Our long and winding driveway opened up a whole new world for us, because it meant we could obtain a source of fresh water and could then apply for a building permit for our eco home.
This video blog episode covers the well drilling and hooking it up to a solar powered water pump, no batteries required! Now we are able to access a source of beautiful, clear and refreshing water all year round.
Transcript of the video narrative
Sarah: “Well, well, well! A hole in the ground that sometimes has water in it. In this episode we are doing to show you how we were able to finally have our well drilled. You might remember that when we bought the lot here, it didn’t have a well on it already: and this is quite unusual because normally before anyone can build here they have to prove there is a source of fresh water, so we had to start from scratch. It took quite a while because, in the last two episodes you have seen how we spent quite a few months putting the driveway in so that we could get to the right place so that a drill truck could come up and actually do the drilling. Let us take a quick look at the original drill site:
(A clip from episode 1). Right now, this is the first level and in here through this stand of trees X marks the spot and a bit of blue tape down there. This is probably where we will drill for water in a few months time. We had a guy called old Albert over, who is known for well witching and he is in his eighties now. Anyway he came up here with his applewood branch – his divining rod and reckons anywhere along this gully here it would be alright for drilling for water. We shall see. That’s still a few months down the line as we have to build a roadway or rather a driveway to get a drilling truck up this far.
(Back to the present). That was a really good bit of news from Albert yesterday that he reckons he will get his drill truck up here. That was the six million dollar question for us, because to be frank, helicoptering in a drill is not in our budget! So I’m now going to tell you the second bit of exciting news as we walk up here…look we can get the ATV right up here now, which is a relief. So, right, you might remember the last time I walked you up here I mentioned that the first drill site, well the only drill site Albert mentioned the first time he was here is through those trees there. We could take a closer look if you like. This is one of my favourite spots here, I would quite like to make it a meditation spot. So when Albert came here last year he witched this area and found a spot just through these trees, where that stack of wood is there and that’s because, he explained to us that there is an underground stream that passes right under here and goes along.
So I am now going to show you the second spot he found and, of course, as sods law would have it, guess where it is? We are going to have to move this wood stack, because it is about here, just in front of that tree, just off of the driveway and just in front of our boundary marked by that post there with the pink paint on it. That’s because Albert said the stream runs from those trees diagonally across here and he reckons it meets another stream that comes down, well underneath, and joins it about here.
But that’s not all, what is even more exciting is, he said, he should be able to get the truck right up here and….ooops, slip slidey away here….and we should be able to drill in there and it is the same sort of thing Albert reckons we have got a spot here where two underground streams connect and this will be perfect for us, we’ve just got to clear this up a bit and grade it a bit so that the truck can back in here but if you see up there, that is our tiny house and outhouse, the building spot is just behind them on top of the hill there, so this is perfect and although you might be a bit sceptical of well witchers Albert has been doing this for decades and he is probably in his late seventies or even eighties now and according to all the neighbours, who have had all their wells witched by Albert, he is never wrong and he has given us a deadline to get all of the sort of improvements done, changes so that he can bring his drill truck up on the 15th May. So that is D-day for us, drill day! Isn’t it exciting?
Well as you can see the drill crew are drilling here. They started yesterday and we understand they got down to about seventy feet and they are doing really well. It’s a bit noisy though!”
Brett: “Hi folks! Well, we have water! The well is drilled, the truck just left here now . Albert, the company owner, will be over to do a well log and will get a water test done at the department of health. They will take it in and register the well and so we are on our way to the next step, which is being able to build the house. You have to have a well on the property, you have to have adequate water before they will give you a building permit. We do have that now. We’ve got a good six and a half gallons per minute and so we are all set. We picked up the pump in Edmonton a couple of days ago and a water tank, there will be a water tank built on a tower above this, this whole area will be boxed in and in that will be the controller for the solar panels, which are going on our main house actually, so we are on our way to having a good water system that will run on solar panels only. We don’t need batteries and we have a fifteen hundred US gallon tank (1250 gallon in Canada) that will go on a stand. We will pump the tank full and then water from the tank will be used in the house and on the property.
We have picked up a solar powered pump and these two panels will run the pump. We don’t need a battery because the pump will shut off a float switch, when it asks for power, if there is no power, it just won’t run. When the sun comes out it will power up the pump and fill the tank. The pump will do six gallons a minute but I think I will set it to about three and so the tank could take a few hours to fill. In a day, I think we can fill it from drained all the way full and it will never go below probably a thousand gallons, normally. That’s where the pump will kick in and refill it. The next step is that the panels will go up on the roof here and below the solar panels that are already there and be wired directly to where the well head is and that is where the controller for the pump will do and the water tank will be on a stand above the well.
“Don’t do it on purpose!”
Sarah: “I’m not!”
Brett: “Turkey!…there she is folks, holding up twenty feet of pipe in the air. Let’s see if she can do it. I think I will just leave her there for a little while…
The water looks pretty clear. No bad taste. Wow! That’s great. Water from our well, the first drink.
Here it is, the well head. This line is connected to the pump. We have two safety lines just in case, since there were two places to put it. The wires are coming out all the way from the well pump, which is a solar pump, and it runs over here, for now it is just sitting here, to this panel here and The panel runs the pump. As you can see, looking out at the world, it is a cloudy day today but the pump is still working. It pumps the water up. We will pump it up into this tank that is behind us here and from there we should have free flow into the house, gravity fed. We have water…“
Sarah: “How much pipe did you put in?“
Brett: “We put in a hundred and twenty feet of pipe into a hundred and forty foot well, that leaves space for sediment build up or anything like that and so we are all set. We’re up and running and the next step is to set up the tank on its stand.
Here is our little pump shack and tool room and we’re putting a bit of cedar siding on it and were going to finish it off like the rest of the buildings on our property. It will basically house the electronics for the pump, and if necessary, batteries in the winter time. But we’ll see…
There you go folks …sun power…We are filling up our barrels and Albert is coming to test the water today so I thought I would run everything through to get it good and clear. To make sure it is really clear, as you can see the water is coming out of there and you can’t even hardly see it against the grey.”
Sarah: “We built the platform for our water tank in the same way as we built the floor for our tiny house and the outhouse, so do refer back to stories two and four for a description.
We had lots of fun rolling the tank into place as you can see. Soon, Brett hooked everything up and we had cool, fresh, clear running water right to our tiny house and outhouse. Well, what a result!”
We hope you enjoyed watching this video story!
The music I used in this video is from the YouTube Audio Library, which is an excellent source of royalty free pieces and they appear in the following order:
1. Jal – Edge of Water by Aakash Gandhi
2. Magical Forest by Sir Cubworth
3. Water Truck by Trevor Garrod
4. Whispering Stream by E’s Jammy Jams
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Thanks so much for watching and supporting us on our Two Blondes on a Build journey!
Peace, love and light,
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