Getting Water when Living off the Grid

One of the most important things to consider when living off-grid is where you’ll get water. When you live in a city all you have to do is turn on your faucet. But when you make the move off-grid, you’re responsible for making sure you have clean water to live on. There are several common methods to consider to get water to your land when you are living off-grid, such as drilling a well, using a holding tank, or even utilizing a nearby stream.

Drilling a Well

Perhaps the most dependable way to get water to your off-grid land is by drilling a well. In addition to providing you with easy access to clean water, a well helps to alleviate any concerns about whether you will have enough fresh water for daily use. While a well may be one of the best options for obtaining fresh water, there are some things to consider before you start digging.

One of the biggest considerations prior to drilling a well is to determine whether it is legal to drill on your land. There are areas where drilling is prohibited, so it is imperative that you make sure you are adhering to local land laws before you start drilling. Once you have verified that drilling is allowed, you will want to take your land survey to the state geological office. They will be able to tell you the depth at which the well must be drilled to reach the water table, and whether that water is suitable for drinking. It is also important to check with a utility company to ensure that there are not any sewer or gas lines that could be compromised by drilling.

After all the required permits and necessary information about well placement have been obtained, you may begin drilling. The depth at which the water is located and the material that you must drill through to get to the water will determine how you go about drilling the well. If the water is close to the surface, then a shovel and post-hole digger may be all that is required. If the water is far below the surface, then you may have to hire a professional to drill the well.

Really unless you’re familiar with well drilling, it might be in your best interest to just go with a professional no matter what.

Using a Holding Tank or Cistern

Another way to access to clean water while living off-grid is to utilize a holding tank. Holding tanks, also known as cisterns, come in an array of sizes, so there is definitely one that meets your requirements. These tanks can be placed above or beneath the ground, making them a viable option almost anywhere. A holding tank, however, does not solve the problem of getting water to your property, so a system to get water to the tank must be devised.

So how do you actually get the water to your land?

One way to get water to the holding tank is by a rain catchment system. A rain catchment system typically works by collecting rain through the use of a tarp or a rooftop harvesting attachment, which then transfers the water to the tank. This is a great way of getting water if you live in an area where there is a lot of rain and the temperatures remain relatively warm. However, if your property is in the desert, or the temperature drops below freezing, then storage tanks and a water catchment system may not be the best option.

If there is a source of clean water located nearby, filling the cistern may be as simple as transporting the water from the source to the tank. Many people who live off-grid will collect the water and run it through a filtration system, before moving it to the holding tank.

The final option for filling your holding tank is getting the water delivered. There are many companies that will transport the water to your property and fill up your tank.

Getting Water from a Stream

It used to be that you could drink water directly from a stream with little or no concern. But today, getting water from a stream is much more difficult. You have to worry about factors like pollution and water rights before using the stream on your property for drinking water.

Water pollution is a major problem in many areas, and drinking polluted water can lead to health problems. Even if your land is in a remote area, there is still the potential that the water is contaminated with bacteria and animal feces. It is recommended that the water be decontaminated through some type of filtration system before being consumed.

Water rights are another area to be concerned about when taking water directly from a stream. Just because a stream runs through your property, does not necessarily mean that you are entitled to take water from it. While land owners typically have some rights to the water on their property, it is always best to check before you start using it for drinking water. If you’re interested in learning more about water and mineral rights, check out our blog post: “You May Not Own That Tree On Your Property: Navigating Timer, Mineral and Water Rights.”

So don’t worry, there are several options to get water to your off-grid property. The piece of land you have purchased and its surroundings may dictate which methods are best for you. And while it may take some time to get your clean water situation figured out, in the end it will be well worth it.

Now that getting water to your property is no longer a concern, check out some of our available properties. Click here to see our for sale properties.

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