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

Gravity water system

Cleaning out the tank.I jumped in the thousand gallon tank yesterday morning to give it a good scrubbing, the only maintenance it has received in months.

We get our drinking water from a well, but we use the creek for most of our other water needs.  Most folks who don't connect to city water install a pressure tank, but we've found that a gravity system is simpler and requires very little electricity.

When the tank gets low every month or two, we turn on the pump for a few hours and top the water off.  After that, gravity pushes the water to the house to fill our sink, bathtub, washing machine, and chicken waterers.

We started out with a little 50 gallon tank on a tower by the house, but we used up the water awfully quickly and were disappointed by the pressure.  A thousand gallon tank slightly uphill gives us much better water pressure, approximately equal to what you'd get from city water.

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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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Do you have problems with that tank freezing up in the winter? Any difficulty with sediment?
Comment by Heath Thu Dec 1 20:12:46 2011
The top sometimes develops quite a thick layer of ice, but there's just so much water in the tank that it doesn't seem to freeze all the way. Sediment does slowly accumulate, but the water outlet is slightly raised so it doesn't suck sediment out. We supposedly clean it out every year, but we didn't this year (or last year?)
Comment by anna Thu Dec 1 20:28:34 2011
Can your tank also Catch rain water.
Comment by Baxter Sun May 19 21:49:37 2013
Baxter --- Not at the moment. We'd have to somehow add gutters onto the sides for that to be the case.
Comment by anna Mon May 20 08:22:12 2013

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