Stack Function Water System at Bullock's Permaculture Homestead

Orcas Island, Washington, U.S.A.

Water is stored in tanks and ponds in as many locations as are available—and as high in elevation as possible. These reservoirs are fed using photovoltaic pumps, with a gasoline-powered pump serving as backup. Water stored high in the landscape is a reserve for regular agricultural watering for times when the sun isn’t shining—eliminating the use of regular solar well pumps—and the reservoirs also act as an emergency supply of water in the event of a fire. The distribution of water through piping from source to storage is divided regionally, partially to protect against total system failure in the event of a leak, but also because the Bullocks’ practice of scavenging for equipment has led them to use smaller pumps of the sort common in the early part of the twentieth century. These pumps have lower power, but they are a good match for the “array direct” format of water pumping used on the property. These regional water systems are linked by valves, so water can be fed from one to another when needed. Source: Sustainable [R]evolution