Water is a necessity of life, but very few of us have access to our own source. You may not want to assume it will always be available when you most need it. Why not start providing some sort of water system on your land to give you that extra security. You won't be sorry for there are many uses and money saving perks! With a little ingenuity and some time, this small investment will yield great rewards!
Moving onto our homestead, water storage was our first priority. We had heard rumors of our well going "dry" from the past owners so we dug that deeper for extra security. Next we began to focus on a rain collection system. Pictured below is a humble example of our first attempt at water storage. Please note that our resources are limited and so are our finances. This is something the average household could create. We were fortunate that this old house we just bought had rain gutters already installed (though a bit old as you can see).
- Rain gutters
- Water tank/cistern
- PVC piping
- Water filter screening
First of all, you need to install rain gutters on the largest portion of your roof since the larger the surface, the larger amount of water you will collect.
Second, you need to have a designated area below your rain gutters in which you can place a water tank or cistern. You may have a lower leveled roof below that you can place one on in order to provide a better gravity flow (which is what we did) for your water (more on that later) or you may have to place it somewhere on the ground.
We then just connected an elbow PVC pipe from the rain gutter and channeled it into the tank. In the area of the rain gutter where the PVC starts, we inserted a small screen in order to catch large debris. This does need to be rinsed out after each rain. I am sure there is something out there that would be more professional but ours is the thrifty solution system and it works for us.
Next we drilled a hole in the front of the tank so that we can have access to the system with a hose for watering the garden, feeding the animals or any other outdoor use.
At this point we began to get adventurous and added an elbow to the water hose and piped some water right into our kitchen. After drilling a hole into our kitchen wall, we popped in a pipe and attached a small portable water heater (20 liters) to it. This I now use for washing dishes (my husband also plumbed it to the house in case of a drought so it is a duo water source).
The excitement continued as our laundry room is below the water tank itself with a shower as well. We drilled a hole in the roof that the tank is on and plumbed the water to be able to use for my washing machine and laundry room shower. This was so easy with the use of PVC pipes and portable water heaters. (Again, this is duo and can be used with our well water in case of a drought, etc.)
You can see that this is not rocket science but a series of pipes and a downward spiral so that the gravity feeds the flow of water. We are not plumbing experts by all means but wanted to incorporate some sort of water device for our security. We do not have access to a Home Depot and have used whatever the local hardware store provided along with a little imagination.
Please note that the higher your water collection tank, the better water pressure for the house-piping projects I mentioned above. If your tank is on the ground than you will probably not be able to run a pipe higher to use for laundry like we did. However, you will be able to water your garden, wash your car, feed animals with it and anything else where the combination of height and water pressure aren't necessary.
Uses for rain water are the following:
- Water lawn and garden
- Washing Vehicles
I wouldn't recommend drinking the water since the surface the rain pours down has bird droppings and other effects on it.
For safety, keep the tank sealed from insects like mosquitoes who want somewhere to lay eggs. Keep using the water to avoid stagnancy. They do sell a product called "mosquito dunks" for this purpose which are supposed to be safe for animals to drink (though not humans).
May your family be prepared so that you do not find yourself in the situation where "the water is naught, and the land barren."
~ 2 Kings 2:19