Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Preparedness: Water


Water is the number 1 necessity of life so it's important to have a good supply or readily available source. I have off and on stored water for years and one thing on our 'to do' list for the homestead is an underground cistern to store water. Instead of the usual large plastic tanks though, we've been looking into investing in a large culvert and burying it in the ground as a storage tank.

On our property we have a few cisterns and wells already in place. My plan this summer is to have the water tested. Also on my to purchase list is a new hand pump or replacement parts for our existing hand well as it is broken (notice the missing handle above...).

In addition to these existing promising storage areas, I also store water in the basement in heavy plastic vinegar bottles. In fact, it's time to empty out the water and refill with fresh so I'll use the water to water plants around the house until they are all refilled. I meant to do this last summer for the garden but it slipped my mind...These count mostly towards our 72 hour stash of water. Unfortunately, this water ONLY covers for the members in our house and not our livestock. I am still working on a system for them. On our homestead, we have 2 small ponds that contain a bit of water storage. We have talked of enlarging the pond in the pasture to provide more water. We also have an old bathtub out there that we hope to convert into a water trough. Lots of plans around here but so little time to actually implement them.

Other plans on the homestead include a solar shower for bathing during warmer months as well as a solar system or wood burning system to heat water for the boiler.

In addition to storing water, it's good to store ways to purify the water, especially if you have open sources that can become polluted. We have ways to purify on hand:

~micropur tablets
~various water filters (big berkey, seychelle water bottles, aquamira water straw, aquamira frontier pro water filter)
~bleach
~iodine
~boiling

It's good to have several ways to purify on hand, that way you can cross purify if necessary.

Do you store water? If so, what do you store it in? Do you have special considerations such as animals? How do you plan to provide water for them? Do you store methods of purifying water as well? What types of purification do you prefer? Do you take into consideration other water needs such as heating for bathing or household heat?

3 comments:

Stephany said...

I've been scavenging the wine bottles from everyone I can and making them save their wine corks for me. I've been using the smaller bottles to store tinctures.

The plan is to sterilize the wine corks and store water in the glass jugs. That way, I can take them to SCA stuff as water storage as well.

Gina said...

Your pond is beautiful! I have a (probably pipedream) plan to finish ours this summer on my weekends home. We had a bit of heavy snow/rain in the early winter and it conveniently took out a couple trees near where we started it. I need to also empty my water storage bottles and refill (sadly, not done at all in about 1.5 years). I love these posts you are doing (they are inspiring me to get back up on the self-sufficiency horse)

tansy said...

stephany - i never thought of using wine bottles, i have a lot saved up for mead making. i might have to use some, i still have the corks for them too.

gina - some of the dates on my water are 4/06. yikes! so, i've been trying to swap out 1 a day, using up the water for the pot on the stove and watering plants then washing and refilling them.

have you considered getting a wwoofer to help you around the farm? we've had great luck (for the most part) with wwoofers.

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