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Posted: 6/6/2021 10:07:37 PM EDT
I was out in AZ last week and folks talked about the need to haul water to homes off the beaten path. This really peaked the nerd side of my brain and I wanted to know a little more about the process. I would appreciate a little knowledge from folks that live in AZ.

a.) How much would the average family have hauled in at a time?
b.) Is it stored above or below ground?
c.) Do you use plastic or steel tanks?
d.) How do you keep algae from growing in the water?
e.) Do you use some sort of filtering system between the tank and structure?
f.) Can you depend on Solar to run a pump and keep everything running proper?
Link Posted: 6/6/2021 11:07:48 PM EDT
Look up the "handeeman" and "homesteadenomics" channels on You Tube.  

One lives entirely off of rainwater, with a solar system that drives a shallow well pump.  

The other lives off of 90-95% rainwater.

Long-term, hauling water seems like a suckers way to do it.  Rainwater is the way to go.  

Even though it doesn't rain much in most of Arizona, a properly designed system and appropriate habits make it entirely possible.
Link Posted: 6/7/2021 5:43:29 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Corporal_Chaos:

......  Long-term, hauling water seems like a suckers way to do it.  Rainwater is the way to go.  

Even though it doesn't rain much in most of Arizona, a properly designed system and appropriate habits make it entirely possible.
View Quote



The people I know that haul water, do it because they can afford the land.
If they could afford a system that would allow them to live off of rainwater, they could afford the land that has ground water.
Basically catch-22.
Link Posted: 6/7/2021 6:47:58 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/8/2021 12:17:49 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/8/2021 12:26:14 AM EDT by boomhower]
I have a side job hauling water for folks in New river. Below ground tanks are almost always galvanized however I'm seeing polly more and more. Above ground are polly or galvanized. Poly tanks have an anti microbial lining, as long as light does not shine through the tank funk does not grow unless the water sits for months.

Most people haul water to subsidize their well, the water table is not where it was 20 years ago. Usage is a big variable depending on family size, animals, plants, and how good your well is.

Filters are needed, i see sediment in the bottom of every tank as well as floating galvanize flakes.  Most people do a 2500 or 3k tank as minimum delivery is a 2k charge.
Link Posted: 6/8/2021 4:10:34 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By boomhower:
I have a side job hauling water for folks in New river. Below ground tanks are almost always galvanized however I'm seeing polly more and more. Above ground are polly or galvanized. Poly tanks have an anti microbial lining, as long as light does not shine through the tank funk does not grow unless the water sits for months.

Most people haul water to subsidize their well, the water table is not where it was 20 years ago. Usage is a big variable depending on family size, animals, plants, and how good your well is.

Filters are needed, i see sediment in the bottom of every tank as well as floating galvanize flakes.  Most people do a 2500 or 3k tank as minimum delivery is a 2k charge.
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Interesting.  What does a 2k charge typically cost?

I'd like to get an idea how long it would take to recoup the cost of a rainwater harvesting system compared to buying in water.  

The only number I've heard before was about $200 for 2000 gallons but I have no idea if that is still accurate.
Link Posted: 6/8/2021 4:30:39 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/8/2021 4:32:28 AM EDT by Corporal_Chaos]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By azcheesehead:



The people I know that haul water, do it because they can afford the land.
If they could afford a system that would allow them to live off of rainwater, they could afford the land that has ground water.
Basically catch-22.
View Quote


Are you saying that people that you know that haul water do so because they can afford cheaper land that generally would be very expensive to dig a well on?  i.e digging a well isn't an option due to money and/or depth of the water table beneath their land?  Just trying to make sure I understood your post correctly.

If that's the case, I think rainwater would still be better.  Up front there might be a large cost but the difference in cost between hauling and rainwater is reduced by the fact that some of the cost are the same.  

For example, both systems require storage tanks, albeit, rainwater harvesting requires more capacity to get through dry spells.

My mom is in the process of getting a system installed and the actual gutters only account for about 20% of the cost (albeit because I'm doing the rest of the work).   I can't save her money on labor with the gutters because she is going seamless and they are made on site.  The bulk of her cost will be tied up in the 5200 or so gallon capacity of tanks.  She's on city water, but because of her usage, the system will still pay for itself  after 10-15 years.  Especially if Tucson manages to pass it's 50% rate increase on water users outside of the city limits.  Plus it doubles as a prep for an interruption in the water supply.
Link Posted: 6/8/2021 10:23:08 AM EDT
Up here where I live, a lot of people in the outlying areas can't afford the $30-$50K just to have a well dug, then you have to add in the booster pump, pressure tank, filtration, etc..

As for storing the water, all the tanks I see are the poly tanks above ground. Many people do have a filtration system to filter before entering the home, but they also add H2O2 once a month to keep the water clean. We have a well, and even though we do treat with H2O2, we also use a UV filter.

Collecting rainwater is great, and we do that as well, but only off the metal roof, and that water is relegated to irrigation.



Link Posted: 6/8/2021 7:40:25 PM EDT
Originally Posted By blacksan:
I was out in AZ last week and folks talked about the need to haul water to homes off the beaten path. This really peaked the nerd side of my brain and I wanted to know a little more about the process. I would appreciate a little knowledge from folks that live in AZ.

a.) How much would the average family have hauled in at a time?
b.) Is it stored above or below ground?
c.) Do you use plastic or steel tanks?
d.) How do you keep algae from growing in the water?
e.) Do you use some sort of filtering system between the tank and structure?
f.) Can you depend on Solar to run a pump and keep everything running proper?
View Quote


I have two places in Prescott National Forest, one has a well, one doesn't. Lots of neighbors don't.

First place we looked at buying had a well with a tank as "backup." (Turned out it was more than a backup.)

a) about 1-2,000 gallons at a time seems to be the norm for most people's fills. I'm not at the cabin full time and it has a catchment set up, so I don't have to fill it.
b) vast majority are above ground
c) black poly tanks, 1250-2500 gallons. Mine's 1250.
d) Hasn't been an issue, can always toss some bleach in.
e) Yeah, a basic carbon filter with a pre-filter. I do NOT drink my water, I use my distiller or bring in good drinking water.
f) Yep, solar runs a basic pressure pump at the cabin and it's all good to go. Where my house is, there's utility power and people have normal pressure pumps.

Some people who are living on the poverty line have smaller tanks, and little trailer set ups where they go and get
water themselves.

This is a really old article, but it hits all the major themes: http://archive.azcentral.com/specials/special26/articles/0627rwater-haulers27.html

Link Posted: 6/8/2021 9:05:36 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Corporal_Chaos:


Interesting.  What does a 2k charge typically cost?

I'd like to get an idea how long it would take to recoup the cost of a rainwater harvesting system compared to buying in water.  

The only number I've heard before was about $200 for 2000 gallons but I have no idea if that is still accurate.
View Quote


100 for 2k if your local.
Link Posted: 6/8/2021 11:04:46 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/23/2021 1:29:50 AM EDT by MarkP]
Originally Posted By blacksan:
I was out in AZ last week and folks talked about the need to haul water to homes off the beaten path. This really peaked the nerd side of my brain and I wanted to know a little more about the process. I would appreciate a little knowledge from folks that live in AZ.

a.) How much would the average family have hauled in at a time?
b.) Is it stored above or below ground?
c.) Do you use plastic or steel tanks?
d.) How do you keep algae from growing in the water?
e.) Do you use some sort of filtering system between the tank and structure?
f.) Can you depend on Solar to run a pump and keep everything running proper?
View Quote


A) depends on family size and average daily use. I've seen most haulers use a 200-300 gallon water trailer. There are fill points provided by a local water company. Going rate was 25 cents per gallon and up.
B) both. Below ground is popular for colder climates.
C) plastic seems to be the majority
D) chlorine
E) depends. If the water has any sediment, there will be a filter at the house. Seen instances of users having to replace filters every month. ($$$$$)
F) Maybe. Ranchers are using solar to power converted windmills, they pump all day but the output is minimal. Imo, there would be to much demand on the pump for typical family daily use.
Link Posted: 6/22/2021 6:01:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/22/2021 6:02:04 PM EDT by 0llll0]
Lots of good info already from people. Here is my situation.....

We use about 1200gl per month in the non-growing season (Oct-Mar) for two adults, 2 dogs, and 2 shop cats.

Growing season (Apr-Sept)we will average about 1000gl+ per week for personal and 490sqft of garden beds.

I have a 1200sqft metal building/shop that I catch rainwater/snow melt from. 1" precipitation per 1000sqft of roof gets you 600gl of water (approx).

I have 3x2500gl, 2x1500, 1x500 for 11000gl of storage plus another 1400gl in the tanks I haul with. I Keep minimum of 7500gl on hand in the summer and let it go down to around 4500gl as we head into winter. I adjust where water is at to leave storage capacity open for the snow melt in winter or the rains during monsoon season.  In two winters I've been here, all of my tanks were full or snow melt when growing season started. No matter how much it rains or snows, if you've got nowhere to put it, you're SOL. By the end of this summer or early in spring I will be helping my Father-In-Law built a 20k gallon cistern to share on their property. They are 1.5 miles the other side of the valley and have 6 horses. We've been here two years and have already built up a solid infrastructure. But more water storage will never hurt.

In winter I haul 1100gl at a time on my trailer and in summer I add an extra tote to the bed of the truck to keep it down to around 3-4 trips to town a month to get water 1400gl at a time.

I researched a well on my land. 300'-500' @ $30k-50k with no guarantee I won't have to go deeper in the future or even if I do whether there will be usable water. For that kind of money I can haul an awful lot of water and catch a lot when it rains.

I am also good friends with the rancher in this area and in an emergency, he has two different wells within a mile I can use.

All of the water going into our home is 10 micron GAC, 5 micron paper, then UV filtered. Garden and cloths washing is simple paper filter for solids.

This time of year there is another 275gl tote in the bed of the truck. It costs me 1 cent per gallon to get water in town here.

Link Posted: 6/22/2021 7:24:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/22/2021 7:26:21 PM EDT by Corporal_Chaos]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 0llll0:
Lots of good info already from people. Here is my situation.....

We use about 1200gl per month in the non-growing season (Oct-Mar) for two adults, 2 dogs, and 2 shop cats.

Growing season (Apr-Sept)we will average about 1000gl+ per week for personal and 490sqft of garden beds.

I have a 1200sqft metal building/shop that I catch rainwater/snow melt from. 1" precipitation per 1000sqft of roof gets you 600gl of water (approx).

I have 3x2500gl, 2x1500, 1x500 for 11000gl of storage plus another 1400gl in the tanks I haul with. I Keep minimum of 7500gl on hand in the summer and let it go down to around 4500gl as we head into winter. I adjust where water is at to leave storage capacity open for the snow melt in winter or the rains during monsoon season.  In two winters I've been here, all of my tanks were full or snow melt when growing season started. No matter how much it rains or snows, if you've got nowhere to put it, you're SOL. By the end of this summer or early in spring I will be helping my Father-In-Law built a 20k gallon cistern to share on their property. They are 1.5 miles the other side of the valley and have 6 horses. We've been here two years and have already built up a solid infrastructure. But more water storage will never hurt.

In winter I haul 1100gl at a time on my trailer and in summer I add an extra tote to the bed of the truck to keep it down to around 3-4 trips to town a month to get water 1400gl at a time.

I researched a well on my land. 300'-500' @ $30k-50k with no guarantee I won't have to go deeper in the future or even if I do whether there will be usable water. For that kind of money I can haul an awful lot of water and catch a lot when it rains.

I am also good friends with the rancher in this area and in an emergency, he has two different wells within a mile I can use.

All of the water going into our home is 10 micron GAC, 5 micron paper, then UV filtered. Garden and cloths washing is simple paper filter for solids.

This time of year there is another 275gl tote in the bed of the truck. It costs me 1 cent per gallon to get water in town here.

https://www.ar15.com/media/mediaFiles/136705/146165492_1527603630761582_6394501400081-1987807.jpg
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Nice post.  What area of the state?

You mentioned snow melt.  Does it get cold enough to have to worry about your storage tanks or inlet/outlet pipes freezing?
Link Posted: 6/22/2021 7:30:33 PM EDT
FYI to the Tucson area folks, Tucson Water offers rebates for rainwater and gray water harvesting.  You can get $2000 back on an active rainwater system.
Link Posted: 6/23/2021 10:32:01 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/23/2021 10:33:38 AM EDT by 0llll0]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Corporal_Chaos:


Nice post.  What area of the state?

You mentioned snow melt.  Does it get cold enough to have to worry about your storage tanks or inlet/outlet pipes freezing?
View Quote



I'm in Apache County, 2hrs northeast of Show Low.

It does get cold enough to freeze pipes. Maine tank that feeds the home, the pipe is buried 18". Inlet/outlet is the spot to worry about. I built boxes around those points and insulated them. Then added 2 12" led lights to the pipe that are 12v DC and powered with a deep cycle battery and small 20w solar panel. Arduino type controller turns the lights on at 2*C and off at 5*C. So far, no frozen pipes in 2 winters with lowes into the single digits over a 12hr period.

I also put clean outs on both ends of the pipe so If it's going to be a long hard freeze, I can just shut off water and blow out the pipes with compressed air, then switch and open faucets in the home one at a time and blow the inside pipes out.

This was the very first "test" set up, I have refined it significantly, but it works well.

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