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September 16, 2009

Running Water, revisited

Last summer I ran water from the top of our hill to the horse corral. The hoses leaked and the water pressure was very low, but it worked and I didn't have to haul the heavy 5-gallon water containers up and down the hill.

Since then we have refenced, built a barn, and now the horses are all loose together in the pasture, and drink from the trough at the top of the hill that is in reach of the hose. For awhile we didn't need to carry water down the hill, but our oldest horse is dealing with limited mobility due to her arthritis and we want to make sure she has water down at the barn where she spends most of her time. The others will graze in the far corners of the pasture, but she tends to stay in one general area.

My husband bought a 250-gallon water tank on Craigslist. Our first idea was to put it on a wagon or cart frame, and pull it up the hill to the water faucet to fill it, then pull it down the hill to use. We soon decided that we do not have a trailer/wagon/cart that will hold the weight of the full tank, so it was back to the drawing board.

After a lot of thinking and brainstorming, the tank is now installed at the edge of the hilltop. Hoses reach from the faucet to the tank and we keep the tank full. The spigot on the bottom edge of the tank is connected to 3 new hoses, but we still had to add some of the old hoses to the end so it would reach the water trough near the barn - it's a looooong distance. We'll replace the leaky hoses as we are able.

To be more self-sufficient, we should probably have situated the tank under the downspout of a building, and use the faucet as a supplemental water source to fill the tank. We may do that in the future; for now, every downspout has a barrel or trough or other container under it already so rain isn't wasted - unless it's a gullywasher and overflows the containers. We had several of those this week; rain in September in Oklahoma is a true blessing.

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