The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Tank-filling protocol

Low water tankWe use a gravity system to feed wash water into the house from a tank on the hill.  The tank is filled by a pump in the creek, turned on manually as needed.

The line between the creek and the tank isn't buried, so we can only fill the tank during relatively warm weather.  Every winter, we hit a period like this recent spell when we can't fill the tank for weeks at a time and water levels in the tank get very low.  Every winter, we resolve to keep the tank at least halfway filled to prevent the problem.  And each summer and fall, we let down our guard and forget.

This year, we've decided to try a different method.  Every Monday, if the line is thawed, we'll top off the tank.  Having a weekly system seems more likely to succeed than depending on one of us noticing the tank is below halfway full.

Our new method will have to wait until a warm spell finally lets the pump run, though.
  In the meantime, the tank is getting lower and lower, and it looks like we might actually run out of wash water this year.  Luckily, we can pump drinking water from the well to fill in the gap, if necessary, but that will bypass Mark's new delight --- the hot water heater.  I guess that's an incentive to stay more on top of the tank-filling protocol.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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What filters do you use on this water, and do you filter going into the tank, going out, or both? Also, same question for the well. Thanks for the great information!
Comment by Robert Thu Jan 16 12:10:59 2014

Robert --- There's no filter going into or out of the tank, although the tank itself acts like a sediment filter since water sits in it for weeks or months before being used. This is what the pump looks like in the creek. Since this water isn't for drinking, we figure it's fine untreated, although we do add a little bit of bleach when we do dishes with it.

You can see our drinking water system here. We did upgrade to a bigger UV light and a stainless steel container last year.

Comment by anna Thu Jan 16 18:55:21 2014

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