Several of my blog entries lately have been about water, about how precious and necessary it is to life on an urban homestead. Since the afternoon our well pump quit, Scott and I have researched options to keep us in water even in the worst-case senarios. Thankfully, we have a good well to begin with -- 25 gpm and little change in the water level during two recent droughts. We looked into solar panels, but ruled them out given the senario of an electro-magnetic terrorist attack. (Remember, we let our minds consider the worst that could happen.) The wind charts we found online indicate that only a few places in NC -- along the coast -- have winds sufficient to run a turbine. So that option was out.
We agreed the most basic, dependable solution for water independence is a hand pump for the well. Prices for hand pumps were around $1000, much more than we wanted to spend. So my wonderful husband went to work on designing one. It wasn't long before he had built a prototype of his design ... with less than $100 in parts from Lowes.
The new hand pump is installed (it can remain in the well without interfering with the electric pump's function) and produces a gallon with only 6 easy strokes of the handle. Peace of mind.