Dad decided he would pay a plumber to replace the main water line from the meter to the house and then I could pay him back. I hate this solution because I’m trying to do stuff for myself and I hate going into debt even to my parents, but I can’t win this fight as Dad has bypassed me and got everything going with the plumber already and I get to stand by while he “helps me”. The plumbers will be out Monday and should get the new pipe installed in a day. Dad hasn’t told me the cost yet but I figure it will be a couple of grand at least. No reason to bang my head against the wall on this situation as all I get is a headache and it annoys the wall.
On to how the no tap water thingy is going for the first 24 hours. I am a little muscle sore from moving the water but not like my first test which left me feeling completely exhausted. I’m not rationing my water other than by how much work I can do physically each day. In the first 24 hours I used about 25-30 gallons of water since I didn’t really plan on going without tap water. I haven’t used paper plates/disposable products so I’m doing the dishes by hand and I managed to have enough hot water via the wood stove, stock pots and igloo jugs I was able to have a hot bath this morning. I left the water in the tub to use for flushing the toilet via an old square laundry soap bucket that holds enough water for a couple of flushes. Recycling your water from a bath to the rinse water from doing the dishes cuts down on some of the heavy lifting.
Tonight I made up a big batch of rice and for good rice you need to rinse it before cooking so I added the used rinse water to flush the toilet bucket. A couple of empty buckets in the kitchen and bathroom makes recycling the water a lot easier. I am doing my dishes in a couple of small dishpans rather than the sink so I can add that rinse water to the flush the toilet bucket. I can’t flush the toilet after every use but flushing it at least 3-5 times + a day is very doable. In the summer time I would flush less and use some of that water for my plants or trees.
The wood stove has been a huge energy saver both physically and electrically. I can set my full stock pots on the lower part of my step top stove and have plenty of hot water in the morning. With the two igloo insulated jugs I have about 20 gallons of hot water ready to go when I wake up. Tomorrow morning I’m going to try out the Zodi Camp shower but I’m just going to use the pump in a bucket of hot water, not the propane heater part because of the carbon monoxide risk using the stove indoors is a big NO GO. The pump for the Zodi water heater is slightly to large to fit in the 15 gallon water barrel bung so I have to use a bucket or the igloo jug as the shower’s hot water tank.
The 15 gallon water barrel seems to be just about the perfect size for my water storage and ease of use. I have some of the large 55-60 gallon water storage barrels, but the 15 gallon barrel can be move more easily with a small dolly into the kitchen or bathroom from it’s storage spot. It’s simple to siphon at least 10 gallons of water into a couple of the big stock pots or 5 gallon camp jugs for easy access and the last 5 gallons of water can be hand poured into a bucket or jug. The half gallon plastic pitchers are working out great for adding water to dishpans and other smaller tasks. It might take few pitcher’s worth to fill containers but the weight is low enough (four pounds) that nearly anyone can handle that amount of weight. If I was to recommend a basic water set up per person I would recommend one 15 gallon water barrel, one 5 gallon insulated igloo drink jug, one five gallon bucket and one 1/2 gallon pitcher. I’d leave the igloo and 5 gallon bucket empty but fill up the 15 gallon barrel. That would give each person a two week supply of water always on hand. The igloo jug could be filled with either hot or cold water depending on need and the season and the 5 gallon bucket could be used for gathering in rain water or as a potty bucket. Add a good water filter and that would give you a great set up for your water preparation that could fit in a closet and take up very little floor space.
One last thing for water is I keep a two gallon Rubbermaid insulated jug of hot/warm water by the bathroom sink. This jug isn’t as well insulated as the igloo type jugs but it works great for hand washing or brushing teeth and that sort of thing. Good sanitation and hygiene are critical in an emergency or disaster. Having people balk at hand washing because the water is cold is a very bad thing. It’s a little extra work to fill up the small jug but it can payoff big time in no one getting sick from a filth disease.