Do we live off grid? Yup. Do we have clean, drinkable, running water on tap? Yup, got that too! I thought today I’d talk about how we cobbled together our water system to create clean tap water off grid.
⇓Check out this video detailing our system!⇓
And just in case you would like to read about it rather than watch the video, I’ll include an explanation here as well.
As anyone who has been following our off grid, off road adventure so far knows, we haul our water from a nearby creak to our property. We’ve been hauling water roughly 20 gallons at a time for a year now, but thanks to our new Yamaha Rhino, we can now do 100 gallons at a time! The water is then poured into our recently acquired 1100 gallon reservoir tank, then the appropriate amount of bleach is added for purifying. From there we use a pump inside our house to move the water.
First the water is pulled through a sediment filter.
This filter catches any large detritus such as leaves and bugs. The filter is placed before our pump so that it doesn’t get gummed up with anything.
Next in our system is the pump itself.
We have a this Everbilt pump. It pulls water from our reservoir, through the sediment filter, then pumps it into our well tank.
We have an 86 gallon Water Worker well tank.
The steel well tank has a bladder inside that is pumped full of water. The rest of the tank is filled with air so that it pushes on the bladder when full. This is what creates pressure to push the water through pipes into our other systems. The air pressure and water pressure both have to be right for this system to work!
Next on our system is a pressure gauge, then fittings for our hoses leading to other systems.
The pressure gauge needs to be at the waters exit so we know if we have enough pressure to run everything. Our fittings lead hoses to our sink, washing machine, shower, and an outdoor garden hose. It may seem odd to pump water inside then right back out to the garden, but our well tank had to be indoors to keep from freezing during Alaska’s harsh winters.
The washing machine and garden hoses lead directly into those systems. Our shower hose leads into an Eco Temp propane instant hot water heater.
This allows us to have instant hot showers when ever we want out here. We really love this system because we spent a year heating water on the stove and pouring it into a camp shower. Having a shower that’s a tad longer than 5 gallons is such a luxury!
Another hose leads to our water filter, which feeds into our sink.
This allows us to have tap water off grid. I still find it hard to believe sometimes that I can just turn the faucet and get a glass of water! For most of the last year we had been using a DIY berkey filter we made with 5 gallon buckets (post here). It worked great for filtering drinking water, but it was really slow. There never seemed to be any extra water, so we boiled or bleached water for dishes and bathing in. Our water filter now is a Kube system. It can filter 1600 gallons before the filters will need to be changed, and has a class 4 filter for things like giardia and cryptosporidium.
And that is how we get drinkable tap water off grid!