All Posts by Nick Meissner

Deep Well Hand Pumps

This article is for those of you who get your water from a well, which brings the unique challenge of  pulling water up from a deep and skinny hole in the ground.  Doing that can become very interesting if you do not have electricity. We try to focus on good, long-term solutions.  This is particularly true when it comes to such an important necessity of life as water. And so most of our training focuses on exactly that--setting up a water system that will enable you to have a good supply of running water in your home without that system being dependent on the power grid or any other utilities.

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Ram Pumps

This truly revolutionary pump could be your ticket to a completely independent water system that is not reliant on electricity or fuel.  A ram pump uses the pressure of gravity on water to pump the water uphill. It generally needs a water source with at least 5 feet (+-) of head (fall) and a minimum of 3-5 gallons per minute of flow in order to function properly. The more head or flow that you have, the faster it pumps the water. Most of the water is wasted in the pumping process, so only a small percentage actually makes it up to the cistern.

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Different Types of Pumps

Pumps do not like to pull (or suction). They are much more effective at pushing. For this reason, we have two main categories of pumps--submersible and surface (along with the numerous subcategories for each). Because the water level in wells is often greater than 15-20 vertical feet (the usual maximum distance any pump can pull or suction), the submersible pumps are used in this application--so they are submersed in the water and can push rather than pull. For applications where water is already at or near the surface, a surface pump is used to push the water somewhere else and/or pressurize a water system. Lets take a look at some of the options.

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How To Purify Water On Your Off Grid Homestead

Whatever your water source, it's important to know how pure it is.  And if the water quality is not acceptable, you'll need to sanitize it before using as drinking water, cooking water, etc.

In this article, we'll look at non-electric options for purifying your drinking and cooking water.  Since most people's water source is a well or city water, we are assuming it is clean enough to bathe and wash dishes in without purification.  In a future post, we plan to explore other household (inline) water purification options. Continue reading

Independent Water Systems

Water is so critical! You simply can't live without it. Yet the typical country homestead is totally dependent on utility companies for water. With an asset of such vital importance, it is only wise to set up your homestead in such a way that will enable you to have water no matter what happens to the power company or critical infrastructure. The following hypothetical examples are to bring to your attention options for setting up a water system that does not depend on utilities companies.

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Water System Example #3 - Using a Ramp Pump


There is a water source with at least 5 gallons per minute (could be less, depending on the situation.)of flow. But this water source is below the building site (not further than 150-200 feet of elevation—possibly even further). The water source also has at least 5 feet of vertical fall (head) on the property. If it does not have enough fall, look at Example #4. Solution #1 (below) makes use of a ram pump. There are a number of factors to take into consideration with this, so if you are in doubt about your situation, go to the Ram Pumps blog to see if your property will qualify for using the solution below.

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