Homesteading and Survivalism

Living a simple life

Tag: water well

Water Well Considerations For The Farm

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One of the big issues we are having to deal with is having a water well put in at the homestead. To have one professionally drilled is going to cost at least $5,000. That $5k number is a low ball estimate. If the driller has any issues then the price could easily go to $6,000 or $7,000.

Another option is to drill the well ourselves.

Then comes the question if we want a submersible pump, air pump, or some kind of lift pump that pulls the water to the surface.

Submersible pumps can be expensive, and they do not work without electricity.

Using air to pump water out of the well is cost effective, and it works without electricity. If you “had” to, a bicycle air pump could be used to push water out of the well, or even a 12 volt car/truck air pump. In a worse case situation use a 12 volt battery and a 12 volt air pump to pump water out of the well.

The typical water well that most people think of has lift limitations as in it can not lift water past a certain depth, and it does not work without electricity.

I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. My wife and I want to move in April 2013, but having a water well drilled could put us back another 5 – 6 months. So what do we do?

We improvise and overcome.

With help from www.drillyourownwell.com I think my wife and I are going to drill our own well to get us moved.

Here is the plan

Sink 3 inch PVC pipe down until we hit sandstone,

drop 1 1/4 inch well point to bottom of well (for outlet pipe),

back fill with gravel to create buffer between soil and well point,

build a well head for air input and water output,

install water storage tank next to well head,

use water pump to pump water to home.

When I was living in Orange Texas this was the setup my wifes grandfather was running, and it worked well.

The storage tank had a float to tell the air compressor when to come on. The compressor turned on, pushed water out of the well and into the storage tank. The water pump then pumped the water to the home.

We had two homes running off this system, and not a single time did the well go dry. the 250 gallon storage tank acted like a buffer between the homes and the water well.

Sink the well then build a storage building around the well head. The shed will contain and protect the air compressor and water pump from the elements. Install the storage tank outside the shed under a leanto.

Worse comes to worse, a pitcher pump would be installed on the well head. Since the well head will be inside a shed, we can pump water when the weather is bad.

Share your comments and suggestions.

Moving To The Homestead Part 1

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The time has come to move to a rural area, get the farm setup with a garden and livestock. My wife I currently live about 4 miles outside Jasper Texas. Its time to move ever further away from town.

With the way this nation is heading, families need to be looking at how they are going to afford to buy food and provide basic essentials for their families. One example, my wife and I buy canned refried beans to make homemade burritos with. In the past 2 years the price of the canned beans has gone up almost 20%. I bet your wages have not gone up 20% in that same amount of time. The price of ground meat has gotten terrible. Pork chops used to be cheap, and now they cost a pretty penny.

At 44 years old I am getting too old to go back to school to retrain for a new career. Instead of waiting until the last minute to make my retirement plans, I want to start 20 – 25 years ahead of time.

This morning my wife and I made a trip to the farm, took some measurements and talked about what we wanted to do.  The main things we wanted to focus on were shelter, food, water and sewage.  These are the basic essentials that anyone would need during a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI survival situation.

Farm diagram for Bug Out Location

Click the image to enlarge

On the left side of the property is a wilderness area owned by a local timber company. Due to the way the terrain is laid out, nobody will ever be able to build there.

Description of the above image

A – Fence line is not the actual property line; I wanted enough room to drive a truck or bushhog between the house and garden and the fence line. A basic my wife and I started with was 10 feet. This should give us enough room to drive all the way around the garden and house.

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Bug Out Location Water Well Plans Part 1

Bug Out Location Water Well Plans Part 1
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How safe is the water source at your Bug Out Location?  Currently, when we stay at the camp we have to either filter water from a nearby creek, or use water from a very old hand dug well.  The old well is becoming less and less reliable, so its time to drive a new well.

There is a saying I like to use – without safe drinking water, life as we know it can not exist.  A contaminated water source can wipe out a community in a matter of days, and that is just the way it is.

Water well diagram for the Bug Out Location

Water well diagram for the Bug Out Location

 

Here are the current plans

Use post hole digger to dig a hole around 3 feet deep.

Insert around an 8 inch PVC sleeve into the hole, sleeve will be around 4 feet long.  This gives us around 1 foot above ground.

Take a 4 inch piece of PVC pipe, notch the end so that the pipe has “teeth”.

Build a cap with 2 water inlets.

Attach water hoses to water source and to cap.

Take a 2×4, drill some holes so that a U-bolt will fit though the board.

Back truck up to well site and drop tailgate.

Attach the cap to the top of  the 4 inch pipe.

Stand on tailgate of truck, insert pipe into sleeve.

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Stockpiling Survival Gear at the Bug Out Location

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A few weeks ago my wife and I, and some of our friends, made a trip to the Bug Out Location for the weekend. Spending time at the BOL gives us a chance to test our survival plans, see what works, what does not work and what we need to change.

Every few months I make up a bucket of gear to bring to the Bug Out Location. Sometimes I bring tools, sometimes its flashlights, sometimes its first aid gear, chains for pulling logs,,, and so on.

I want to share with yall what I am putting together for the next load.

Trotline string – cost $4.97 for 580 feet, 235 pound tensile strength. I guess I could order some 550 cord, but that stuff cost around $8 for 100 feet. 550 cord might get added to another shipment.

We need some simple cord for tying stuff up. On the last trip to the camp, the chain that works the flap of the toilet broke. We needed some simple cord to make the flap of the toilet work. My buddy used the cord off my ear plugs to rig the toilet flap where it would work.

Nails – we are in serious need of nails at the camp. I am probably going to buy a tub of 10 penny and 12 penny nails. Not the small box of nails either, but rather a tub of nails.

Worse case situation, some kind of long term event happens, we need to build some kind of shed. Some of us chop a pine tree down, plit it into boards, but guess what, we do not have any nails.

While on the topic of nails, why not add in a couple of hammers and wedges?

Cigarette lighters – not for smoking, but for starting fires.

Even though I have around 2,000 matches at the camp, a lighter provides almost unlimited sparks. I picked up a 5 pack of large Bic lighters just to bring to the Bug Out Location.

First Aid – The never ending quest to have enough first aid items.  The dilemma I am caught in, do I stockpile isopropyl alcohol or some kind of clear whiskey? Isopropyl alcohol expires, whiskey (like vodka) never expires.

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Drinking water in an urban survival situation

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If the water went off tonight, what kind of plans do you have in place? As with everything else in my survival plans, water is broken down into 3 phases – short term, medium term, and long term solution.

Short Term – this is your bottled water. Most people have a couple of cases of bottled water laying around somewhere. On a trip to the grocery store most people might grab a case or two of bottled water to have around for guest or parties.

Some survivalist stockpile water in 35 or 55 gallon drums.

When the water goes out, the bottled and stockpiled water will go first. Its convenient, you just un-screw the top of the bottle and the water is ready to drink. Most people like to take the easy way out, and bottled water is about as easy as it gets.

Medium Term – this is your water filters. This may include your Berkey water filters or some kind of backpacking, lightweight water filter.

Sooner or later, the filter is going to reach its lifespan, and that is it.

Long term – private water well that is safe to drink. This could include water wells on farms, or rural water wells where people do not get city water.

Now that we are past the three layers of water preps, lets move forward.  “Where” exactly do you get water in an urban survival situation?  Lets see, there are – local ponds, streams, creeks, rivers, lakes, rain fall, ditches, bayous,,,,,.

For an example, in the middle of Jasper, Texas (where I live), there is a park with a small pond and creek.  Using my bicycle  I could cycle to the park, use some water bottles to retrieve the water, bring it back home and run it through my Berkey water filter.  Its about 8 miles round trip from my home to the park.

River water – Another example, the Angelina River is just a few miles from my house.  Once again, using my bicycle I could cycle to the river, bring several 32 ounce water bottles, collect the water from the river, cycle back home and then run the water through my Berkey water filter.

Rain water – once those 55 gallon drums run out of water, they could be positioned under the down spout of a rain gutter.  But this only works if you live in an area that gets rain fall.  If you do not have any 55 gallon drums, some 5 gallon buckets should work just as good.  If nothing else, refill those water bottles that were used when the event first started.

Waterborne diseases – As sewers fill up and start to back up, people will start doing their “business” outside.  The problem here, is when an area receives rain fall, the sewage can be washed off the soil and into the local rivers, steams, ponds,,,, any kind of surface water.  If water can stand around the pipe going into a well, there is a chance that contaminated water can get into the well.  That is why its recommended that a cement step be built around the pipe of a well.

Possible diseases include:
Cryptosporidium
E. Coli
Shigella
Giardiasis
Botulism
Cholera
Dysentery
Legionellosis – Legionnaires disease and Pontiac fever
Salmonellosis – Salmonella (mostly foodborne)
Typhoid fever
Hepatitis A – food and waterborne
only to name a few.

In my opinion, the ideal situation would be to have a water well with some kind of solar water pump on it, or at least a hand operated water pump.  In a worse case situation, having a well and a hand powered pump is better then nothing.

One of the big differences between urban and rural water plans, would probably be that a lot of people in rural areas already have some kind of water well in place. Whether its to water the cows, horses or other livestock, or as their main water source, a lot of people who live in rural areas have access to some kind of water well. From there, its just a matter of getting the water out of the well with no electricity.

I would like to hear some input on this topic. What are your safe drinking water plans in some kind of long term survival situation? Do you have a water well already in place? Do you have a rain water collection system already in place? Do you have any creeks, streams, ponds or lakes nearby that your planning on filtering the water from?

Post your comments in this thread about drinking water in an long term urban survival situation.

Water wells and urban survival

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Water wellWater, water everywhere and nar a drop to drink – is a classic statement from the rhyme of the ancient mariner.  But in the case of urban survival, there is no water and there is nothing to drink.

Most urbanites depend on water supplied by the city – through the cities water system. However, this is also a weak point in disaster planning. Most cities and towns have prohibited their citizens from digging private wells. If that is the case in your area, its time to get the laws changed. Not being able to have your own water supply makes you and your family a slave to city. Free people do not ask permission to use something that is on their own property – or in the case of ground water, under their property. Slaves ask permission, freemen use what is theirs as they see fit.

Depending on the area where you live, that will define how deep the well has to be.  If you are planning on installing a water pump, go ahead and set it up for an electric water pump as well as a hand powered pump.  This would include a housing for the pump to go in, ground rod and maybe electrical wiring.

Instead of a hand powered pump, a solar powered unit could be installed and the solar cells could be placed on top of the pump house.  But in this article, we will just be discussing hand powered pumps.

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