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Water is HARD!

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posted on Sep, 30 2018 @ 09:08 PM
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Water.

I did a Rant about this 3-4 weeks ago and then deleted it (too whiny), but since then I’ve decided it’s a real issue. So, I’m going to re-construct my original Rant.

We raise cattle (no surprise to most of you). Cattle drink a lot of water. Like a REAL lot!

Water is heavy. Water is slow. There is nothing easy about water. Water freezes. Water gets nasty (with critters and other goo). Straight up…water is hard!

Now, when it comes to feeding the animals and doing chores, everyone is happy to provide feed, but nobody likes to do water.

In the winter you have to break ice to clear the tanks for water. Any time of year the water takes a LONG time to fill up tanks. Even a small herd of cows will drink 150-200 gallons of water in a single day (imagine filling that up from your garden hose!). Then there’s the different herds in different pastures. This means multiple tanks…all requiring 150-200 gallons per day/each.

Okay, now lets’s let the seasons advance. Come October the clocks roll back. So now where you had daylight in the afternoon it’s dark, and you get a little more in the morning. BUT, you’ve got to do this twice a day. The days are getting shorter. Pretty soon, everything is in the dark. Now it's all done with headlamps. In October things are pretty nice, but come December and January it’s cold, dark and WINDY! Now the watering SUCKS! Everything is frozen, it’s dark, you’re freezing your ass off in the wind and you can’t get the water going. No problem, just fill up a tank and haul it, right?

NOPE!! Water weighs about 10lbs per gallon, so to load up a tank of 300 gallons of water is 3,000lbs! Now, we’ve got to get trailers involved…but first we’ve got to thaw out all the hoses it takes to fill the tanks. AND, it goes on and on…and on, and on!

Water is the most important thing for human life, and the same goes for animals. You can not feed animals for days in a pinch, but when they run out of water they die. Water never lets up! It’s always there, it’s always heavy, it’s always difficult…and no one ever wants to do it!

That leaves me. I’m the water guy. Nobody else ever wants to do water!

I wish I could figure out a system where I could fill a water truck full of water and not have it freeze before I need it the next day, but to do that takes power (and a lot of it). I can run propane heaters on the tanks all night, or try to put electric heaters on them, but to heat that volume of water takes incredible energy.

People underestimate water. They really do. And when you add in the scarcity of clean water, the problem compounds itself even again.

Water, such a simple thing, right?

Water is HARD!

edit on 9/30/2018 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)




posted on Sep, 30 2018 @ 09:11 PM
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My great grandpa had a solution. He put the hand pump close to the cattle trough .
edit on 30-9-2018 by Fallingdown because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 30 2018 @ 09:13 PM
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a reply to: Fallingdown

We have waterers in the corrals, but we still have to move the cattle around.

You can't have waterers everywhere, so it's back to watering with long hoses and tanks.

We're talking "miles" here!



posted on Sep, 30 2018 @ 09:16 PM
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a reply to: Fallingdown

My dad was a water distribution manager. He told me no matter how much you filter.... you'll never clean out the animal waste(poop) no matter how many parts per million.

😝😝😝😝

Edit: I thought this was going to be about water softener...

edit on 30-9-2018 by Bigburgh because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 30 2018 @ 09:19 PM
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a reply to: Bigburgh

That's the least of my worries, I'll drink straight from that hose if need be.

A little bit of dirt never hurt anyone, I'm more concerned about hydration...for me AND the animals!



posted on Sep, 30 2018 @ 09:20 PM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

Giving where I think you are...
A drought shouldn't be of concern.

Or is that the case?



posted on Sep, 30 2018 @ 09:25 PM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

Sounds like raising cattle is hard.
The old westerns made it look easy.



posted on Sep, 30 2018 @ 09:26 PM
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a reply to: Bigburgh

We've been in and out of drought conditions for nearly 15 years!

I can't even remember the last time it rained!

That's why our wells are 800'+ deep.

(meaning, even more time to pump the water...see above)



posted on Sep, 30 2018 @ 09:28 PM
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a reply to: VictorVonDoom

In the "real" old west, lots of cattle died before they ever made it to market, upwards of 40%.

Lose a cow now and it's a $2,000+ dollar hit to your bottom line!



posted on Sep, 30 2018 @ 09:28 PM
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DBL
edit on 9/30/2018 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 30 2018 @ 09:30 PM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

You’re right about having to move them around. Cows need new grass to fart .


You’ve got a water truck so I may have a solution for keeping it from freezing.

Have you ever tried a electric heating element from hot water heater?

Some of them run on 110 others on 220. But either way if it works it would be no more expensive than running your own hot water heater for one night .



posted on Sep, 30 2018 @ 09:38 PM
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Have you tried using air instead of heat? It's much cheaper than heating water.

Bubblers like a those in a fish tank will stop water from freezing.

We have a lake up north and there is a big boat that can't be easily drydocked
They keep their boat in the water all year while the ice gets 4 ft thick.

They pump air through 1" pvc distribution tubing with tiny holes drilled in it. It is shaped like the boat and bubbles up the sides. There is a good 4-6' melted spot around it all year.


edit on 9 by Mandroid7 because: edited

edit on 9 by Mandroid7 because: edited



posted on Sep, 30 2018 @ 09:39 PM
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originally posted by: Bigburgh
a reply to: Fallingdown

My dad was a water distribution manager. He told me no matter how much you filter.... you'll never clean out the animal waste(poop) no matter how many parts per million.

😝😝😝😝

Edit: I thought this was going to be about water softener...



He is 100% correct if it is a shallow well. But a couple hundred feet of dirt, clay and lime stone make a good filter.



posted on Sep, 30 2018 @ 09:39 PM
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Maybe figure a way to circulate the water.
Moving water doesn't freeze as easily so maybe put a water pump in the tank.



posted on Sep, 30 2018 @ 09:42 PM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

Cough cough.. sheesh.

I stand corrected. Willing to bet then what is pumped up is grey silt sludge then.

My mistake, thought you were near DIA that gets delayed due to rain lightning and tornado warnings...but I haven't flown through there in over 3 years. Or driven... there were 7 weather events everytime.

Sounds like the flower garden can dry up...
Priorities.

Gotta tell ya... you are not making me miss rural PA... that well can suck it.
I'm spoiled happy to be on a main water line now. Might smell of chlorine, but I'll drink it.

Hope you get through your ordeal.👍

edit on 30-9-2018 by Bigburgh because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 30 2018 @ 09:46 PM
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a reply to: Fallingdown

My father thought by telling me from 5 that I drank dead raccoons and deer waste was funny.

It was and I tell it to my nieces and nephews..🤞😁😁😁



posted on Sep, 30 2018 @ 09:46 PM
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a reply to: Fallingdown

The surface area of a 300+/- gallon tank is approximately 80 square feed (as an example). We won't get into a bunch of complicated thermodynamics here, but suffice to say heat rises and cold doesn't. The water going in the tank is around 53 degrees coming out of the ground. Unless you're using pumps to pump from the top of a tank, it doesn't take long for the water at the bottom of the tank to cool down to freezing when it has a 25mph wind blowing on it with a wind chill of -5F. Maybe two hours or so, and it's frozen. Not the whole tank, but all the valves and hose connections.

Try to heat that volume of water and just do the math about how many BTU's this will take. It's a LOT! So, whether you do it with electric (very inefficient) or propane (also lots of waste), it's a losing battle. You might do it once, in a pinch, but you won't do it every day for months on end!

Believe me, I've spent 15 years trying to figure out a better solution. It's always hard.

Yes, you can put freeze proof waterers in your corrals, BUT those only work if your cows never move from those corrals. (and frankly, they aren't really completely freeze "proof", not around here anyway).



posted on Sep, 30 2018 @ 09:49 PM
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a reply to: Bluntone22

Now that's a fact, but again, it's energy usage.

Yes, this is a solution though.



posted on Sep, 30 2018 @ 09:50 PM
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I read hard water, and I was thinking liquid rock style hard carbonate hardness like we get out here. Not just hard as in hard to have period.



posted on Sep, 30 2018 @ 09:51 PM
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a reply to: Mandroid7

Different principle. Bubblers use thermal heat from the ground to pump warmer water near the bottom of a lake or pond to the top.

A tank of water is different. It doesn't have the thermal mass of the earth working to keep it warm at the lower depths.



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