Jackalope a good friend, avid prepardeness professor, and amateur radio operator posted ‘Harvesting Your Own Water” on Unchainedpreppers.com Wednesday. I thought it was worth sharing with the American Partisan readers. So, I checked with him to see if it was okay to post here on AP. He graciously said, “Post it”. Sit back and enjoy!
We have a couple of seasonal streams which bisect and border our property. We also have a spring fed pond, which harbors our many goldfish. Even with these two potential sources, we continued to consider additional water sources. One day during this past winter, my four-legged faithful companion and I happened upon a seep, which was bubbling out of the ground. Further examination revealed a good flow which ultimately drained into one of our little creeks.
I did a substantial amount of research regarding how develop a seep into a viable water source. There’s lots of information regarding developing springs, but very little about seeps. I finally found a website of a company that manufactures and sells equipment to develop seeps and springs.
Their website is: https://www.carolinawatertank.com/Default.asp Please note, I’m just a satisfied customer, and I have not received any kind of compensation from them. I purchased their water collection system, which is essentially a hard, durable plastic dam with a couple of bulkheads installed. I scooped out the area where the water was bubbling up, and then installed the dam. The site of the spring is a natural bowl lined with stones. The sides of the dam were abutted against stones, and then filled with clay to reduce leakage. The water collection pipe and the overflow pipes were then installed on the dam. The interior of the dam filled with washed gravel, and the outside of the dam was braced with gravel as well, with gravel ultimately filling the entire bowl, except a back flush pipe, which is occasionally used to add bleach to the water source.
There are two 1″ pipes passing through bulkheads in the dam. The lower pipe is the water source output, while the upper pipe is for overflow. In times of very high flow rates, the water will pass over the dam and through the gravel bed too. The gravel bed is then covered with plastic, and then a layer of soil, and grass seed is planted in the soil bed. The flow at this point is about 5 gallons per minute. Because of the topography, there isn’t much head, so I have the pipes simply draining into a small pool I’ve scooped out of the original seep stream bed. At some point, I’d like to do something more, but I haven’t decided what to do. I’m not sure if this is a year-round seep, so I don’t want to spend beaucoup bucks on a source with limited usage. So, I’m open to suggestions as to the best way to develop it. Right now, we simply put a bucket underneath the pipes and fill it up.
During the summer months we use a substantial amount of water due to our livestock and numerous gardens. Again, trying to avoid using the municipal water system, we decided to install a rainwater tank. My Dad gave me a couple of IBC tanks, which generally hold about 350 gallons of water, which is substantially more than a typical rainwater tank. 350 gallons of water weighs more than a ton!
We already had a gutter system, which collects water from over 700 square feet of roof area. We just needed to divert it into the tank. I constructed a pedestal to support the tank, using gravel and deck blocks for the foundation. The pedestal itself was constructed out of treated lumber, using 2×4’s and 4×4’s. I sourced a drain adapter spout from Amazon that allows you to connect a regular garden hose to the IBC tank drain. The tank itself has a shut off valve, and I added another one to the drain adapter, for extra insurance.
The tank is approximately 8 feet off the ground, and it’s situated adjacent to our back porch, so I can conveniently activate the valves by simply reaching through the porch railings. The proximity to the porch also allows me to add bleach or other disinfectants to the tank. I used a flexible downspout to divert the water directly into the tank. The gutter has a wire mesh filter to blocks large pieces of debris. At the top of the tank, a mosquito netting was installed, which will hopefully curtail the pests, and block smaller pieces of rood debris. I also installed a bulkhead near the top of the tank which will accommodate a garden hose, so the tank doesn’t overfill.
We’re not planning on using the rainwater for drinking water, but it does provide an alternate, if needed. We need to get the seep water tested at some point, but again it’s another alternative. It’s nice being water self-sufficient, if the need arises.
Jackalope retired last year from a great job that kept him in the wood of the Adirondack Mountains. He, his wife, and their menagerie of critters moved to Tennessee from northeast New York before the ink had dried on his retirement documents. He is an avid prepper, gardener, firearm enthusiast, amateur radio operator and general “do-it-all” kind of guy. You can catch Jackalope on the airwaves or over at Unchainedpreppers.com daily.