just prefer to have something as important as our daily water supply be sustainable
so we don’t have to rely on electricity for it to function. We’ve employed a few different options for our needs.
Our animals’ tanks simply have faucets installed on the tanks which we manually
turn on to fill their water troughs. The water for our garden is supplied by tanks
hooked up to the roof of our outhouse. Because the tanks are situated on the slope
above our garden, all it takes is gravity for the water to travel through the garden hose
to reach the garden.
The water for our home is also gravity-fed. From the
tank, the water travels through a stretch of galvanized
pipe into the ground. From there it flows through a
horizontal PVC pipe underground until it reaches a
vertical PVC pipe directly under our kitchen sink. We
use an old-fashioned pitcher pump to pump the water
up to the sink. It’s the perfect system for us.
Yes, the tanks will
sometimes freeze in the
winter, at least to the
point where the water
won’t come out of the valve. But rainwater is not our
only water source. We have a hand well pump, as well
as an old fashioned well with a bucket. The hand well
pump freezes too. However, we can always get water
out of our well with the bucket. I also fill containers
of water to keep in the house during the winter. For
freezing days, we turn off the valves leading from our tank to our house and empty
the pipes. We don’t want to risk them breaking when they freeze. The water we have
stored in the house sees us through on those days.
The next time it rains, I challenge you to look at that rain through homesteading
eyes, to see it as a valuable resource, a precious gift that will supply your needs. If
you have never used rainwater or even considered it as a water source, stop and think
of the possibilities. Maybe you’ll save a little on your water bill by having another
source to water your garden this year. Maybe you can use it to fill your children’s
kiddie pool when summer arrives soon, and they can splash around chlorine-free.
Collecting rainwater is an easy and rewarding homesteading activity.
Even making small steps to use a free resource is important. I truly believe when we
take the time to use what God has provided, we can learn to appreciate everything
that has been given to us.
What was once an inconvenient rainy day is now cause for rejoicing and
Jaimie Bauer is a homesteading and homeschooling mom of two boys. She
enjoys cooking , organizing , and reading stories to her family by lantern
light. She and her husband write articles for their website, http://anamer-icanhomestead.com, and make videos for their You Tube channel, www.
youtube.com/user/An AmericanHomestead, sharing their adventures in
homesteading and off-grid living.
Have you ever wondered how
much rainwater you can realistically expect to collect from
your roof? Here’s a handy
formula that you should find
works quite well:
Area of the roof multiplied by
the amount of rain in inches
multiplied by 0.623 = amount
of gallons collected
For example, my home is
around 1,000 square feet,
and the average rainfall for my
area in the month of April is
five inches. The equation looks
1,000 square feet x 5 inches x
0.623 = 3,115 gallons
I can collect 3,115 gallons of
rainwater from my roof in the
month of April alone. That’s
a lot of water! All of a sudden
rainwater collection sounds
really exciting. I could get a lot
of dishes and laundry washed
with all that free water!