The Homesteader's Guide to Understanding Water Sources

| 7/19/2019 9:00:00 AM

Kacey BradleyWater is essential in any home, but it's especially crucial on a homestead. Plants and livestock need fresh water every day to grow and stay healthy. But water isn't free — a family of four in the U.S. pays an average of $70.39 in water bills each month. Luckily, when you live on a homestead, you have options for harvesting natural water sources and cutting down on your reliance to local hookups.


How to Find Water

Thriving on a homestead is about using the natural resources available to you. Luckily, there are several sources of water you can look for and gain access to on your property.

Well Water

One option for sourcing water on your property is to build a well. A well is a hole dug deep into the ground, low enough to collect groundwater. In the U.S., 10 percent of people get their water from a private well. This water collection method can be a simple set-up where you lower a bucket with a rope and manually pull up water. But you can also build a modern well with pumps and pipes to direct water indoors.

Standing Water

Standing water is any non-moving water you see above the ground's surface, including lakes, ponds and reservoirs. Standing water might not be as useful as flowing water, as it can contain mud, algae and germs, but it can still be filtered and used on your homestead. With a lake or pond, you can easily scoop out a five-gallon bucket of water, something you can't do with moving sources as quickly. You can then use the water to flush toilets, wash animals, soak the compost and much more.

Rain Water

If you live in an area where you experience rain, consider a new method for collecting water. Rainwater is great for watering flowers and crops in your garden. It can also be a source of drinking water. Be aware that rainwater contains possible pollutants, meaning it is not safe to consume until treated. If you are looking for a potable water source, consider purifying your collected rainwater. A rain harvesting system captures water from rooftops, road surfaces, rock catchments and other areas and stores it in tanks and basins.

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