Saturday, August 18, 2012

Review of Progress: Water

How prepared am I?  How much have I improved over the past two years?  Have you done any type of assessment on how much you have improved or do you still think you are hopelessly failing at your preparations?  Me?  I’m thanking God that I’ve had the last two years to prepare and that time and supplies are still available, although we never know for how much longer.

In order for me to figure out just how far I’ve come, or where I’m still lacking, I’ve decided to go down Rawles “List of Lists” from How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It.  Try it yourself.  But, don’t go through the entire list in one day.  If you do and you aren’t completely prepared, and I’m not sure anyone will ever be, you may get discouraged. 

Water List:
  1. Downspout conversion and water barrels
  2. Buckets or things to capture and hold water
  3. A cart to move your water from the pond, holding area, etc. to where you need it.  Proper tires on the cart so they don’t go flat.
  4. Water treatment system. Clorox and Big Berky
  5. Extra bottles of Clorox to barter
  6. Not on this list but probably on another list: Sources of water other than the city water.
How’m (bet you haven’t seen that contraction in a while) I doing?
My house first:
  1. Don’t have any downspouts or rain barrels.  They cost money.  I do have baby pools that I can move to where the water pours off the roof.  We also have a 650 gallon stock tank and 3-150 gallon stock tanks. 
  2. Have plenty of two gallon and five gallon buckets.  Two gallons are about all the grandkids can hold. 
  3. I have a four-wheeled furniture mover dolly which works great on cement.  It would not do well transporting water from the closest pond ¼ mile away back here to the house.  I have a nice two-wheeled dolly that is perfect for hauling trash cans.  I could strap a 20 gallon trash can to it and easily haul that back and forth from the neighbor’s pond.  I’d use the 2 gallon buckets to fill it.  I sure would like a heavy duty garden cart like they use at the nursery.  Again, that costs money.
  4. I have Clorox.  I don’t have a Big Berky. 
  5. I have extra bottles of Clorox.
  6. Best of all, we have a well and I have a hand pump.  It’s a crappy hand pump but it will work.  The dream is to run the well on solar rather than electricity and to put in a storage tank that is tall and would build enough pressure to easily run the hoses and the house.  The other dream is to buy or make a really good hand pump. 
Bug-out place:
  1. No rain barrels or water tanks.
  2. It has a well but it’s about 100 feet lower in elevation than the house.  It has a small pressure tank and pumps uphill.  That’s just the opposite of what I want.
  3. There is a spring on the adjacent property.  I may be able to clean that up and run a pipe.  Who has time for this?  Certainly not me.
  4. The creek ½ mile away is almost dry.  In the three years I’ve owned this place it’s never gone dry.  The pond, also ½ mile away barely has any water, but the deer are congregating there…dinner!
  5. I’d have to transport everything from my house to the Bug-out place.  That’s not a good solution.
  6. Mrs. Bug-out renter has about 100 one-gallon bottles of water stored.  Unfortunately they are all in old milk bottles.  At least it’s water.

My conclusions on the water list.  I could rig up a good hand pump for not too much money.  If I spent $1,000 I could probably have convenience along with being water independent – at least at the main house.  But overall, water isn’t a big issue and I’m ok here if I never did anything else about water.  Bug-out place?  It would be a problem but since we don’t have lots of garden to water and it would be for individual use, it’s not as bad as I first thought.  Of course, it would need to get set up for a big garden and then the water would become an issue…I’m getting a headache!


  1. Want to save a few hundred $$ on a berkey-like filter system using your own food grade buckets? Check out this info:

    I am a user of the product -- no financial gain in it for me, other than saving the $$.

    You can do a lot at the B-OP for much less than $1K, for sure. We hung 20 feet of plastic gutter to a 200 gal freeze-proof rain barrel for about $350. The 'good' pump from Lehmanns is about 50 bucks, so even if you can't pump it up hill in SHTF, you can have it available to haul. There may be other engineered solutions you can 'copy' for a lower cost than buying.

    Our back up is the $50 pump and the 3d back up is the PVC-pipe well bucket. Rain barrels are for seasonal supplements, because our rain is very seasonal. We wait to do much gardening until after the summer rain starts and then use a hose from the barrel for dry days. Not easy but it will work to some extent.

  2. I envy you having a well. I have rain barrels but with the drought this summer they were useless.

    1. Where we live 12 inches of rain in a year is a lot. During the summer, when we need it to water everything we may get 1/2 inch total. The rest comes during winter. I wish we lived in an area with summer rains...and a well!