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I grew up in a city – Memphis, Tennessee.  When I wanted water, I just turned the tap on.  Memphis has some of the best water in the world.  As I moved to cities across the Midwest, I was fortunate to always have good water.

When you live on a farm in the country, you are blessed in many ways:  fresh air, wide open spaces, lots of land, plenty of space to garden and have farm animals.  Not to mention here on this 58-acre tree farm in the Callahans of Oregon…a beautiful view.

However, there are also challenges to living in the country.  One of those challenges is water.  First you must drill a well (in our case the well was already here).  The  macho logger tree farmer had the existing well drilled even deeper for a better well that produces 9 gallons of water per minute.  That’s an excellent rate for this area.  Once you capture a well then there is the having the water tested, installing a holding tank and everything else required to produce excellent water.  There are also two pumps:  a submersible pump at the deep well site and the jet pump which senses the demand for water from the house.  Altogether, it isn’t cheap.

Two years ago, we installed a water softener.  A Whirlpool from Lowe’s.  Okay as water softeners go but definitely not adequate to handling the water here.  Here in the Western states, there is an extremely high mineral content to the water.  Every single article of white clothing I have is no longer white.  Just about every towel was ruined at some point in trying to “fix” the mediocre Whirlpool water softener.    I refused to drink the water as it was or make coffee with water that did not come out of the tap crystal clear!  So that meant purchasing drinking water.  Keeping the toilets clean was an exercise in futility and frustration.  We finally had enough and this past week purchased a top of the line water softener/water purifier from the local Farm Store who deals with water on farms on a daily basis.

Jim had already installed an ultraviolet light purifier for the water (we updated the bulb to the tune of $75/bulb) and another purifier which is the “first stop” for the water directly from the well.  Between all of this, the water is now clear, soft and great on clothes and in the shower.  It took a while, but I think we’ve finally got it.

I try not to dwell on the fact that we could, most likely, have had two round trip tickets to Ireland and maybe even a stay in a bed and breakfast there for the cost of this new system.  The important thing is the water is now completely clear, neutral taste, soft and safe.  You just don’t risk your water!

It’s all about WATER…housed in the utility room off the garage.

Heavy-duty water softener/purifier

Part of the water purifier/softener system

Water goes from the well through a special filter then into the tank…then through an ultraviolet filter…then through the new water purification/softener system. At least, I think that’s the order! The tank appears stained from the minerals in the water over the years, but the water on the inside is clean! The water goes through several purification processes before we drink it or use it!

This is an over and above measure – an ultraviolet water purification system. Bulbs ($75/each) must be changed yearly to be effective.

3 Responses to Farm water…

  • Cathy says:

    there is nothing that is as important as water and glad you got to the right mix for yours. We are on a well also but we are so lucky to have great water.

  • Laura says:

    I have fairly hard water, though rather acidic (5.6 pH), which makes it feel soft. Once I replaced the galvanized pipe that was the top 20′ inside the well casing, my water is clear, and tastes very good. This is the first place that I’ve had that depends on a pump for delivery, and I’ve endured several failures in that system. My place in Reno had an artesianing well, so when the power failed (as it did frequently in the winter), I could still get water out of the hydrant at the well head. My first place in Oregon had a gravity-fed spring, and the best tasting water I’ve ever had. I’m glad that my water is now drinkable without a filter – I just need a storage system of some sort!

  • Angela says:

    This really makes one think about how important water is. My grandma in Gray, GA had the same issues with water. I used to get so freaked out when the water would come out rust colored.




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