Once again, my husband and I have felt an increased urgency to be better prepared.
Our little part of Wyoming can be dry. Really dry. We are still coming out of a drought, and though we usually get some good moisture in the spring, sometimes we can go weeks without a drop of rain in the late summer/fall.
If we were ever to be without power for a length of time, our biggest downfall would be there is no way to run our electric well. (Thankfully, we DO have our own well. That’s a start.)
Though we might be able to store enough water for ourselves for a little while, our animals would be in trouble. If you are expecting to have chickens, dairy animals, and a garden to help sustain you during a power outage, then they need water, and lots of it.
A few of the ideas we’ve pondered so far:
1. Storing water in 55 gallon drums. Like I mentioned above, this would work for us, but not our critters. Plus, you then have the issue of keeping it fresh, etc. Perhaps a partial solution, but not a full one.
2. Solar/Wind Powered Electrical Systems. While we would still LOVE to do this, there is no way we could afford it right now. As we work on our preparedness, we like to implement things that we can use even in our every-day life, not just during an emergency. A small wind turbine is still a possibility, since hubby is employed in the wind industry, and can pretty much fix/troubleshoot/take apart any turbine that has ever been made. But as a immediate fix? Not so much.
3. Rainwater Collection. I am still intrigued by this idea, as we have a lot of square footage of roof area. However, in order to implement this, we would need to install gutters on our house, shop, and barn, as well as rig up some kind of storage system or cistern. I worry that with the minimal amounts of rainfall in our area, that all this work might still be in vain.
4. Hand powered pump jack. This is the most promising option for us so far. We have looked at installing a back-up hand powered pump. Ideally, we would need one that connects into our current system, so we could still use the electric pump as long as we had power. The biggest issue here? Price.
5. Getting Creative. As we weighed our options, we tried to think outside and box and get a little creative. We then remembered that we have an extra well on our property. It is actually the original homestead well, drilled in 1910. It has an old, broken hand pump attached to it and sits nestled in the lilac bush. Although we’ve looked at it a bit in the past, we’ve never really considered it, until now.
Last week, on one of our beautiful spring evenings, we fired up the tractor and hubby went to work. It’s not easy taking apart something that has been sitting unattended to for decades! We were able to lift the pump jack off with the tractor and determine that there IS water at the bottom!
The next steps involve pulling up 200 feet of pipe and seeing if/how we can fix the pump at the bottom.
The plan is to get it running again and hopefully be able to use it as a full functioning pump jack, in addition to our electric one.
My imagination ran wild as we were dismantling the well. It made me so excited to think that we were reviving an actual piece of old time homesteading history and making it usable again.
Isn’t it cool how things come full circle?
I bet the original homesteader never imagined that there would be 2 young adults, 100 years later, in an age of amazing technology, trying to breath life into his ancient project.
We are still a long ways off, and many things would have to happen for this to work, but I will keep you posted on our progress!
What ideas/plans do YOU have for alternative waters sources or back-up? I would LOVE to hear your ideas!
I shared this post at the Homestead Revival Preparedness Challenge #10