I got a great question this weekend from a new prepper who was asking about their situation. They have more than one well and a hand pump that they can use if the main pumps fail. The big question was whether they still need to store water or if they’re ok.
The short answer is that yes, you still need to store water.
The long answer … is longer! It’s fantastic to have more than one well, and even better if you can use a hand pump. We’re in a similar situation at our Farm, we have a drilled well that goes down a thousand feet, and a dug well that goes down about 25 feet.
Having two wells that draw off different water sources (in our case an area fed by an artisian well and a drilled well into a deep aquifer) you get even more redundancy, which is great.
But it’s still not enough.
First, you can’t predict how your water supply will get interrupted. It’s possible for mass contamination to occur, in particular if your wells draw off the same source. Or maybe you’re in earthquake country and a single quake can take out both feed pipes. Or a massive storm hits that takes out the power and drops a tree on your garage right where your hand pump was stored.
You get the idea…
Second, if your water sources go down, you may need that stored water to get back up and running, even if it’s just to drink while you’re getting stuff fixed. Or operate flush toilets (that was one of the biggest problems we ran into when the original well at the farm dried up one day) … you’d be amazed at how much water you’ll go through if you aren’t thinking about conservation.
Finally, I am a huge fan of the convenience of having 16oz water bottles around. They’re incredibly convenient, even for day to day use, and when it comes to disasters they can’t be beat. Especially if you’re not at home.
Bottom line … you could probably get away with it if you didn’t store water, but water doesn’t go bad, and if you’re storing it from a well, it didn’t cost you more than the container. So there’s really no compelling reason to NOT store it. There’s really no downside there.
By the way … no matter what or where you are, you MUST have filtration capabilities. I recommend a Berkey filter (buy it from Jeff, the Berkey Guy) though other ceramic based filters aren’t bad at all. Having a secondary purification method like pool shock or bleach is a good idea as well.
I also think it’s a good plan to have large commercial size coffee filters on hand. If your water source has a lot of particulate matter or debris in it, you’ll get a much better life out of your main filters if you run it through something else first. Use a colander or something to hold the filter. Cheese cloth or even a T-Shirt would work, but coffee filters are darn cheap and work great. After all, that’s what they’re designed for…