I've been looking around to buy land with or without a farm/building, and wish to find something with good drinking water, and that seem more and more difficult. In mountain areas I would assume that it might be easier to find something, but would not alway the ideal place/climate for my needs.
Nitrates in water seem to be a problem.
What about rainwater, is it safe? I would have thought so, but I'me not sure anymore.
What else to look for?
In Sweden for instance there are areas where water contains naturally high amounts of radon, that is released in the air, while taking a shower or flushing or using tap water. I know people in Sweden who would go to the swimming pool with their kids to take a shower, a couple of times per week to avoid the radon exposure.
What else to think about, when trying to buy a property, concerning drinking water?
Also if I am living downhill from other people/farms, not using sustainable farming methods, could that affect my land/water?
Thanks for any ideas and suggestions.
This place doesn't actually have any spring… we are at the top of the hill. However a good friend and neighbor is downhill and has a spring (which dries up after a few months of drought and is contaminated during rain…). 200m away is another spring, but that also dries up. Further down is the best spring I know of.
Further up is a rather large spring that supplies most of the village, but the quality isn't the best.
So being at the top may not actually mean you have water. (I want to drill into the limestone at some point, I know there is water, but where and how deep?)
By far the highest quality and easiest to take control of water source is rainwater - just need to check roofing, gutter, downpipes, and containment vessels for contaminants.
I would filter the rainwater as well, maybe with a sand filter. Whatever substances are in those trails being sprayed, which spread out to clouds in the skies above us, are coming down when it rains. The picture below was taken a couple of mornings ago above our house of what should have been a beautifully clear, deeply blue sky-day, only to have it become hazy and mostly overcast about 4 hours later from the forming of the clouds of those continually made trails. They are being made all over the planet, including Europe. I think a filter of some sort for rainwater is wise.
if the land around your water source has been farmed , then theres a good chance your underlying water table will be contaminated with run off and seep down from surface water contact ---most of the area around me has been farmed for generations and all our old style water wells ---those hand dug and stone lined ---have been tested positive --either with gylco or fecal ---even our boreholes that dont go down beyond the rock bed at around 120 feet ---are also positive. We had to go 360 feet down through rock to get good water and decent flow recovery rates , but i still have to keep a check on contamination from surface /ground above, finding a natural good drinkable source of water is gold---i dont use the word pure here as water is alive and must be kept so ---with the absolute minimum of treatments if possible to appreciate its full health and enjoyment benefits---make it a priority if you are still land searching
Also, septic tank effluents are full of pathogens including parasitic worm eggs, bacteria and viruses, (read in "The Humanure Handbook" from Joseph Jenkins) and, so, when living lower down from neighbours septic tanks, I'm thinking that these could impact the ground water of those living lower down.
Even if you found the perfect place now. In 10+ years the area will change. So think long term (the permaculture way). Install systems that can remove (use or discard or immobilize) the things you don't like. Get a 5 stage reverse osmosis system water filtration system installed. Some folks like their drinking/cooking water to be 'alive/natural/energized/etc' I like that too so ferment your water. Always have some water kefir going and add that to your water.
Water Kefir Fermentation<UV Sterilization<Post Carbon Filtration<Reverse Osmosis<Pre Carbon Filtration<Pre Sediment Filtration
Again since you are talking Europe Check the Laws. Most areas have laws on what you can use for water. Here if the house has a well you may use that, but it has to be checked yearly for contamination. "town" water is the preferred choice and you can check the exact contaminants for every single bore hole going back 30 years+ online. Some are over EU limits on certain pollutants normally agricultural (especially under TOWNS as gardens use a lot more weedkiller/fertiliser per acre than farms do) Others like ours come from unused land and are clear.
Diego Footer on Permaculture Based Homesteads - from the Eat Your Dirt Summit