When the well isn’t working and you have NO WATER for the animals. EASY SOLUTION FOR NEXT TIME!






Long ago, a wise old cowboy told me to fill a new Rubbermaid Garbage Can with water, put the lid on securely and stick it in the corner of my barn – and forget about it.

“It’ll be there if you need it.”

Very wise words.  I think all of us with a well system and animals, should have a clean Rubbermaid garbage bin, filled with fresh water, sealed up somewhere on the property.

This is the kind I have, but you can use any type of Rubbermaid bin.

I say this because the well in Grass Valley stopped working last Thursday.  Our tenant called right away and we tried to work through all the possibilities.  When nothing worked, we called the well guy (who didn’t reply) and then we called the highest YELP rated well guy, and he called back.

In the meantime, I told the tenant about the big green Rubbermaid garbage can filled with fresh water tucked away in the shower stall of the barn.  He informed me that all of his horses are out being boarded (?) and that he was OK on water until the well was fixed.  Our tenant is wonderful.

Eventually, the well guy arrived, told us almost the worst news possible and said he’d come back the next day to pull the pump, replace what was needed and redo all the wiring.  235′.

Which he did.

Tenant now has water and all is well (no pun intended).

HOWEVER, I did feel good knowing that there was enough water , sitting in the green Rubbermaid bin in the shower stall, to hold over any animals for at least a day.

And I wanted you all to know this, too, so that you can get your own.   Once you have it, you’ll probably never need it.

This photo by Kat Livengood has nothing to do with my story – but I needed a photo and I love this one.



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3 comments have been posted...

  1. Robynne Catheron

    Dawn, THANK YOU for this brilliant solution to a concern I’ve had ever since we moved away from city water. I always keep six gallon-size jugs of water in the spare bedroom closet, but that’s just enough to give each of my six horses one drink each. Now I can keep those for myself, and keep the bin in the barn for the horses. It’s not just the well or a disaster that I’m afraid of, though; our power goes out quite often, and no electricity means the well pump won’t work. This is such a relief!

    Rox’s suggestion is a good one. My first thought was how to keep the water safe for drinking. I’ll definitely look for the blue bin, and the pump handle!

  2. dawndi Post author

    This is a great idea! However, just to be clear, I check my rubbermaid water bin regularly and there has never been any kind of bacteria or sludge or anything in there. When our power has gone out, we’ve used that water – then refilled with new to clear of any potential contamination. Having said that, I think the blue food grade is the best idea.

  3. Rox

    NO. Use the blue food grade 50 gallon barrels with water purification tablets – the typical garbage can leaks toxics over time. Plus, bacteria grows at an alarming rate once you “forget about” the container. The blue food grade barrels have tops into which you can put a hand pump to fill buckets for stalled horses – dipping a bucket in a full barrel also increases the pathogen load in the water. There are many prepper (hate that word which usually is said or written with an implicit sneer) sites that actually do address water issues for all livestock including horses. In the Pacific Northwest we expect a huge magnitude earthquake at any time (the “experts” tell us constantly that we are overdue for a 9.0+ one)and such an event wouldn’t just ruin a well pump it would ruin the well itself due to soil liquefaction to heaven knows how many feet of depth.

    If you have to use a household use garbage can then at least dump and refill every few days. Otherwise in a disaster your horses may colic badly from bad water and guess what – in such a disaster your vet couldn’t always get to your farm.

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