How To Get Running Water Off Grid

Living off-grid can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience. It allows you to disconnect from the traditional utilities and live a more self-sufficient lifestyle. However, one of the biggest challenges of living off-grid is obtaining a reliable source of running water. In this article, I will share my personal experience and provide you with valuable insights on how to get running water off-grid.

Assess Your Water Needs

Before diving into the process of obtaining running water off-grid, it’s important to assess your water needs. Consider how much water you and your family typically use on a daily basis. This will help you determine the size of the water system you will need to set up.

In my case, I live in a small cabin in the woods with my partner. We use around 50 gallons of water per day for all our needs, including drinking, cooking, and bathing. Knowing our water needs allowed us to plan and build a system that caters to our specific requirements.

Collecting Rainwater

One of the most common and reliable methods of obtaining running water off-grid is by collecting rainwater. This involves setting up a system that captures and stores rainwater for later use.

First, you will need a large collection surface to catch the rainwater. This can be the roof of your cabin or a separate structure dedicated to rainwater collection. Make sure the surface is clean and free from any contaminants.

Next, you will need a gutter system to direct the rainwater into a storage tank. The gutter should be properly sloped to ensure efficient water flow. Connect the gutter to a downspout, which leads the water into the storage tank.

Choose a storage tank that is large enough to hold a sufficient amount of water for your needs. Make sure the tank is made of food-grade materials and has a tight-fitting lid to prevent contamination. Install a filter system to remove any debris or contaminants from the rainwater before it enters the tank.

Creating a Water Pressure System

Once you have collected and stored the rainwater, the next step is to create a water pressure system that will allow you to have running water in your cabin.

Start by installing a water pump that is suitable for your needs. The pump should be able to provide enough pressure to deliver water to all the faucets in your cabin.

Connect the pump to a pressure tank, which will help regulate the water pressure and maintain a consistent flow. Make sure to install any necessary filters or water treatment systems to ensure the water is safe for use.

From the pressure tank, run pipes to all the areas where you need running water. Install faucets, showers, and other fixtures as needed. It’s important to properly insulate the pipes to prevent freezing during colder months.

Conserving Water

Living off-grid requires conscious water conservation practices. While you may have a reliable source of running water, it’s important to use it wisely and avoid wastage.

Consider installing low-flow fixtures and appliances that are designed to minimize water usage. Practice water-saving habits such as taking shorter showers, fixing any leaks promptly, and using water-efficient appliances.


Obtaining running water off-grid is certainly a challenge, but with careful planning and implementation, it is achievable. Collecting rainwater and setting up a water pressure system are key steps in ensuring a reliable water supply. Remember to assess your water needs, conserve water, and always be mindful of the environment in your off-grid journey.