|Hey, I needed a picture of a wishing well, and I just happened to have this one........|
If you don't have a drilled well, this won't be of any use to you. If you do, it's something you might want to add to your long term planning.
People who live in dwellings that are on city/county water and sewage are up the creek in a long term power outage. The pumps that drive the sewage system and water system are probably backed up by diesel generators, but fuel for those generators is generally stored in amounts sufficient for less than a week. Diesel deteriorates in the storage tank over time if not properly supplemented, so corporations don't want to buy a lot of it. Just what they think they might need until power is restored. If the outage is long term, goodbye electricity.
Once the power goes out, you can haul water to your place in a bucket, if you have a bucket and if there's a water source available. If you live around people, I can guarantee you that your neighbors, or some of your neighbors, are going to foul the water source at the first opportunity. I can't explain why people do this, but I've been in places in the world where people use the creek or the lake as a "potty" and that's that. It will happen anywhere when people can't flush the toilet, and don't think past the next thirty seconds. So, you'd better have a really good water purification system, and you have to have water within hauling distance.
However, if you have a drilled well, you aren't in that position. Drilled wells have a PVC or aluminum "casing" that goes down the drilled hole. The submersible pump (which is what most people use today) is attached to a heavy , black flexible pipe that looks like a garden hose on steroids. The submersible pump and the hose are lowered down the well shaft, inside the casing. The controls for the well are in a little "pump house" and the pressure tank and gauges, filters ,etc are usually inside the main house. Layouts vary. You can design it however you want but these are the main components.
When the power goes out, or your generator runs out of fuel, how do you get the water out of your well?
With a drilled well bucket. Here's what one looks like.
This one is from Lehman's. It's essentially a metal tube with a valve on the bottom and a pulley attachment ring on the top. You pull the big black hose and the submersible pump attached to it out of your well casing. This is hard work and will take about three men if you have a well that goes down a ways, like mine does. Then you rig a frame and a pulley over the casing. I keep a store of four X four posts in the barn to use for this, as well as the necessary hardware. Lehman's sells everything you need or you can get it at a farmers depot type store.
You can make as elaborate a pulley system as you want, but here's the basic principle.
Here's a well bucket a fellow made himself. Most of them are made by the person who needs them out of PVC and a few parts from a hardware store. If you want directions on how to make your own, here's a link.
How to build your own drilled well bucket.
The advantages of this are obvious. When all else fails, you still have clean, pure water and you can pull it up without too much effort. But you can't wait til TSHTF before you get your act together on this. You need either a complete well bucket, with all the ancillary bits and pieces, or you need all the components to build one. Most of us have PVC around but I doubt too many have the right kind of pulleys, the right kind of rope, fixtures, fittings, valves, etc all nicely stored up.
It's a good investment. Lehman's are hand made by the Amish and pre-tested. If you are more do it yourself inclined, no problem there either.