Monday, January 28, 2013

Hauling Water

I really think that everyone should have to live with a cistern at some point in their lives.  When you have to haul your water, every drop becomes precious.  No more 15 minute showers or running through sprinklers. Having to haul water for the garden, animals, and our use, has made me quite the water conservationist. 

We get our water from a public water supply about 7 miles up the road.  I am thinking we pay about $3.00 per 200 gallons.  Our cistern holds 1200 gallons.  If we are extremely frugal, we can make this last about a month.  But I like showers on a regular basis, and being able to do my dishes more than once a day, so we get a load of 400 gallons twice a week. 

The tank in the truck gets emptied into a pipe that runs into the concrete cistern.  In the photo below, you can see a concrete lid.  We can open this if we need to access the inside of the cistern.  Before we moved in, we had it professionally cleaned.  That guy was obviously NOT claustrophobic.  I would have probably had a panic attack being down there. 

Having a cistern has some pros and cons.  I like that I have a months supply of clean water.  Even without electricity we have a hand pump that we can install if need be.  Cons, well, you only have a months supply of water.  Our long term plans include a well, but until then this is what we've got.  Probably about half of the homes in our area have to haul water.  We estimate that we will have to drill down about 500 to 700 feet to get to water.  At the cost of over $30 a foot to drill, we have to do some saving first.

I am interested to see how many extra trips we have to make once the garden gets into full swing.  Rain barrels might have to happen sooner rather than later.


  1. oh...well, rain barrels would be coming in handy now, wouldn't they?
    I mean precipitation is precipitation, right?
    We have 5 gallon buckets that we use to capture water. I want a rain barrel, I've seen them at Tractor Supply. I was thinking of making some...but maybe in the future. We've had lots of rain. It makes me think...we could be capturing this water to use for the dogs, and the chickens.

    It's a work in progress...isn't it?
    Well, it is for us! LOL...
    take care. So glad I don't have to haul water.

  2. Wow! Where I'm from, you don't have to go deep to hit water, but it doesn't taste very good. We put the money into a good water purifying system rather than going deep. Do you have a way to save your gray water? Water from dishwashing or bathing can be re-used to water the garden and yard.

  3. Unfortunately for us digging a well will probably never be an option. We have a cistern system that is fed by a spring and holds 550 gallons and we currently have a gas powered pump to bring it 500' up a hill to the house. Shower? Not since we moved in October. With 5 females with waist length hair washing it is quite a job. We usually pump water once a day. We also have a 150gal and two 55gal at the house we work on keeping filled when we have the pump running in case we can't pump for some reason. (Last week everything was frozen for 3 days! We had to carry water up from the spring in buckets.) Last fall it would fill a gallon jug in 5 minutes. We'll really have to be conservative come summer. And rain barrels are great. Stock tanks work well also. They've been a lifesaver around here. It's great that you have an in ground cistern that holds so much.


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