11 – Gravity Fed Water for the Farm

Now it was time to get to work on getting the water out of the ground and distributed around the property.

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I liked the simplicity and reliability of a gravity fed system even though I knew it was going to be a TON of work and a TON of material. Basically, you have one pump in the well that is sized correctly to push water uphill to storage tanks. It only requires one line that can easily be teed off to whatever you might need.

The elevation difference is what gives you your water pressure and the line is always charged. No pressure pumps to go bad or need power and so simple, some of my friends had trouble grasping the concept of what I was doing until they saw it work in person.

The storage tanks total 10,000 gallons and sit over 100′ elevation above the well head.

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The first phase is 1,800′ of 2″ main infrastructure water line with several fire hydrants and frost free valves/faucets. Each tee off for hydrants was extended 5′ past so we could easily dig up and tap into later as we build.

The result was great water pressure and legitimate fire lines that reach out 100 feet of spray. Since dialing 911 does nothing for us, having a decent fire system is a big deal.

 photo IMG_9647_zpsd4chteqi.jpgFirst up was getting tools and materials up there which is a job. Here we are bringing in the water tanks and a quarter mile of 2″ PVC to start with. The Ditch Witch belongs to a neighbor and was a huge help down low but was no match for the rock up higher on the property.

Part of cutting the roads in included a nice big pad to be leveled for the water tanks. I hauled about 6000 pounds of sand from the creek bed below to lay out for the foundation. We then used the forks on the backhoe to get the tanks from camp to their new home the morning after they were dropped off.

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I needed to make sure I had enough room to build the equal length manifold to tie the tanks together so dug it out with the backhoe. Problem is, the rocks are so big up that far on the property we had to use diamond blades, jackhammers and rock bars to finish it off. What should have taken 6 hours took 3 very long days to complete.

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At this point, Amy had to head back to Havasu to run the office while I got to stay behind and work on water lines. “Be home soon!” I said.

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Another gross underestimation of time on my part. I’ve lost count of that by now.

I was fortunate enough to have friends come up for a couple days at a time and Amy on the weekends but did most the water lines on my own. I was there for 3 months straight.

Good, honest work but it was the first time I had been away from my wife for any length of time. If you know us, you know we are attached at the hip. Being apart was the only downside, the rest was fantastic.

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