From water insecurity to offgrid, solar pumped, gravity flow 2500 gallons of running water.

I enjoy hauling water by hand, which is why doing it for 8 years was not really a problem. But water insecurity is; the spring has been drying up for longer periods in the fall, and the cisterns have barely been large enough.

And if I'm going to add storage, it ought to be above the house, so it can gravity flow. And I have these old 100 watts of solar panels sitting unused. And a couple of pumps for a pressure tank system that was not working when I moved in. And I stumbled across an old logging road high up the hillside. And there's an old copper pipe next to the house's retaining wall; email to Africa establishes that it goes down and through the wall and connects into the plumbing.

So I have an old system that doesn't do what I want. Let's hack the system..

(This took a year to put together.)

Run a cable from the old solar panels 75 feet over to the cistern. Repurpose an old cooler as a pumphouse, to keep the rain off the Shurflow pump, and with the opening facing so it directs noise away from living areas. Add a Shurflow 902-200 linear current booster to control the pump.

Run a temporary hose up to the logging road, and verify that the pump can just manage to push the water up there. Replace with PEX pipe. Don't want to bury this spring/summer pipe, but it's damaged by UV, so rake fall leaves over it.

Sidetrack into a week spent cleaning out and re-sealing the cistern. This is yak shaving, but it was going to fail. Build a custom ladder because regular ladders are too wide to fit into it. Yuurgh.

Install water level sensors in the cistern, cut a hole for pipe, connect to pumphouse.

Learn plumbing. Every PEX connection method and their pros and cons. Learn how to solder copper pipe.

Now how to bury 250 feet of PEX pipe a foot deep down a steep hillside covered in rock piles and trees that you don't want to cut down to make way for eqipment? Research every possibility, and pick the one that involves a repurposed linemans's tool resembling a mediaval axe. Dig a hundred feet of trench in a single afternoon by hand. Zeno in on the rest of the run. Gain ability to bury underground cables without raising a sweat as an accidental superpower.

Connect it all up with a temporary water tank, and it works! Pressure-test at 30 PSI.