Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A few people have been asking what we do about water? They haven't been asking me, but the question has been passed along, and I'd like to try to answer it fully.

We don't have running water or plumbing at all yet in our yurt, though yurts are easy to install plumbing into. We don't have a well, though we are planning to have one dug in the spring. Our water comes from three sources: the stream, rainwater, and springwater. Streamwater and rainwater are generally used for activities other than drinking. We could boil and drink both of these if we ran out of streamwater, but that hasn't happened yet. The rainwater we collect in large bins and basins for washing dishes and ourselves, as well as anything else that may need to be washed (though laundry we usually take out). In the outhouse and in the yurt, we have pitchers and basins to wash hands, faces, and small things. When I am going to do the dishes, I'll often heat a pot of water on the woodstove before pouring it in the large washing tub. We also heat bathwater on the woodstove and mix it with cooler water to make the proper bathing temperature.

When the weather is warm and sunny, we bathe at a bright, pooling corner of the stream. There is a sand bank there for standing and scrubbing, clear water for washing, and small fish who swim about eyeing us with disapproval.

Our drinking water comes from a spring about 10 minutes from home. We load up the car with big 2 Liter wine jugs, gallon jars, and two 5 gallon buckets. When they're all full, the water supply lasts 3-4 weeks, even with abundant soup and tea making.

Overall its a satisfying arrangement, and not half as difficult and time consuming as it may sound. In the spring, with the addition of water-guzzling goats and hogs, it may not be so ideal, but we are preparing for the expense of digging a well, and I know the unlimited supply of well-water is a luxery to look forward to!

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