When we moved to the Northwest we got to experience being completely off-grid. Not by choice mind you… In the Northwest it rains. It rains a lot. We also have trees, lots and lots of trees. Trees plus massive amounts of water plus wind equal downed power lines. Compound that with the fact that we live in the boondocks and the power lines run through thousands upon thousands of acres of forested area.  Suffice it to say power outages are frequent and long.

At first you only think of the inconvenience, but then you realize the benefit of this experience. The benefit is that you gain perspective and understand your priorities very quickly. You realize that it isn’t your computer, your lights or even your air conditioner that you miss most.  You miss running water.Water

Water may not be as appealing as planning for shelter or food but it is your first priority. The only other subject which is more important, at times, is security. Water is life. On your homestead you need to figure out how to:

  1. Collect Water
  2. Filter Water
  3. Clean Water
  4. Store Water
  5. Distribute Water
  6. Heat Water

all without the aid of electricity.  Not all solutions will work for you. You need to consider your property, rainfall in your area, waterfowl migration, bodies of water, groundwater – shallow and deep, droughts, seasons, delivery and disbursement systems, small-scale filtering and large-scale filtering options, cleaning possibilities all without the aid of electricity.

Activated-Charcoal To be on the safe side come up with three different sources of water: cistern for rainwater catchment, body of water and groundwater. Consider your area. Is groundwater far beneath the soil? Consider a deep well hand pump which can pressurize a water tank. Does it only rain during the rainy season once per year? If so, consider a very large cistern. Are wild waterfowl migrating along the path of your body of water? Consider an activated charcoal filtration system. What about water for your livestock and to irrigate your crops or garden?  All important questions for you to answer.  We will review over some of your options and would love to hear back from you as to some of your solutions.

12 thoughts on “Priorities

  1. This is one we haven’t solved yet. We have some water stored, 2 creeks on the property and a couple of gravity filters, but haven’t yet come up with an effective way to get water from the creeks to the house. Keep up the great work, love your posts!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You’re right; water is a real issue. We were blessed to find property which already had a well, but not a great producing well. We purchased a 1500 gallon concrete cistern buried it and and fill it with water from the low producing well using an AC pump and run our domestic house water from the cistern using a DC pump. Adding a cistern to the situation was far cheaper than digging another well or compromising the one we had. We also added another concrete gray water cistern to collect the gray water from the house to use in the orchard to save more fresh water for the garden. Both our cisterns are plumbed to accept rain water. I just haven’t hooked up the gutter system yet.

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  3. Homestead Downunder

    We are lucky to have a tapped artesian well in our back garden, although this all but dries up in the summer months. We haven’t tried living ‘off grid’ but I would certainly like to unplug a few things this coming season – off to check out The Whitney family’s story now 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. It’s an interesting thing living without running water. I enjoyed your post on it, you had good ideas about what should be thought of when without running water. My husband, I and my son lived off grid just last summer, it was by choice, but more because we didn’t have the money to get electric to our property. We didn’t have a well either, so we hauled in our water from a local church, we bought food grade barrels with a water spigot, one barrel for hauling and one for staying at the property, we use the truck battery to run a little 12 volt water pump. it worked well. For long term we would have had to get more barrels and then think about bigger storage and freezing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Everyone… We need to give Whitney and her family a round of applause!!! Seriously! Hauling water…. This is tough stuff. I bet you all have some serious muscles! Good ideas too… I will start to post some cistern ideas.

      Liked by 1 person

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