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June 25, 2014: Off the Grid Living: Rain, and the Water Containment System

This morning I woke up to the sound of rain pummeling the cabin roof. The sound was not drip, drip, drip, but rather plunk, plunk, plunk, plunk. I opened my eyes, lifted my head, and looked out the window – I could see drips on the eves, water running off the roof. The sparrow family was quiet. And Ryder had quite obviously decided to sleep in. I would have gone back to sleep, but I had things to do – tend to animals and do some work on the water containment system included.

It’s been threatening to rain as it is now raining for some time. We’ve gotten two steady downpours this year, but it’s mainly been overcast and spitty. Rain is good, though I am worried that it’s the beginning of the Southcentral Monsoon season. There’s just no way of knowing, which is why when it does rain, we harvest/capture/contain as much water as we can possibly manage.

We have two 300 gallon square water containers. They’re a holdover from when the Matanuska Maid Dairy was in operation. One is located on the side of our cabin, uphill from the middle quadrant garden. This is our gravity feed set up. The second container is located to the side of the horse pen. This is tap set up. We also have three containers in the root cellar. They stabilize the root cellar’s temperature, and if need be, they augment the gravity feed set-up.

In addition, we have an extensive drip system set-up. I set out buckets and barrels and collect the gutter water off the hay shed, horse hay shed, and cabin. I routinely empty the water in the full plastic barrels into five gallon food grade buckets, thus further insuring that I have enough water on hand for the animals and the garden.

Yesterday we were given yet another square container. We’re going to put a tap and hose on it, and have the water flow directly into a trough in the horse pen. I’m pretty happy about this because it means that I won’t have to fill the side five gallon buckets as often.

It might seem to an outsider that my bucket-filling compulsion is a waste of time and energy. However, it does have a purpose. When we have water on hand, we don’t have to run the well pump, which is fueled by the generator. We also don’t have to go to the creek and get water, an activity that also requires that we use gas (an expensive and non-renewable commodity).

I am restless today – I would most like to be out riding. But an occasional rainy day is quite obviously a good thing.

Next: 175. 6/26/14: Lessons Learned: Affirmation and the Unexpected