3 Options to Have an Off-Grid Water System

Whenever it refers to surviving off the grid, possessing a plentiful supply of safe drinking water is essential.

It’s as simple as turning on a tap for those who live off the grid to satisfy their thirst, or take a refreshing shower.

However, if you’re considering living off the grid, finding and using water would become a considerably more complicated procedure.

In this post, we’ll go over the steps involved in finding, storing, and using water to help individuals like you who want to live off the grid figure out how to do it.

What Are Off-Grid Water Systems?

What Are Off-Grid Water Systems?

Water is our most important item while living off the grid. While we live in an urban area or the countryside, water service makes our lives simpler.

On the other hand, water is perhaps the most important element to take into account for an off-grid setup.

Your off-grid water system will determine the location of your home and buildings. It will define where your garden will be planted and where your cattle will be housed.

After you’ve designed your water supply, you’ll be able to make good construction selections.

There are several considerations to be made during the design process, so  I created this comprehensive manual to help anyone develop and construct an off-grid water infrastructure.

I’ll go over three main methods today: using a wild water source, which includes water hauling, water from natural resources, and building an off-grid water system yourself.

I’ll also go over water filtration and purification, and  how to put up a gravity-fed water system.

3 Ways To Have an Off-Grid Water System

Many individuals are unaware that there are more off-grid sources of water than they think. 

Wells are by far the most apparent solution, however, there are numerous additional options for sustainably obtaining water.

The following are three different types of off-grid water systems.

Water Hauling

Some off-grid storage tank systems allow you to reside on land that doesn’t have access to running water or a suitable water table. 

A cistern can also be used momentarily while your major water supply is being installed. This is also an excellent option for homes with just seasonal water flow.

While we wait for our well to be drilled, this is how we are dealing with our water issue. 

We  have four IBC tanks: two for the garden, one for the home, and one for transportation. 

Yes, transporting water is inconvenient. But I’d rather be off the grid hauling in water than wait for our well to be drilled for months!

Pros and Cons of Water Hauling


  • One can choose a site lacking  connection to water, and put up a tank plant while constructing a more permanent water system on your land.
  • Seasonal water flows can be solved with a cistern system. 
  •  You have complete control over the platform’s position and may move it around as necessary.


  • You’ll have to either take your own water or pay someone to bring it in for you; the water you bring in will very certainly come out of a government supply, that may include chloride fluoride etc
  • Cisterns must be cleaned out once a year. They do not come with no upkeep.
  • Then setup may be expensive when you consider the vehicle, pickup, container, pumping, and connectors.

Vestil IBC-330 Steel Intermediate Bulk Crate

How To Haul Water?

Gather water from a nearby natural water resource if feasible. A submersible pumping system may be used to feed the water reservoir. 

Before consuming, be careful to filter out any contaminants.

If you must rely on municipal water as your primary water source , you won’t have to bother about filtering or purifying it. 

But on the contrary, public water contains pollutants like chloride and fluorine. I’d suggest cleaning it up a little, if only for consumption purposes. 

One might implement an entire water purification unit to get rid of the filth. I also recommend finding a secondary source of water in case your municipal system collapses.

Cleansing a water tank is a headache, but it is something that must be done every year.

One could get off with such a cleanup service of two to three years if users consume public water.

Natural water supplies, such as showers, will, on the other hand, contribute sediments and sludge into the cistern.

Utilizing Water from Natural Sources

Utilizing Water from Natural Sources

One could utilize water that is currently present on their property as their main source of water.

A lake, pond, river, stream, or channel are all examples. Whether there is an actual stream around, that should be fantastic! Not everyone is lucky enough to enjoy access to freshwater on their land.

Even for those of us who do, there are certain things to remember before making this your primary supply of freshwater.

Use of a Natural Water Source: Advantages and Disadvantages also represented by Pro and Cons 


  • Unlike a well, there is no need to carry in or drill for water, and there is less fear about heavy pollutants and minerals in flowing water. 
  • If water is situated higher than the farmstead, gravitation may be something other than a pump.
  • Because you can construct near the water source , you’ll save money on piping and plumbing.


  • Water sources may not be available all year or could dry up as a result of occasional drought.
  • The water may be muddy, hazy, or stagnant. It’s still usable, but it’ll need much  filtration.
  •  During  wintertime, the water supply could freeze. 
  • The water’s location may not be suitable. You’ll have to go through a bunch of piping to have it wherever people want it.

How To Use Natural Water Source

I would need to explore a few issues about using a body of water as an off-grid water supply, and then find answers to such problems.

It’s possible that your water supply isn’t available all year.

You could have a lovely brook that runs in the spring and summer before drying up in the fall. 

I recommend using that water for half of the year and then switching to a tank arrangement for the remaining half. 

While  the water supply is still on, you may fill your cistern tanks and carry in water for the rest of the year if necessary.

You can utilize the technique mentioned above if your water supply freezes throughout the winter. Change to a water tank system after using the water source for as long as possible.

The water would need to move quite a distance to reach its final target. You’ll be required to determine the distance between the source of water and its terminus, as well as how far it elevates. 

And you can figure out which size water pump you’ll need and how much pipe to utilize.

The path from the water to the objective may be  obstructed. Boulders, ravines, deep vegetation, and other obstacles might be present. 

You can strive to clean and level the path since you desire the pipe to travel as short and straightforward to the origin as feasible.

The source of water is unclear, hazy, sluggish. If that’s the scenario, you may still utilize the liquid; you’ll have to take a few extra measures to remove any dirt so it’s safe to drink. 

This may be accomplished by excavating a sump well close to the water sources and cleaning it with a series of filters. 

Make Your Own Off-Grid Water System

Make Your Own Off-Grid Water System

Our courageous forebears dug wells by hand utilizing shovels in the past. That was a hard and maybe dangerous task.

The well was built to be broad enough for two men to shovel at the same time. 

To keep the well from collapsing as the men got deeper into the ground, they lined it with brick or stone.

When the water in a well came in too rapidly to bail out by hand, people ceased digging.

A well may appear to be the greatest option for an off-grid home, but this is not always the case. Check out the benefits and drawbacks to discover if drilling a well is right for you.

 Pros and Cons Of DIY An Off Grid Well Water System


  • Based on location, water from the aquifers can be pure and fresh, and a well can provide steady water for years, if not beyond.
  • One may not require a water pressure tank if you build uphill from the target.
  • You have the option of choosing where your well will be built.


  • Proper installation of wells is quite costly.
  • Well water could be affected to a great degree (hard water).
  • Wells could run out of water.
  • Your property’s water table may be so deep that drilling a well isn’t worth the effort.

How To DIY An Off-Grid Well Water System

How To DIY An Off-Grid Well Water System

Water quality concerns can arise in wells. Water from wells can include a variety of minerals and pollutants. 

If you live near farmland, there’s a chance that e.Coli from livestock excrement will end up in your water. Pesticides from adjacent fields may be present.

Minerals and salts dissolved in water, such as calcium, magnesium, and sodium. 

Hard water is caused by these minerals, irritating  the skin and eventually damaging  appliances and clothing.

Before drilling the well, I recommend having your water quality checked. It’s indeed correct as there is a charge associated with it.

If you do have a water pollution problem, though, you will save thousands of dollars on expensive filtration equipment. 

If your water is sour, you can decide if it’s worth drilling a well.

Wells have also been observed to dissipate with no obvious reason. Droughts can reduce well fluid flow as well as many wells could merely empty out with time.

A well’s life duration is limited to 20–30 years, so plan appropriately.

When your well runs empty, there are generally warning signals. It’s possible that your taste buds will alter. 

The particles which are collected at the base of a well grow increasingly dense and thus the well’s water output declines. 

Pumps that have to work longer and harder, sputtering faucets, and muddy water are also red flags. 

LIVINGPAL 50 Gallon Foldable Rain Barrel

LIVINGPAL 50 Gallon Foldable Rain Barrel, Collapsible Tank Water Storage Container Water Collector with Spigot Filter
  • 【ECO-FRIENDLY PRODUCT】 Save water money and planet by capturing rainwater to use in your lawn and garden. Base on the data, average water usage can be reduced up to 40%. Enjoy a green garden without worrying about your water bill!
  • 【HIGH QUALITY MATERALS】 Our rain barrel is made from PVC frame and anti-corrosion PVC mesh fabric. Designed for long-term use. Unlike traditional barrels, this barrel can hold up against cracking and splitting even during cold winter.
  • 【FOLDABLE BARREL DESIGN WITH TOP MESH】 Effortlessly collapse and store as a compact water collection system for easy storage in your garage or shed when not in use.The top mesh designed to keep out bugs, animals and debris.

2 Ways To Store Off-Grid Water

There are numerous benefits to liquid storage including:

  • It will not dissipate.
  • It charges up nearby wells.
  • It keeps the plants wet.
  • It doesn’t offer a hatching place for mosquitos.
  • It is largely free of human and animal waste pollution.

Therefore many methods are there for storing water which are explained  below.

Above Ground Water Cistern

Above Ground Water Cistern

The easiest technique to collect rainwater is to direct it into a collecting barrel using a big surface, such as a roof. 

Laying guttering across the edge of the rooftop, followed by an outflow that directs the liquid into some kind of container, is one way to do this.

Because rain barrels have a hose outlet on the base, you should place the barrels on a foundation that is lifted from the surface. 

A pump can be connected to the outflow, and the water source can be retained in a bigger storage tank or in a series of drums.

Underground Water Cistern

Underground Water Cistern

An underground cistern is a wonderful alternative if your climate freezes throughout the winter or if you have limited room.

You must acquire a cistern suitable for subterranean usage if you choose the underground option. 

The weight of the earth exerts additional pressure, which an underground reservoir is intended to withstand.

To prevent pipework from icing when entering and departing the unit, set your cistern at a minimum depth of 12-28 inches. 

Based on how deeply the earth freezes in your region, you may need to place your tank deeper.

Verify with the manufacturer of your cistern to discover what the maximum depth is. To bear the pressure of the earth, it can only be sunk to a certain depth. 

If you build a cistern too deep compared  to the manufacturer’s recommendations, the weight of the surrounding earth might cause your tank to collapse! 

How to Calculate of Your Cistern Tank Size

1. Measure the pumping machinery gallons per minute value first. The manufacturer will provide this. This is referred to as the flow rate. As an example, let’s use 5 GPM.

2. Determine the number of hours each day that you utilize water. This is referred to as your runtime. Include your showering, dishwashers, sanitising, toilets flushing, and any other water-using equipment in your calculations. Let’s go for 5 hours each day for the sake of simplicity.

3. Recognize the pressure device’s cut-in and cut-out in PSI. Because you may not yet have a pressure tank, this might be an unknown variable. Let’s use 40 PSI as a baseline.

Next, perform the following computation:

Tank Drawdown = Flow Rate x Runtime

The quantity of water collected or supplied between  the machine turning down and resuming is the drawdown, or container capacity.

Keeping the Tank Cistern Safe

1. Gently detach the lid from the container and place it in a  safe spot.

2. Place a washer on a lock nut then fit it into the opening near the top of the tank from inside the container.

3. Push one sleeve further into the hole from the exterior of the tank and tighten the nut.

4. Secure the locking.

Filtration and Purification For Off-Grid Water

Whatever approach you pick, all of the water that passes throughout your off-grid water infrastructure must be purified.

The more layers of filtration required, the cloudier and murkier the water. 

The  pure crystal  snowfall from Montana’s hills will need considerably lower filtering than the South’s hot, muddy liquids

To get rid of microbes including germs, bacteria, and parasites, you’ll need to filter your drinking water. This is a step in addition to the filtering of the water.

Personally Thinking

Utilize the techniques suggested to get the most out of staying off the grid. Water carrying will be more convenient while waiting  for the rainy season or until the well is completed.


Reiterate the significance of water. Off-grid living is enjoyable and beneficial, but it comes with a slew of challenges. Installing an off-grid water infrastructure isn’t straightforward, but I don’t think it will be a problem for you.

Establishing an off-grid water infrastructure is neither simple nor inexpensive.

Whenever someone is connected to a water treatment plant, there seem to be several  factors you wouldn’t need to bother with.

You can get your water set up with a little imagination, creativity, and elbow work, and it could even flow better than municipal water! It will also taste better.

All cultures rely on wells for survival. Wells offer a stable and sufficient source of groundwater for domestic consumption, agriculture, and industry in many areas.

There are several considerations to be made during the design process, so  I created this comprehensive manual to help anyone develop and construct an off-grid water infrastructure.