Water Supply

Discussion in 'Preparedness' started by NevadaBlue, Sep 9, 2018.

  1. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue Graybeard Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    I thought I would start documenting our backup water supply. We have our own well and of course, it is powered by the grid. I intend to install a transfer switch on the meter box so we can power the place with the generator, and a hand pump on the well possibly so we can get water in an extended power outage. For the in between time, say an outage of a few days to a month, we got a 3000 gallon storage tank recently. A few days ago, I leveled a spot for it and put it in place, just next to the well. Over the last couple of days, I got the fittings to allow me to put water in and take water out and installed them. Today I started filling the tank.

    Here is our VERY dry side yard. The tank is next to the well (in the red circle) so it will be easier to fill.

    26CB579E-4F2B-4166-BF90-11AF5427BDEF.jpeg

    I just noticed all the smoke in the background. Hot spots from the fire a week ago. Hmmm...

    Anyway, I want to install a freeze proof hydrant right next to the well. If I decide to go with a hand pump too, there will need to be a well house to cover the pressure tank. The pressure tank is currently in the well, but I will have it removed if we get a hand pump. Then there will be a large pressure tank in the well house.

    I put about 500 gallons of water in the tank today, just to double check for leaks. Filling will be done slowly, over the next week or so. Then to study the water transfer issue in the short term.
     
  2. PAcanis

    PAcanis Supporter Supporter

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    When you store water like that does it remain good to go? Do you have to treat it before you use it? Do you need to use it every now and then and replace with fresh to keep it "circulated"? I'm guessing those big plastic tanks are made to do this and made with food grade plastic?

    Inquiring minds want to know :)
     
  3. Usingmyrights

    Usingmyrights Supporter Supporter

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    Nice setup. Am I correct that the well now feeds the tank and the tank feeds everything else so that the water stays fresh?
     
  4. Pinelogcreek

    Pinelogcreek Supporter Supporter

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    https://www.amazon.com/Seaflo-Water...er+pump+self+priming&psc=1&smid=A3EBZ5HHZPL73

    This and the correct fittings will get pressurized water to your house just like normal. Use your car to power it for showers ect or with a 12v battery and a solar panel setup it will go indefinitely. Just set it up so it can be installed as necessary. Or do it the redneck way and connect it to a hose bib on the outside of the house.

    For mine I plan to use the well to top off a tank and a separate pump to pressurize the house. That keeps water in the tank constantly exchanged.
     
  5. PAcanis

    PAcanis Supporter Supporter

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    Ahh... so this is like a pressure tank? What some of us have in our basements (in a much smaller size)?
     
  6. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue Graybeard Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Yes, the tank is for drinking water, food grade...
    The water remains fine to use forever if you wish. I had the tank full at the last place for, hmmm... three or 4 years. We treated it periodically with a gallon of bleach. This is a backup, static supply. Drinking water from it will go through the Berkey.

    No, this is a static supply, for backup and fire fighting. It will be treated with bleach to keep algae from growing. The black tank should help with that too.

    At this point, the design of the system is still up in the air. I want to be able to get water out of the well, even if power isn’t available and the generator has no fuel, so a hand pump of some sort is the only real answer. A solar pump is OK, but then that electrical system must work. A hand pump can be pulled by hand and repaired and replaced without a lot of work.

    Current noodling includes some sort of DC pump I could run from my solar panels, not sure yet.

    No, this thing is not a pressure tank. It is only a storage tank. Water from it can be hand carried or pumped somehow into the house.

    I don’t want to include it in the daily-use system because the cold, fresh water from the well is just too wonderful to forgo. A simple glass of water from the tap is ambrosia.
    The big tank is just to insure that we can run the household in a semi-normal manner for as long as possible in the event of some sort of disaster.
     
  7. Pinelogcreek

    Pinelogcreek Supporter Supporter

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    Technically there is a good bit of head pressure in the tank you could use depending on the outlet height. I’m not the sharpest with the calculations but water at that height will move a good distance especially if it’s downhill.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2018
  8. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue Graybeard Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    The maximum head from the storage tank will be something less than 8’. I have yet to set up the transit out there and see exactly how much difference there is between the house and the tank. The house sits slightly (a few feet) higher than the base of the tank, so some gravity transfer could happen. That is to be taken into account for sure.
     
  9. Kinggoat

    Kinggoat Scout

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    Nice start @NevadaBlue . I have a 1500 gallon tank i picked up for $100 cause it had a crack on the top. I plan on using it to collect rain water for my country garden. I need to put gutters up on my old school house to collect the rain. Thank you for posting the link to that pump @Pinelogcreek .
     
  10. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue Graybeard Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Good for you @Kinggoat ! I like the rain catching idea. Before we moved from the old place, we had just finished the metal roof on the house and were considering setting up a catch system. Here is is too far to the tank. Unless some sort of disaster would drain the ground water, we should be OK here IF we design the system properly. It is a little over 100 feet to water so the lift won’t be difficult, but it will still be a lot of work.
    I have a Surflow pump similar to that one in the link above that may be a test case for a 12 volt pump. I move slow though...

    My thoughts for the DC pump are to use it as a ‘booster’ pump. It would pump from the holding tank, into the adjacent pressure tank which would be connected to the house. That way, the house works as ‘normal’.
     
  11. central joe

    central joe Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Your booster pump is a good idea, just use a backflow preventer to keep the pressure tank primed. Ain't no reason for you to be stinky this winter. joe
     
  12. blind & lost

    blind & lost Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Great idea and great view from your homestead.
     
  13. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue Graybeard Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    The view is amazing. I have to pinch myself... lucky to have this place.

    5BE955C1-9B17-4E7A-B42A-14D07FBC7AE9.jpeg
     
  14. gohammergo

    gohammergo I like sharp things.... Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Thanks for the posting. Nice to see what other folks do to keep ready for whatever might come along. :)
     
  15. racetrack

    racetrack Supporter Supporter

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    Is freeze damage not a concern there?
     
  16. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue Graybeard Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Freeze damage IS a concern. The tank itself is of little concern. Even the tank makers didn’t know if they would freeze or not. I had to test my theory myself. The tank is so large and the soil surface under it is so large that it doesn’t freeze. The heat from the earth keeps it above freezing. And, this one is black, so the water will be even warmer.
    The outlet piping does need to be protected, as does any other piping above the ground. The well uses a pitless adapter, so the pipe is underground from the well to the house. If I install an external pressure tank, it will have to be insulated if it is in the well house (to be built). If the pressure tank goes under the house, it will be OK without insulation.
     
  17. Redwalker

    Redwalker Supporter Supporter

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    That's a nice tank. I think you have enough thermal mass at 3k gallons not to fully freeze in our winters in Nevada. I have 2x 500 gallon black tanks for water storage that turn into big ice cubes. Im thinking of upgrading now. Thanks for your posts.
     
  18. racetrack

    racetrack Supporter Supporter

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    The best storage system for water I have is the well itself. Doesnt freeze or get stagnant. A backup power source for the well pump will allow the rest of the system to function without modification. Probably a little colder here though.
     
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  19. woodsmanjohn

    woodsmanjohn Supporter Supporter Bushclass II

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    Nice! that is a good addition, excellent as a backup supply. We have a spring on the property and were thinking about adding some 55-gallon food grade drums as a catchment system for our gutters. Also to feed the garden. It's on the list of thing to do, just haven't got around to it. Excellent post-Nevadablue. The place looks awesome too man, your right what a view, just gorgeous.
     
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  20. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue Graybeard Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    I ran a similar (3000 gallon but white plastic) tank for several winters in Midas at an elevation of 5700 feet. No freezing problems. I DID keep a 40 watt bulb in an insulated box around the outlet. That one had a 2” ball valve and piping sticking out a bit over a foot. I felt it would be smart to keep that warm. The tank itself is perfectly safe, in my experience. (We are at 5840’ elevation here)

    Yes, the well is a good storage, but essentially inaccessible in an emergency. And, I would be completely dependent on the 220 volt pump. I do not want that situation, which is what I hae now. One is none isn’t the plan. A hand pump plus the large storage will give me redundancy and the ability to feel more comfortable with staying put in an emergency.
     
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  21. Rarrapuda

    Rarrapuda Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Man, this is a great looking setup. I am really digging the entire thing. Please keep us posted when you do more work. personally, I would love to learn more about it all.
     
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  22. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue Graybeard Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    I’m glad folks are interested in this. I have been doing versions of this since the middle 70s. Even before I guess. My dad and I drilled our own irrigation well with a post hole digger in 57 and that worked so well (pun intended) we drilled others too. Shallow wells, those were, but the basics are the same. Find water and use it. :4:

    Wnen I get my fire trailer here, I will post pics of it too. It is a two axle trailer, with a 525 gallon tank on it. And, a 2” trash pump that can run a fire hose from a hydrant or from the tank or 4 garden hoses from the tank. It can draft from a pond or stream for refilling the tank too. Pretty neat actually. Also serves as a few hundred more gallons of water and as a way to drag water to the house if necessary, from outside sources.

    I invent work... :rolleyes:
     
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