Publisher’s Letter: The Magic of Running Water

Food-grade water tanks on the trailer; Photo by Blaine Howerton
By Blaine Howerton, Publisher
North Forty News

When you turn on the faucet to do simple things like brushing your teeth or washing your hands you may not realize the extensive back system behind that small amount of water. Recently, I have learned to appreciate every drop.

A few weeks ago when I started moving my stuff to the mountain to live off-grid, I hauled all of my water. And I still do. But as of this past weekend, I installed two 325 gallon water tanks. So now I’m hauling it in bulk. And when I hooked my second-hand RV up to the water tank and turned on the faucet for the first time I couldn’t believe how accomplished I felt even just brushing my teeth.

I started my usual search with craigslist and I lucked out. Secondhand food-grade tanks were posted for sale. I put my ATV trailer on the back of the truck and went for a drive — out near Wellington. And before I knew it I had two of them and I was heading up the mountain.

Never before had I searched for drinking water in bulk. But my friend Rolly found the bulk water station near Old Town. A swipe of a credit card and a quick keypad entry of how many gallons you want and a few minutes later you have a few hundred gallons of water loaded up!

But it’s not just the tanks and the trailer I had to worry about. I had to consider the weight and if the truck could even pull it up the hill. As a caution the first time, I checked all the towing capacities and didn’t fill the tanks to capacity.

Then I put the pedal to the metal and took it all the way up to the top of my hill. This is where I had the advantage of elevation on the property. Putting the tank at the top, gravity-fed the water down the food-grade hose and provided adequate water pressure without electricity. I’m getting the hang of this off-grid thing!

In 100° heat, dust, mud and so many other “rustic conditions” I stood there watching that water flow and I was in heaven. Standing there in the middle of the road, I took the hose and I poured it over my head — I never felt more refreshed and excited at the same time.

It’s great turning on the faucet and having that drinkable water. And yes, don’t worry, I’m filtering it. I want to take a moment to enjoy this accomplishment before winter when I will have a new challenge — how to keep it from freezing! Any suggestions?



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