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How do I get freshwater in my off-grid home?

Generally, an off-grid building must be able to supply energy and potable water for itself. There are several ways to access drinking water in your off-grid home.

Off-the-grid or off-grid is a characteristic of buildings and a lifestyle designed in an independent manner without reliance on one or more public utilities. ... Generally, an off-grid building must be able to supply energy and potable water for itself, as well as manage food, waste and wastewater. There are several ways to access drinking water:

1. Set up on-site water storage

Whatever you do, you’re going to need to be able to store water on your property.  If you have a well, then most of your water storage is below ground.  But even so, you’ll have a pressure tank that will store some water for you.  But especially if you’re going to collect water from another source, you’ll need to be able to store enough water on your property to last a few days at least. Because the water stands still in the storage, a purifier that removes bacteria and viruses from the water is strongly recommended. Since the water source has to supply a whole household the Aquablu Pro has a sufficient flow rate to supply the whole household (250+ l/h).

2. Collect water from a stream of spring on the property 

If you have a source of water running through your property, even part of the year, this can be a great source of usable water. Is stream water clean enough to drink?  No.  Don’t drink water directly from a stream. Depending on your location, harmful contaminants can be present in the spring. Especially bacteria are commonly found in still standing waters. Also, it could be that you are located, or the spring is connected to, an agriculture area - pesticides can drain into the water.  If you're located near an industrial area, be cautious of heavy metals. A membrane with the size of 0.0001 microns can filter all these contaminants out. 

3. Capture Rainwater

Don’t have a stream on your property?  Or maybe you can’t get enough water from the stream to meet your needs? Capturing rainwater can be a great way to supplement your water collection in some places.  And in some locations, it can be enough to meet all your water needs. The best way to capture rainwater is to use the largest surface you have available to guide the rainwater to your rainwater collection setup.  For most people, this is the roof of your off-grid cabin.

But, don't drink rainwater directly. Microbial contaminant of collected rainwater, indicated by E.coli is quite common, particularly in samples collected shortly after rainfall.  Rainwater is slightly acidic and very low in dissolved minerals; as such it is relatively aggressive.

Rainwater can dissolve heavy metals and other impurities from materials of the catchment and storage tank. In most cases, chemical concentrations in rainwater are within acceptable limits; however, elevated levels of zinc and lead have sometimes been reported. This could be from leaching from metallic roofs and storage tanks or from atmospheric pollution.  Again, a membrane with the size of 0.0001-micron filters all these contaminants out. Supreme Osmosis technology can be used to optimize the filtering process. 

4. Disinfecting

However you collect your water, you need to make sure the water is clean to drink. Water often contains bacteria that our stomachs don't handle very well. That's why disinfecting is so important. This can be done by chlorinating it. This option doesn’t sit well with most people.  I don’t think anybody likes the flavor of chlorine in their water.  But, if you need your water safe to drink or use for cleaning, then adding some chlorine will do the job.

Safest option: Professional purification

Our recommendation for water filtration in an off-grid situation is the Aquablu Pro.  This system can filter 250+ liters of drinking water per hour, from any water source except seawater. The best part about this filter is that it can filter lake water and remove all the particles and bacteria that make it unsafe for drinking.