Monday, March 15, 2010

Running Water On The Homestead

Hobo is trying to get a closer shot at my chickadees!

We have been seeing signs of an early spring here. Usually March is not a really nice month though this year it started out very nice. The last few days we have had some high winds. Even blew down a tree in our back yard that gave us some nice firewood. Still waiting for my first robin to show up. Our chickadees have been staying out in the woods more now, though this morning they were back on my deck. In the spring they move into the forest and the robins and other birds arrive from the trip down south to take over our yard and garden area. Our favorite time of the year is listening to them sing as they build their nests and care for their babies. My husband loves to wake up in the morning to their loud songs and listening to them sing again in the evening.

Someone recently sent me a message wanting to know how to prepare yourself for living off-the-grid without running water. For us, it was like we had gone on a vacation and since it was summer we adjusted ourselves to it gradually. At that time we brought in covered containers of water in from the well. They were on the floor in the kitchen and we used a dipper to dip them out. If we needed hot water I had to heat it on the propane cooking range that was in the house when we bought it. I have since replaced that stove.

The only way to adjust to not having running water in your house is to set up all the things in place to help it run smoothly without running water. Food grade water containers would be a good start. Several large stock pots that will sit on your stove so you can heat them. If you do not have a sink with drains it will be harder to wash the dishes. In the beginning I used two plastic dishpans on the table. Make sure your dishpans are the kind of plastic that can handle hot water.

Presently in our bathroom we have one of those water bottle things with a spout at the bottom, that sits on a wooden rack with a container on the floor under it to catch water dripped. You can use this to get water quickly in the bathroom or to wash your hands. Though you would have to put the water in a container and take it to the tub to do that due to the drain. Our bath tub has drains and that makes it easy to use for baths or showers. We can take showers with a pot of water sitting on the floor of the tub and pour the water over you. Or our summer option is warming six 2 liter soda bottles that sit out in the sun all day. Nice and warm in the afternoon and just right for a shower. Building a outside shower would be a nice addition to any homestead.

As far as, running is not running water. The only way you can have that is if you bring it into your house as far as the plumbing is concerned. I am used to living without now, and could live like this the rest of my life if I had to.....but hopefully we will have running water within the next year or so. You will remember it often if you cannot handle carrying pails of water in. One thing it will do is teach you real fast how to conserve water. We are very conservative of our water consumption. I plan on staying that way even after I have it in my house.

Hope this helps a bit. I have written past blogs about other ways in which water use is affected on the homestead. Here is a link to one of my Face Book friends who built an awesome outside shower: Outside Shower Check it out and it has nothing to do with selling anything. A homesteader with a great idea and building skills. 
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