is built, even easier (than 60x60x12). If I add to the greenhouse then that would come out downhill.

            one reason I can grow is that water moves down my hill and soaks this soil before moving to the Rio Grande.

            What about dropping it into a shallowl gully that is about 200 feet long

            • Rebecca

              Eots

              The gully is at most 2 feet deep, but drains a pretty large area from top down.

              I am getting awesome ideas, thanks to all.

            • fishandmud

              Rebecca : If you have all of that moisture in your ground, you can install a surface water well and pump it with a pitcher pump. Also, if you are building a house or having one built, install the well in your kitchen, or a corner of the house. That way, you do not have to go outside to get your water, and it will not freeze.

              • Rebecca

                Fish and mud
                Wells are illegal at this time, but I will look up surface water wells because I am not sure what that is.

                • Archivist

                  What he’s referring to is a shallow well, up to about 30 feet deep. If a well is too deep, a pitcher pump can’t pull up the water.

                  BTW, you can have a well regardless of rules by sinking one yourself inside a greenhouse or other outbuilding so that no one knows about it. There are Youtube videos about drilling your own well.

                  You might want to check the fine print in your local laws. In some cities and counties, they will allow you to have a well as long as you are using it for your garden and don’t hook it up to your house. They don’t want you to possibly contaminate the municipal water supply. You can keep the municipal supply, but switch to using only water from the well after SHTF.

                  • Rebecca

                    Hi archivist
                    Okay, maybe I can do that. They say no wells because we are depleting the groundwater… and no watering from our community water supply for gardens for the same reason. A lot of people are moving in with fancy houses and stressing water supplies. I am going with native edibles and landrace crops, so that will work, and hugelkultur. Now I am retired and don’t have to be close to work, I may sell and find something else. Will have to see how it works out.

                • fishandmud

                  Rebecca : Archivist is right about the well. Look up above, I posted what it was and how to install it. You could probably install it with a garden hose. He is also right, a lot of municipalities allow irrigation wells and most of those are surface water wells.
                  The other thing is if you install it in the middle of the night, or while the neighbors are away, or out of sight of the busy bodies, who would know??? OPSEC, OPSEC, OPSEC.

                  • Rebecca

                    Fish and mud
                    Opsec is if I can do it by myself out of sight of others! I will check out your comment above. Even my raised beds are out of sight of the road, but Google can see them. I do my best to be discrete about everything.

                • Dave in idaho

                  Most states, a hand dug well under 19 feet is still legal. You could hire a Backhoe to dig you a 19 foot leach hole for “drainage”. I doubt that you have water at that level where you are at. Go to the well drillers logs for you state and look at the well reports in your area. It will show depth, static water level and type of soil drilled through. If you have cobble….forget about any of the digging crap you have posted…unless you are rich or have a sugar daddy.

                  • Dave in idaho

                    Buy a few large poly underground cisterns or poly tanks under your house/cabin and put steel roofs on all your out buildings with good gutters. If you have cobble, granite or shale soil, you had better own a back hoe with a rock bucket or breaker point attachment.

                  • Rebecca

                    Dave,
                    Not rich and no sugar daddy! Unless otherwise noted, I am by myself… but if the family shows up we are talking teotwawki. I can collect water for me, but not for 10! Water is very deep here and wells are now prohibited. At least I live in the mountains and am not under 7 inches of rain per year like Albuquerque Phoenix Tucson… average 16 inches. Also sitting on solid rock except for a small area.

                    • Dave in idaho

                      You have only 2 options. Rain catchment with a couple of cisterns and gray water collection to water your trees. There are a few things that you must do for gray water. use bath and laundry water only. collect it in a 55 gal barrel. Use gravity feed/effluent only.(no power when tshtf) Do not store gray water over 24 hour period, as it will promote alge/hydrogen sulfide and stink. Have a way to divert it during dormant season as to prevent root rot on your trees. Do not water a vegetable garden with plants that are eaten fresh without cooking or washing thoroughly. do not use roll black perforated drain pipe as it will clog up over time. hard pipe to a sump or upside down bucket with drainage rock a few feed deep under it near your fruit trees and let the soil filter any coliform and impurities. Any questions you have when installing it, you can email me direct. I have the state certs, fresh water distribution 2, fresh water treatment 2, and wastewater 1, but they are expired as Im retired.

                    • Rebecca

                      Hi Dave
                      Thank you for so much information. I copied it into my notebook.
                      To lower my water needs I am building hugelkultur beds to hold moisture. I am also working with low water landrace plants. Plus, I am adding native edibles. I do have fruit trees, which will need water. One nice thing, I get “monsoons” during growing season… meaning a bit extra rain. I can divert bath and laundry water, and help with the trees.
                      I planted native elderberries as a windbreak and for fruit… no extra water.
                      I am now retired, so have more time to work on my projects!
                      When I am ready to start I will contact you, and I appreciate your information and offer. Thank you.
                      Rebecca

      22. Philosopher

        Link to the best possible app / site I have read about in ages: http://www.ripenear.me

        Thanks to the Corbett Report via SGTReport.

        Great site where you can list produce / food for sale / trade / barter that you grow or that you know is grown in a public space.

        Pass it forward!

      23. Rebecca

        Ed,
        I wrote that down too. I can try that one as soon as I get a sheet of plastic for it. Does it have to be in sunshine? Does it condense underneath the plastic? Should the plastic be clear or black?

        • Genius

          Reb, plastic sheeting disindegrates very fast in the sun. It is ok for bugout stuff but long term it is not feesable. You will save a lot of money and work if you are making a permanent solar still by using fiberglass. Plastic sheeting can start degrading in as fast as 6 months depending where you live. Spend the $ and rest easy!

          • Rebecca

            Genius
            okay
            I am finally seeing that I can work the water issue out.

      24. Asshat

        Shit the water that comes out of my faucet is just as good as bottled. I don’t need to buy bottled but I keep a supply on hand for emergencys. The best option is to collect it. Once it hits the ground it has picked up compntaminants. I got a few secret sources for water in my area. I don’t tell anyone around here about it either. I invested in a katadyn pocket and picked up the carbon filter for it. It wasn’t cheap but it’s the best around and portable too. Military and relief groups use it in third world countries and swear by it. Swiss made high quality. When your family needs potable water you don’t wanna take chances on cheap crap. Buy a good filter a berkey or whatever. This is one area you don’t wanna cut corners. You might be forced to filter dirty water. Keep a supply of salt too you need salt.

      25. TheGuy

        Here is a really quick half assed solution. Of course then again I got most of this stuff for free so payback period may be an issue. However, this is something you can do today right now to save on water use and sewage charges.

        Get one of these:
        http://www.amazon.com/Evolve-Showerheads-SS-1002CP-SB-Water-Saving-Shower-Head/dp/B0017YXIKC

        What this does: You turn on the shower and go away. When the water gets hot it shuts it off. You pull the little cord when you get in, water comes back on, it’s hot.

        Now… you are chucking maybe 3 gallons down the drain waiting on it. However yeah I did the payback calculations on both a Grunfos recirculator and a tankless water heater local to the shower… never pays back. This does. I forget the number as like I said, I got mine free, but it was under 3 years. I think it was under 2.

        So here you are, not wasting the hot. But you chucked 2.5 gallons down the drain…

        No problem. Get one of these:

        http://www.homedepot.com/p/Delta-Shower-Arm-Diverter-for-Handshower-in-Chrome-U4922-PK/203124751

        It screws onto the shower arm, the shower thing goes on one side, put a hose on the other port.

        Switch it over to hose during the heat up period, hose goes in a bucket.

        Blam free washing machine water. Well, not “free” but you were gonna lose it anyway. Might as well use it.

        This is not any kind of a “survival” mod, I get that. It’s a “lower your water bill right now” mod. As I said, the recirculator never paid back, given present water rates. This does.

        “Layoff” type survival, my solution is old 2 liter soda bottles, a backpack, and any public park or beach with a water spigot…

        ACTUAL survival… shit I dunno. Same soda bottles, a home made solar still, and the ocean / rain… should actually work… not sure you can carry enough though.

      26. Sandy

        My question: being I’m just learning…and doing lots of research too.. riddle me this…is there a link or a page any of you use to reference to for “HELP me learn to” Like how does a person clean their cisterns, we have 2 attached to our home, not in use and I would love to learn how to hook them back up with out letting my local government know that I’m doing it. They were dismantled back in the late 80’s and are still able to be used, I just don’t have the 4K to pay someone to come do the the deed of cleaning them, and putting a pump back down in them and hooking the drains back up to roof…I’m sure it can be done for much cheaper if we do it on our own. But I’ve not found any pages to walk ya through something other than YouTube. I see lots of comments on what everyone is going to do when SHTF…but I don’t want to wait till that happens lol…I want to be ready to go and have my problems now…not be problems when the fan gets turned on…. 🙂 thanks everyone….love this page by the way…y’all are so smart and insightful I really love reading your comments and leaning from them.

        • Archivist

          Here is a 4-page fact sheet on cistern cleaning:

          ht tp://www.suncountry.sk.ca/gsCMSDisplayPluginFile/show/id/379/menu_id/88/lang_type/en_US/page_type/service/page_id/18

          (copy address and delete the space in http)

          I use Startpage for searches instead of Google.

          Google stores your information so the government can get it. They also use your information to target you for ads. The reason they say they store your information is so that they can personalize your searches. In other words, Google tries to be helpful by prioritizing your searches based on past searches. I don’t like that. I want my searches to stand alone.

          Startpage doesn’t store your searches. They use Google for searching, but all Google sees is Startpage doing millions of searches per day. Your search results are prioritized based on the aggregate of all the Startpage searches instead of just on yours. I think it gives me results closer to what I want.

          • Sandy

            Thank you….I will deft. give that a shot! 🙂

      27. Many happy returns

        This isn’t living off grid. This is camping. Off grid living requires one to have the ability to obtain water without a hose and local city-supplied water dispensing system.

      28. Observer

        Drink your enemies blood after running it through a Berkey filter!

        • Enemy of the State

          naahhh thats fine , I’ll just let it run out..never know whats in it that a well meaning filter just cant scrub out

      29. Babycatcher55

        This concept of water catchment is interesting, as I’m diggling a way to make a catchment system to water the chickens with. I will collect and filter the water from the chicken house roof. Will do the same with the donkey’s shed,12×20, whenever it gets built. Just have to ensure that he cannot use the downspout as a scratching post, as he is wont to do.

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