Living without running water- help me through this - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 9 Old 02-17-2011, 06:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
GreenGranolaMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Nestled in the mountains of Western Maine
Posts: 652
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Here is a link to the thread I started about our building project 

http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/1258749/families-living-in-very-small-spaces-need-advice-updated-with-pictures

 

Long story short, we're turning an art studio of sorts into a tiny house. It's very likely that we won't have a well dug for the first 10 months or so living there. We're planning on setting up a rainwater collection system and there is a fresh water spring within walking distance, up the mountain from where we are, with no inherent risk of contamination (but I'll probably still boil it) 

 

We're doing a sawdust toilet- which I am totally fine with

 

But...

 

I'm starting to freak out at the thought of not having running water! Any BTDT? How long did you do it? Tips? 


Dirt worshiping, creatress Mama to Rowan and Alden - home birth loving, no circ, no vax, extended breast feeding, cloth diapering, baby wearing, cosleeping

GreenGranolaMama is offline  
#2 of 9 Old 02-18-2011, 09:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
GreenGranolaMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Nestled in the mountains of Western Maine
Posts: 652
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Bump : ) 


Dirt worshiping, creatress Mama to Rowan and Alden - home birth loving, no circ, no vax, extended breast feeding, cloth diapering, baby wearing, cosleeping

GreenGranolaMama is offline  
#3 of 9 Old 02-18-2011, 10:10 AM
 
akcowgirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Homer, Alaska
Posts: 250
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I have been there!!! We lived without running water for 4 years and we still have to haul our drinking water. You can do it, bathing and laundry is the hardest part for me. I live in Alaska so living without running water is very common and all the laundry mats here have showers and you just pay to take a shower or what I do is take an aquasize class at the swimming pool and take my showers there. If you are used to bathing everyday or more than once a day there will be a period of adjustment but it is not bad at all. You can do it, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and think how much farther ahead of the game you will be because of this move. thumb.gif

akcowgirl is offline  
#4 of 9 Old 02-21-2011, 01:25 AM
 
1stimestar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
Posts: 1,716
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Me and my two kids live in a dry cabin, also in Alaska.  Like has been said, it's pretty common here.  It may take you a bit to get it all down but for some people, adventuresome people lol, you tend to get it figured out pretty easily.  

I have 6 5 gallon water jugs.  I set one on my sink and use it just like a regular faucet.  Luckily my cabin has a gray water syster, it drains outside, so I don't havea  slop bucket to empty.  

 

Here's a shot of how that works, my kitchen.

img_2489.jpg?w=420&h=315

The stock pot on the stove is my water heater.  It only takes a few minutes to warm up enough water to do dishes or take a shower. 

 

37922_10150293019965697_656605696_14787013_8004917_n.jpg

 

Here is a picture of our shower set up.

 

img_2423.jpg?w=420&h=560

 

I also take my kids swimming pretty often as it is easier then trying to get my 12 year old son to take a shower hahaha.  

 

We have bulk water stations here that are just like gas stations but much cheaper lol.  I think it costs me .30 for 20 gallons.  I fill them up about every 4 days.  

1stimestar is offline  
#5 of 9 Old 03-09-2011, 06:55 AM
 
justmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: beginning anew
Posts: 5,816
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)

you mamas living without running water are rockstars!


treehugger.gifjog.gifgreenthumb.gifknit.gifnamaste.gif

justmama is online now  
#6 of 9 Old 03-11-2011, 08:06 AM
 
meandk0610's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: MD
Posts: 1,095
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1stimestar View Post

Me and my two kids live in a dry cabin, also in Alaska.  Like has been said, it's pretty common here.  It may take you a bit to get it all down but for some people, adventuresome people lol, you tend to get it figured out pretty easily.  

I have 6 5 gallon water jugs.  I set one on my sink and use it just like a regular faucet.  Luckily my cabin has a gray water syster, it drains outside, so I don't havea  slop bucket to empty.  

 

Here's a shot of how that works, my kitchen.

img_2489.jpg?w=420&h=315

The stock pot on the stove is my water heater.  It only takes a few minutes to warm up enough water to do dishes or take a shower. 

 

37922_10150293019965697_656605696_14787013_8004917_n.jpg

 

Here is a picture of our shower set up.

 

img_2423.jpg?w=420&h=560

 

I also take my kids swimming pretty often as it is easier then trying to get my 12 year old son to take a shower hahaha.  

 

We have bulk water stations here that are just like gas stations but much cheaper lol.  I think it costs me .30 for 20 gallons.  I fill them up about every 4 days.  




i have wondered if we'd be able to do something like this. this setup and the pictures are just inspiring!

meandk0610 is offline  
#7 of 9 Old 03-26-2011, 10:03 PM
 
MamaRhi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Oakland, California
Posts: 288
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Running water seems to be the hardest thing for me to live without. We did for a few months, though, and the kids and I did fine bathing from buckets. Once it got cold, though, it became really difficult. Because of the system of pumps and tanks from the well on our land to where we are, we occasionally are without water for a few days. I keep a water storage supply and revert to the bucket bathing when something goes wrong with the water. But I've found it to be hard to keep morale up when this goes on longer than a few days. We also went half the winter without a heat source besides the propane stove. So maybe that was harder than the water issue, actually. redface.gif

Disabled queer mama to one preteen, one teenager, 5 cats, 7 chickens, & 1 dog

...granola punk urban homesteaders...

homeschool.gifautismribbon.gif

"I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay... small acts of kindness and love."

-Gandalf, The Hobbit

MamaRhi is offline  
#8 of 9 Old 03-28-2011, 10:41 AM
 
moonlitemama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Moscow, ID
Posts: 128
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I grew up with no/limited "running" water (no well or traditional set-ups).  We had a number of different set-ups over the years.  Originally, there was a gravity flow line set up from a spring to our kitchen, which flowed continuously from an old fashioned handpump (without the pump attachment).  Showers were taken once a week at the laundry mat or, for us kids, baths in a tub with water heated on the stove.  Of course, that got old quickly, having water constantly running. 

 

For quite some time, then, water was hauled by hand in 5-gal buckets from the creek for general use and in a 5 gal spouted container (like above) from a different spring for drinking water/cooking.  During this time, we had a 5 gallon shower set-up.  The bucket was fitted with a connector near the bottom and a length of tubing connected to a shower head with a on/off lever.  The bucket was kept upstairs and filled with hot water.  The tubing fed through a hole in the floor so the shower head was attached/hanging from the ceiling below.  The tubing/shower head was on a hook so it could be raised out of the way when not in use (we didn't have a bathroom - this was set up in our kitchen so we could take advantage of the heat from the wood cookstove).  When we took a shower, we had a shower stall similar to the one shown above.  Our curtain used a large hula hoop for the frame on the ceiling with plastic sheeting attached.  We had ties around the hula hoop frame, so when the shower was not being used the curtain could be rolled up and tied on the ceiling.  For a tub we had a big round galvanized tub (which was also used for laundry, which my mom did by hand with a washboard).  When not in use, the tub was hung outside on the outer wall of the house.

 

Eventually, we got a gas powered water pump set up at the creek and a storage system of three 50gal barrels which were mounted horizontally on a loft in the house.  These were filled about once a week.  There was a small on-demand pump that would move the water to the kitchen sink.  Water was heated in two ways.  We had a homemade solar water heater that we used during the summer and a loop of copper tubing that ran through our wood stove for the winter.  These were both set to run into an old water heater that was used to keep the water hot (insulated tank, not actually heating it as we did not have power.  Laundry was hauled in once a week to the laundry mat.  The shower set-up remained the same other than we got to do away with the 5 gal bucket and instead attached the hose directly to the kitchen faucet.  Drinking water was still hauled by hand.

 

Finally, just before I moved out on my own, we got set up with a real shower and washing machine in a newly built bathroom.  However, the underlying system remained the same. 

 

My brother set up a similar system with the 50 gal barrels, etc when he built his first house - a small (maybe 12x16') home.  Also, I just glanced at your original thread and wanted to chime in that we (growing up) lived in very small spaces and it was totally do-able.  We lived in a dome camping tent for one summer, then upgraded to a school bus, then the 'palatial' cabin that was probably no more than 300sq ft, but boy did it seem huge after the school bus!  The house remained that size from the time I was 4 years old until I hit jr. high.  Then we added another bedroom.  A livingroom and bathroom addition came in the last year or two I was home.  Our family consisted of my parents, myself and a brother who was 3yrs younger, and a dog.  I wish I could convince my husband to downsize now - I miss the cozy, snug feeling of a small home.

 

Good luck!  It's a hard transition, but you'll be able to do it.  Having a spring gives you lots of options!


Raechel, mom to 3 boys (J-14, K-11, & T-8), car seat tech/instructor, gluten-, dairy-, and soy-free cook, chicken-raising, wannabe gardener living on 5 acres.
 
 

moonlitemama is offline  
#9 of 9 Old 04-02-2011, 11:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
GreenGranolaMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Nestled in the mountains of Western Maine
Posts: 652
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Thank you all so much for the advice, the more people I talk to and the more research I do, the more confident I feel about living without running water. 1sttimestar thank you so much for your photos, very inspirational and helpful! I did a bit of a 'water inventory' last week for our family and I'm guessing that we are going to need around 80-100 gallons at the most per week for bathing, cooking, drinking, dish washing- does that sound about right for your families (we are currently a family of 3)? 

 

So here is my next question: have any of you/ have you known anyone who has home birthed without running water wink1.gif We just got pos.gif last week and are over the moon! We haven't actually told anyone yet, so it's kinda nice to share the news a bit! We haven't spoken with the midwives we are planning on (hopefully) using yet, so I don't know if the water would be an issue for them or not. As I said before, we have a fresh water spring very near that runs year round, so we have running water aplenty... it's just not running into the house orngtongue.gif


Dirt worshiping, creatress Mama to Rowan and Alden - home birth loving, no circ, no vax, extended breast feeding, cloth diapering, baby wearing, cosleeping

GreenGranolaMama is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off