Pennsif’s Progress #624 – Our Water Supply and all our backups

Wales, where I live, is renowned for being a rather wet and rainy country.

So as a prepper going off-grid for water has been comparatively easy.

We have our own water supply from springs, and we deal with our sewarage via a septic tank. We are not mains connected for either.

In fact we have invested quite a bit in improving our infrastructure over the last 15 years.

When we moved here there was a single concrete water tank with a capacity of about 2,500 litres (550 gallons). This was adequate for the elderly couple that we bought the house from.

However with three young children, baths, showers and lots of dirty washing, we ran out of water the second year we were here. So we upgraded our water storage capacity to two new 5,000 litre (1,100 gallon) tanks.

A few years later we had problems with the septic tank breaking down so we had that replaced with a new bigger capacity tank. We make sure we get that emptied every couple of years at least.

As well as the springs and the tanks we also have a secondary mini reservoir and tank system set up on a spring-fed stream on the other side of the property. This is currently used for watering the polytunnel.

The old original well of the house is also still accessible and usable. It needs quality testing again but certainly would be suitable for all non drinking or cooking uses.

As a backup to the backup to the backup there is also the lake that I am sure would never run dry. Although that is around 60 feet below the house so we would need some serious pumping gear to get water up to the house from there.

Finally as a backup to the backup to the backup to the backup we also keep about 50 litres of bottled water in stock just in case…

So in terms of water I think we can tick the OffGrid box pretty handsomely.

Risk Points

Our only risk points would contamination or extreme extended dry summers.

In terms of contamination we have our water supply lab-checked every few years, we have a supply of water purification tablets and we a couple of water filters.

Extended dry summers while rare in Wales do occur here every ten years or so. When they do happen we activate our ‘Restricted Water Usage Protocols’. This involves only allowing short showers and no baths, cutting down on the amount of clothes washings, and using ‘grey water’ for toilet flushing.

I estimate these protocols cut our water usage by a third at least.

We have in fact just activated these protocols on Sunday as we have been without rain for approaching a month.

However when I checked the main tanks yesterday both were still full, but the weather forecast is saying at least another two weeks of hot dry weather so we will keep the water saving in place just in case.

As a prepper I am very happy, and very proud, to be able to put a big fat tick next to the Offgrid Water option.

This water independence also gives us the added bonus of no bills for water and sewerage.

When we first moved here we did make enquiries with the local water board about how much it would cost to get connected to the mains water supply. They came back with the tidy sum of £75,000 (US$100,000), and that was nearly 20 years ago.

No thanks Mr Water Man, we’ve got this one covered.

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[ all images by @pennsif ]