Grit Blogs > Homesteading with Mrs D

Water Pump Blues

By Robyn Dolan 

Tags: water, homesteading,

Trailer and storage tank
(The problem:  getting the water from the trailer to the storage tank)

While many people are experiencing frozen water pipes right now, I am grateful that mine is still flowing. It may not be for long, however, if I can't get the water into the holding tank. The typical water setup out here, in the land of 800 foot deep water tables, is to get a 2500 gallon water tank and set it a few yards away from the house, then bury your water lines running to a pump and pressure tank and insulate them running into the house. With this method, we haul water from the local well, which was dug and maintained by the town at enormous cost, and then pump it into our large tank. I saw the problems with this logic when I was setting up my home, but the contractor flatly refused to sink the tank into the ground, even for an extra fee. So now the pump I use to get the water from the trailer ten feet up in the air into the big tank has gone out, and I am waiting for the new one to arrive, so I can wire it and fit it to pump my water out. I tried carrying 5 gallon buckets of water up the ladder and pouring them into the tank, but it was kind of like, you know, trying to fill up the bathtub with a teaspoon, only heavier. Plan B is to make the half tank (1250 gallons) of water I have left last until we can pump again. I did borrow a friend's pump, but with everyone's hookups being designed to their own particular preference, it didn't quite do the job.

Getting water to the animals
(Hauling water to the animals)

Luckily, for Christmas, Santa brought a garden cart, so with this wonderful invention, I am able to run (okay, slog and drag) water to the animals from the trailer, so I can conserve the water in the tank for household washing and flushing. Hmm...maybe this would be a good time to teach the horses to pull a garden cart. On the cart I have a half 55 gallon drum and 2 six gallon buckets. This method also comes in handy on those days when the hose is frozen, and cannot be used to fill the critters' water. For a really entertaining saga of frozen pipes, check out Denise and her family endured nearly a month of frozen pipes in Washington State this season over the Christmas and New Years holidays. Her blog chronicles their adventures trying to live as normally as possible without water. Check out the postings from December 15-January 5, 2009. I am hoping my little story doesn't turn into an epic saga, though. As exciting as the days of bucketing and boiling bathwater were, I sure do appreciate my indoor hot and cold running water.