Wood Fuel for Water

It is the time of season now that ALL here in my valley must dicide if they are going to be greens or browns.
All lawns will now turn brown dorment without lots of sqaundered watering.
Our in-valley aquifer is releitvley small volumn and basalt rock bowl contained.
Wells water levels will go down from 30-40 feet to 150-170 feet by August. This “U” bowl storage area bottoms out to solid volcanic rock at ~285 feet.
WATER pumping, before even electric lighting and refirgeration, has always been on my wood-for-power mind.
We still do have our own well that in the past needed deepening from 150 feet to 192 feet deep. Takes a 3/4 230 vAC horsepower submersible pump to bring up and deliver usable amount of water. Realistically takes a good solid motor starting capable 5500 kW AC generator to do this. Deep well DC pumps would need largish battery banks and recharge capabilties for our daily gardens, fruit trees, critters, and us, 5000 gallon a day now watering needs.
Figure every power/enegy conversion steps loses you 10% of your energy input.
Wood to water with AC electric would be four steps.
Wood to deep well DC electric the same “live”; five steps out of a battery bank.
I choose instead to work to set up for an direct mecahnical jack pump deep well system.
1/2 hoursepower belt drive system then. And that motor or engine can be any-fuel ABOVE GROUND source. The Less steps. The Less losses. The Less wood needed.

Switched my actual wood for water efforts over to my larger VictoryGasifier system and the tractor/PU trasportable Miller/Kohler 11.5 kW welder generator.
Promised this to the Town for use on one of the six Town public wells if ever the long term need.
Clever, eh?
They want the community water . . . (mandated since 2000 that I MUST household use!)
First supply the community seized gasoline for my suppled AC generator to power thier well.
. . . . then later they can sweat the wood fuel cutting while I, Oldman gasifier operate!!
Just get the cat skinned any which way you can.

So . . . what are you all doing about your wood-for-water planning??

Steve Unruh


When we purchased our mere ten acres I had an eye open to water. Our area is on Canadian shield here so solid granite all around. Most wells run to the 150 range and its a crap shoot what comes out. We chose a surface well to access the water in our very wet property. Costs me three sediment filters and a UV bulb a year versus 8-12000 of some systems. 1/2 HP jet pump in the basement, 1/4hp piston pump for the garden. I’m still seen as crazy for not drilling a well; bad for resale value they say…


there is some water up here in northern Ontario… while my brother does a have drilled well at his house, he does also have a hand dug hand pump well that is less than 20’ deep and pretty much always has water in it.

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For many years I’ve wanted to build a Keyline system. This includes water dams, contour plowing, windbreaks and so forth… apparently it’s been used very successfully in Australia where it’s normally arid but occasional heavy flooding occurs.


Free book at Soil and Health website: http://www.soilandhealth.org/01aglibrary/010125yeomans/010125toc.html


Chris, sounds similar to where permaculture started out with the contours, swales and water trapment techniques before it went a little over the edge…

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My house still has a grey water collection system. (although not used because of building codes, and the need for extra plumbing, like a pump and water pressure tank, etc that have all disappeared prior to my ownership of the house.

I lean toward a Jerker Line with a single engine inside.


I have two wells on this property. One a 1/2 submersible at 150 ft newest. The other a belt drive pump jack like Steve talks about needs pulled and new leathers put in. Also thought about a Dempster or areomotor as back up for the submersible. Could easily be done here.

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sorry guys too much water here in cny maybe instead of oil pipeline someone should think about water a little more important ya think .


Water was my main reason for staying in this part of the country. On my 44 acres I have 2 wells that I cannot pump dry( tried it) 1 spring, and a fresh water stream. Al :droplet:


We are well blessed with water. We live very close to the small town of Springville in the small community of St Clair Springs which is only 4-5 miles west of the community of Cool Springs . We have a full time creek ( Little Canoe ) running through the farm . Several good drinking springs within walking and carrying distance . :blush:

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I’m more that a bit jealous of your creek. If I had a creek on my property, I’d be building a little water wheel. Now there is free energy!!


Well (pun) we will each have differnet circumtances by golly.

Heres the evening outer (nother pun, intended)
my SHMBO thinks it’s just quaint-jim-dandy for a few days staying, bucketing up Wind River water up at the family huntingfishing/hiking cabin.
Now at home she wants the water to come out any one of her FIVE sink faucets, on-demand 24/7/365.
Shower, tub, washingmachine pressure delivered waters too.
So I am sure Wanye and Al; your’s have this same peculararity.
So pressure deilvery why you generally will need to power a pump to make that stream/spring water spring out on-demand of your faucets.
Apologies if you have enough proprty rise to have a gravity delivery system.
Even those; most modern SHMBO’s will insist on filtering. And Micro-filtering takes power to overcome the filter membrane flow resistance.

JeffD can you give an info link line on your,

system like ChrisKY did, please?
Steve Unruh

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Would this be it?

Never seen this.

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Yes, that’s it. First seen part of it 20 years age at Coolspring power museum. At that time I didn’t know what it was. So this weekend I gave the stuff a closer look… Thinking about using it, also, as a PTO for my tiny tractor… Now only if I had the time…


I checked into having a well drilled. It will cost $5-10,000. The guy from the well company stated there is a “soft start” pump he recommends for wells powered with a generator. It sounds logical to me unless someone here has had a bad experience with these already?

A guy I used to work with an open loop geothermal system, had a variable frequency pump, he said it worked great. Most municipalities switched to variable frequency drive pumps to eliminate water towers.

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Steve, I also use Above Ground Fuel for water pumping… I have a solar powered 24 volt submersible pulling clan fresh water from a 30’ well shaft. Gives me average 1/2 gallon per minute when sun is on the panels.


Hey WoodHawg Richard, it’s all good man.
PV solar is this year’s solar energy.
Wood gas is 3-30 year solar energy that will then work as you demand it, in the dark, and stormy/cloudy, foggy too.
Same-same in my book as long as the wood consumed is not being used up at more than the annual re-growth rate.
Fossil fuels are an only one-time-use; millions of years to have acumullated/converted, solar energy too. Coal, natural gas, LPG/propane, gasoline, diesel, kerosene all the same-same. The easy got; once gone; will be gone forever. Even believing that Russian scientist about oil regeneration that would only slowly be enough for Elite’s usages.
The same with super expensive bio-to-liquid fuels. Elitist/Idealist’s “cake-fuels”. Always were, will be too expensive for the everyman.
In the end what will be imporant will be how much of these pre-existing dino-fuels we used to spring-board to re-learning to live again only on the energy that falls annualy on to the face of the earth.
I vote electricy. Never want to go back to smoky animal fats, and limited source whale oil/bees wax lighting. Again only ever was enough for the Elite’s. The Royalty. The Churches. The Priests. The got Rich by brute force and guiles.
Todays Elite’s are the intelectuals always building systems only they and thier kin can understand. And you use thier systems at thier enrichments. And too much mandated to have to use by thier lobbied for “WEee, Know better for you” laws and regulations.

Annual made electricty can power motors for water pumping and mechanical refrigerations.
The only real everymans fuel was, and remains, tree woods.
Plant, grow, harvest and personal use more trees.
Then a win-win-win for the bread eating everyman.
The Elites can starve/freeze on thier health sickening tooth rotting cakes; their laws; thier regulations; thier never enough be enough for all, Ideals.

Steve Unruh


BillS, soft start electric motors are great.
These by-pass around the energy wasteful massive in-rush of watts the older motors needed to from zero RPM get up to their best efficiency loaded RPM.
The last two whole house furnace conversions we did in the family I spec’ed out and paid more for the soft-start, speed ramping up blower motor systems.
The motors will last longer. Use up to 20% less overall energy on frequent cycling air blower and well pumping usages. Does take a matched designed electronic motor/power supply for these. Stick with a 10 year in-service proven industry named branded systems to get the quality on these.

Ha! Ha! Of course me being a know “anti-electronics” guy (not exactly true) I set up and went for the all mechanical jack pump system for our well water if ever had to wood gas power.
New manufactured gear/jack mechanism “name-brand” for these is a Baker Monitor. I have their JR model. This will be able to set up to double pump on both the down, and the up strokes. For me 'aught to even be able to pressure deliver at ~20 psi, pulsating.
The the new pump head “stand” for these in water wells, is also Baker. Many old, converted to yard ornaments pump stands around on this part of it.
The actual in-well pumping chambers to get are the brass/bronze ones with actual (animal) leather replaceable seals. One mail order source is Lehmans.
The stand piping; plastic or metal: and metal or fiberglass “sucker” rods can be got at agricultural/well driller supply houses.

Steve Unruh