Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The System

Last week I put out a request for help. I asked for advice on living without running water. Although they know how to do it better than the rest of us, I wasn't asking people in the third world. I wanted advice from people that have gone without running water either by choice or similar circumstance. Not surprisingly, most of the responses were from fellow Northland College grads. 

The best words of wisdom that came back our way (besides to just drink beer) were from our dear friend Anna. She's an expert at living without indoor plumbing. Her advice: Figure out a system, and put it into action.

This is our system:

1) Fill buckets from the hand-drawn well. We have lots of buckets around the farm, but we bought new (clean) ones for this occasion. What a splurge!

2) Carry buckets into house. Try not to dump water all over the laundry room, kitchen and bathroom floor. 

3) Fill back of toilet. Then we can pretend we have indoor plumbing! As a side note, Farmer John has dreams of building/digging an outhouse at the farm. This may be the excuse he needs. 

4) Fill a big metal pot and put it on the wood stove. Leave it throughout the night for warm water in the evening and hot water in the morning.We dip small bowls out of this pot for washing hands and face, and pour water out of it to use for washing dishes.

5) Refill clean buckets. Place in bathtub for general water use - cooking, dog water, flushing toilet, etc. 

6) We also bought a few other items that aren't normally on the shopping list - jugs of water, baby wipes, dry shampoo and some meals that don't involve a lot of dishes. 

7) For any tasks that involve lots of water we just go somewhere else. Showers and laundry have been provided by Farmer John's family. Plenty of other folks have offered up cabins, apartments and showers for our use over the next couple weeks.

We are grateful to our friends and family for their help and support as we deal with this new farm adventure. Although, it really hasn't been too difficult to handle. We wouldn't want to live like this all the time but are managing for now. The well driller called and said he should be able to start by the end of the week, so running water might not be that far away. 


  1. Lorraine in WisconsinJanuary 25, 2012 at 8:15 PM

    We never got your call for help, but we have been where you are--no running water. However we did not have livestock depending on us for survival. We chose our lack as we were building our home. You were surprised by it. We dug an outdoor latrine, and constructed a "sun shower" to achieve hot (rather, warm) water for washing (it was spring, on into summer,) obtaining water from a generous neighbor. Bottled water was useful for cooking, and the local YMCA a good place for showering. You got good advice, and are using it well. And how you will appreciate and guard that resource--readily available water!

  2. When I lived in the tent on the river, carrying water everyday was as natural as, well, breathing. I cherished a fresh rain and caught as much as I could in tarps for things like washing something or other. Even stringing a few smaller tarps will let the animals have some water - like for the chickens. I also learned how very little it really takes to wash the hair and then how to reuse the hair water for other parts - including leg shaving.

    There used to be an outhouse behind the shop. I'm sure there are some family stories about who used it as a library! lol

    It may seem odd to have a strip of water running at the edge of your property that you HAVE to walk across everyday - without being able to use it ... like going thirsty in a raft on the ocean, but then again, there's the hillbillie, or redneck way ... line the bed of the old red truck with some really heavy gage plastic, and when it rains, let it fill. You can always drive that water around to a point.

    Another suggestion ... and I bet they are way cheap this time of year ... a kiddie pool. IF and I hope NEVER - this happens again, you'll have extra water that way.

    And you haven't mentioned ... does the hand drawn well water taste good to you? How about your hair? Is it softer?

    Perhaps you could also put some water in the cellar in those buckets for emergency use when all this is over - just in case.

    You two wanted the taste of life on the farm and boy - you are getting it from the ground up! Pun intended!

    Love ya both!

  3. Hi Molly,
    Hope everything is okay out there.......I notice you haven't blogged anything lately.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...