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Natural Spring Drinking Water

Nathalie Poulin


Joined: Feb 07, 2011
Posts: 60
Hey everyone,

In Sepp's new book he talks about only drinking spring water. I know he has over 70 ponds etc but I want to know how one who is building their homestead go about drinking fresh spring water without worrying about bacteria and giardia?
I know Paul just added a post about a nifty water filter, but if I wanted to drink from the land (so to speak), how could it be done? How does Sepp do it?
Burra Maluca
Mother Tree

Joined: Apr 03, 2010
Posts: 4426
Location: Portugal Zone 9 Mediterranean Climate
    
164
Sepp lives in western Europe, where giardia is still uncommon. 

I've drunk from wells and springs all my life and never even heard of giardia until a few years ago.  In Wales, most rural properties had their own water supply, and it was common practice for would-be smallholders/homesteaders to tip a bit of chlorine bleach down the well before the compulsory water test before a mortgage would be issued, as the only test ever performed was for bacteria.  Most people had newts breeding in their wells.  It was considered that if a newt would breed in the water, then it was clean enough to drink. 


What is a Mother Tree ?
                                  


Joined: May 16, 2011
Posts: 22
We have a spring that supplies all our water, it's a big reason I wanted to buy this place.  I had it tested for dangerous minerals before I went through with the deal.  Some springs can have natural contaminants. 

Before we added a roof over the box that catches water we had bits of debris in the water on a regular basis.  Or the line would get clogged with pine cones.  Then a bear started using it as a swimming pool in August.  And after that both of us started having very interesting visits to the outhouse

SO we cleaned the box out down to clean gravel, sealed the holes with bentonite clay, and created a small building over the box so that nothing could fall or climb in.  We've had clear water ever since, and after a few weeks of wormwood and black walnut tincture our "movements" became normal. 

I've seen salamanders in the spring box, and I hate the idea of chlorine in anything, so I've never even considered adding it at any time.  Several people have suggested it, I just smile as politely as I can and say something like "yes I could do that."  (but I won't) 

I feel healthier right now than I ever have, and I'm sure that the water we drink is part of the reason.  I think the bacteria and whatever else happens to be in our water is good for us, adding to the strength of our immune systems.  Also, when city folks visit they do not get weird outhouse experiences, so that tells me we're probably ok. 

My grandpa got girardia at elk hunting camp, from washing dishes in the creek, I think it's more common in streams.  Took him a year to get rid of it, we were worried it would kill him for a few months (he became very thin)  With a good spring the water comes from very deep in the ground, and I imagine that the plants and rocks acts as a purifier for the rainwater as it soaks into the ground. 

I don't think wells should be considered the same as spring water.  Many people think there are energetic and spiritual elements to spring water that well water lacks.  Punching a hole in an aquifer to pump water out is very different from capturing water that naturally pushes itself out of the ground, in my opinion. 
                        


Joined: Mar 25, 2011
Posts: 107
What minerals did you test for?

Here we have several springs to choose from.  Unfortunately in the past five years drilling for oil has progressed to the point that I noticed an oily/slick residue on water coming out of a hillside earlier this spring when we had a lot of precipitation (water table rising, I presume this is how springs... spring).  If I were to rely on this water as my drinking water (as I wish I could) I would first test it for some kind of oil contaminants.  The drilling has very clearly affected several springs on-site.

I like the idea of roots serving as a natural filter.  Rock filters also work.  Some people like charcoal filters.
                    


Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
I have a well with pressure/volumefor 10 homes. I also have a backup spring fed line that I use mostly for irrigation, which I dont need much of. many elements, single function, etc/

giardia life cycle includes a gut incubation and spwan, so the most likely way to get beaver fever is shit to mouth disease- animals shit in water and then somebody drinks it.  boiling the water is one simple but energy intensive way to deal with giardia and other protozoan waterborne ailments- which, until the 1890-1920 creation of municipal water supplys, were responisible for more deaths annually in the US than car crashes are now- over 100K in chicago alone in the 1890's. diptheria, malaria, etc...

most of the these dangerous critters are anaerobic- they dont need to breathe. to kill these buggers, boiling (7 minutes min, think same as hardboiled egg) , filtering (2 micron is max size for bacteria like giardia), pressurizing (ever try to compress water?) and finaly chemicals (iodine, 25 minutes  use vitamin c powder to help nutralize bad taste)  are the way it tends to get dealt with depending on local resources/wealth.

now there are virus as well. the filters get pretty hard pressed at that scale, but I hear carbon ceramics in the .2mc range are available that can do it. of course, boiling and iodine are options.

note on iodine, cholorine etc: the water you tap needs treated, in sink or on stove, not  the source! just to be clear. if you want to treat the source, theres a whole other GREAT set of things to do, and they revolve around assessing the biological state of the spring site for variuous indicators, and then adjusting the biological assembly at the pre-system intake towards clean water by introducing more filter plants and indicator species (ie, cattail suck up anything, and a few local minnows known to require high oxygen cold temp water- when we had a direct line from the stream, we had brooke trout in the pond...had to be clean. a flood in 97 blew my high road and pond out and I havent rebuilt as the low road works fine. interesting to watch the stream side morphology adjust...anyhow, that preintake filter design angle is a great one and there are folks doing interesting work there.

once the water is in system, I prefer a 20mc and a 1mc filter.

if you know your ground source, have it tapped direct and no mammals can poo in it, and use a good filter kept clean, youll be fine. unless they frak your valley, there are major local tectonic/hydromorphological shifts, industrial forestry practices happen next door, or you endure large hydrocarbon spills.  good luck!

Walter Jeffries


Joined: Nov 21, 2010
Posts: 907
    
  18
We have spring water and have been here about 20 years, bit more. Our last place had spring water too. It's great. We are fortunate in that our springs have never run dry. Our neighbors did and they had to drill wells about a decade(?) ago during one very dry summer. Ours is the oldest house in the valley and I suspect that the spring location is why the house was built here. At one time there was an entire village on our land but now ours is the last house and it is trying to fall down. Interestingly, they had running water to the house over 230 years ago when they build the house. They used wooden cedar(?) pipes. I found pieces when doing repairs to the spring.
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 6453
Location: Moving to: NE Washington USDA zone 5 Western steppes to the Rockies
    
133
Cedar pipes?  Ya' gotta love that!  I'll bet it was originally painted "New England Gray" (with "paint" made from surplus milk and blueberries).
Walter Jeffries


Joined: Nov 21, 2010
Posts: 907
    
  18
The interior was horse hair plaster on split lath. The roof split slats, the eterior I'm not sure if it is the material on it that we see today, unpainted cedar(?). Structurally it is post and beam.
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 6453
Location: Moving to: NE Washington USDA zone 5 Western steppes to the Rockies
    
133
Many years ago I read that in Colonial days, the common grey paint was made from milk and blue berries.  That was probably not 100% accurate.  After making butter and cheese, they probably used whey, not "milk".
Carina Robicheaux


Joined: Nov 08, 2011
Posts: 35
Location: Oregon Coast Range zone 8b
Drinking spring water is common in my neck of the woods. I've only heard of anyone getting sick when they drank out of the big creek directly (stupid. cows upstream on the big creek) All the neighbors do it, and I've been drinking natural water from at least 5 different springs for almost 2 years with no problems.
I am now helping Mom and friends develop a new 30 acre homestead and need to install a spring box of some kind to collect water from our spring. The site we've chosen for pickup is about 40 feet downhill of the spring source, and the water runs on the surface over an impermeableish silty clay layer.
I am looking for suggestions on how to construct the pickup box to avoid debris/silt clogging the pickup filter (it would be covered so bears don't swim in it. Newts and snails are OK by me, provided they don't clog my lines)

I would appreciate advice from anyone who has done this or has ideas.

Thanks!


You can't fight the waves but you can learn to surf.
Fred Morgan
steward

Joined: Sep 29, 2009
Posts: 972
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
    
  12
All our water is spring water. We have "the runs" when we visit the USA and drink municipal water.


Sustainable Plantations and Agroforestry in Costa Rica
Kota Dubois


Joined: Oct 13, 2011
Posts: 171
    
    3
When we first got our property there was a small spring box from which the pipe flowed down to the cabin. It was in really bad shape so we bought a used whiskey barrel to replace it. The barrel was totally sealed so we drilled half a dozen 1 inch holes in the sides near the bottom and covered them with nylon window screen to keep debris out, and then infilled around the barrel with gravel. That first year we had swish on tap in the cabin , and in the 25 years since have had wonderful, cool, sweet spring water with never a problem with pathogens.


We cannot change the waves of expansion and contraction, as their scale is beyond human control, but we can learn to surf. Nicole Foss @ The Automatic Earth
Walter Jeffries


Joined: Nov 21, 2010
Posts: 907
    
  18
We only drink spring water. No giardia or other bacteria problems. Frogs and newts do live in the spring. It's real life. Maybe we're just adapted to it. Maybe he is too.
Fred Morgan
steward

Joined: Sep 29, 2009
Posts: 972
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
    
  12
Think about it, what did we do before there was public water?

But then again, probably the reason people live so long is clean drinking water. There are some very, very nasty diseases associated with contaminated water, so make sure your spring is protected, and it really helps to know what is above your spring!
Walter Jeffries


Joined: Nov 21, 2010
Posts: 907
    
  18
Fred Morgan wrote:it really helps to know what is above your spring!


Which is why I bought all the land above us. I don't want runoff from other human type critters.
Fred Morgan
steward

Joined: Sep 29, 2009
Posts: 972
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
    
  12
Yep, it is why I own the top of the hill, too, heck all the way down to the river too.
Carina Robicheaux


Joined: Nov 08, 2011
Posts: 35
Location: Oregon Coast Range zone 8b
Thanks for the idea about the whiskey barrel with holes drilled in it. I'm planning a similar system with a food grade plastic barrel and gravel backfill. It's good to hear from someone happy with this type of system. The head wall of our spring is about 40 linear feet uphill of our pickup point, and we own the hill and the watershed of the spring.

I think clean, live water with no chemicals (chlorine, flouride) really does make people live longer. Many people in this valley are over 80 and getting along just fine. One woman just celebrated her 100th birthday. All the 60-70 year olds look and act 20 years younger. Clean water is something I'm deeply grateful for every day I wake up.
David Hadjes


Joined: Dec 02, 2011
Posts: 4
jaggednib McCoy wrote:Hey everyone,

In Sepp's new book he talks about only drinking spring water. I know he has over 70 ponds etc but I want to know how one who is building their homestead go about drinking fresh spring water without worrying about bacteria and giardia?
I know Paul just added a post about a nifty water filter, but if I wanted to drink from the land (so to speak), how could it be done? How does Sepp do it?


What are the recommended tests for contaminates ?
Theresa Whited


Joined: Jan 26, 2012
Posts: 41
www.ibuildwithmud.wordpress.com

So glad you asked about the water it is my current project. I have 5.5 acres of forest in a square shape with the foundation about 70 feet from the road. The land slopes north toward a spring that is probable about 300 ft down in the ravine. There are 2 spots where fresh water pours out of carbon rock about 2ft up from the creek bed. There is very little of the world supply of water that is fresh water so I feel very lucky. How do I get this water 250ft up hill to the house with out disturbing the land too much? I don't want to have to dig a typical well because I want to go more natural. My daughter also says that something about the age of the earth that when you dig too deep there is a possibility of releasing radon into your water. I have not studied this because I didn't want a well anyway. I have looked into aquifiers, cisterns, and ect. The earth is already cleansing and holding the water I would like to find a way to just access it. I will be using a compost toilet so I won't be creating sewage.

The info about the roof is exactly what I needed. I believe it would be easiest to build the walls first but that is not how they suggest to do it. It is suggested to build up to the roof but I am not sure why except to keep the rain off the cob while building. I am going to have electric but I am going to supplement with a starter package probably from Missouri wind and solar. For about $600 you get the battery and inverter and a panel and turbine last time I looked. I plan on adding panels as I can afford (always start small).
Carina Robicheaux


Joined: Nov 08, 2011
Posts: 35
Location: Oregon Coast Range zone 8b
Theresa, if your spring has adequate flow, you might be able to use a ram pump to move the water where you need it. Check out the Ram pump thread on the homestead forum. Good luck.
Theresa Whited


Joined: Jan 26, 2012
Posts: 41
Carina Robicheaux wrote:Theresa, if your spring has adequate flow, you might be able to use a ram pump to move the water where you need it. Check out the Ram pump thread on the homestead forum. Good luck.


Thanks Carina I did find the ram pumps but I was looking for more info if it will work for my property.
Theresa Whited


Joined: Jan 26, 2012
Posts: 41
I'm getting estimates today. I call this big well company in the area and he says it will cost the same to install a cistern 10x10 underground concrete that it would to install a well at $7,500. I have done some concrete work already and my pop has a cistern. I want a cistern because I have a spring that I want to install a ram pump that I can then pump to the cistern or whatever. The guy hung up on me, they don't want to talk to me if I'm not ready to give them thousands and just do what they want not what I want. I believe the cistern would be fast and inexpensive water for now so I can move in if I can find someone to help me install.
 
 
subject: Natural Spring Drinking Water
 
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