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Some city-folks have expressed to me that the idea of drinking groundwater is scary or icky, but most people who drink well water tell me it tastes much better than city water. Whether you like to drink from ’em or not, these pitcher pumps have stood the test of time, thanks to their sturdy and simple design.  Putting one loose in a garden seems to be a trendy thing, but personally I’d have to dig a well first — half the beauty is that the pump works, even if the water isn’t palatable.

Campbell Manufacturing makes the pitcher pump above, and street pricing starts at $53.

Pitcher Pump [Campbell Manufacturing]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Via Amazon [What’s This?] [What’s This?]


12 Responses to It’s Just Cool: Pitcher Pump

  1. rick says:

    I have one of these sitting atop a 50gal rain barrel. Seemed to be the best way to get water out of it. Although mine is a more updated version (cheaply made and less pretty). works great, can even screw a hose into it.

  2. Tony says:

    Anyone who says well water tastes better is a liar. I live in a city that uses well water, and even with it being filtered and cleaned by the city, I consider it undrinkable without putting it through a Britta filter first. I miss good old Chicago water, pumped fresh and clean out of Lake Michigan.

  3. Chris says:

    Uhh, tony what city uses well water? Any water that has been through a public service filtering system is going to taste bad because of all of the chemicals they put in it to make it pass inspection. And anybody that says well-water is “icky?????” needs to look at the bottle of spring water they just downed because it’s the same freakin thing. The only reason I’m not on well-water right now is because I’m sitting on 35ft of bedrock that I don’t want to drill through.

  4. ToolFreak says:

    real well water isn’t far from spring water. it’s good stuff. anyone who thinks water is ‘bad’ because it’s in the ground or has gone over rocks and stuff hasn’t heard the whole story about water treatment and where that city water really comes from. I can drink just about any kind, but I’d take spring or well water any day. Not to mention it’s free once you have the well.

  5. Kevin says:

    Chicago water really does taste pretty good, even with the extra chemicals, except for July-October, when it picks up an ‘off’ taste due to algal bloom.

    The problem results from a build-up during the warm summer months of blue-green algae which contains a naturally occurring compound called geosmin. One theory is that this is indirectly related to zebra mussel infestation.

  6. Chris says:

    Tony obviously hasn’t tried my grandmother’s well water. It’s hard as diamond, but it tastes lovely, and as a bonus, it contains 100% of your RDA of calcium :-p

  7. Eosha says:

    Well water varies substantially from one well to the next. I grew up on an Iowa farm and the water from our well is clean and cold and delicious. On the other hand, the well water on my uncle’s farm 5 miles away tastes like crap. There are a dozen factors which affect the quality of well water; don’t form strong opinions one way or the other until you’ve tasted the specific well in question.

  8. Walt says:

    ‘Nuther use for a pitcher pump is on a cistern. Yep, rainwater off the roof. I’ve got the identical pump to the one shown above sitting on the #2 (barn) cistern right now. Works like a champ, takes a minute or so to fill a 3 gallon pail, and you get your exercise at the same time.

    We don’t like to water from the well during a drought, but a full cistern will keep most of our green stuff green for a couple of months.

    I wouldn’t want to drink it without some processing; aside from sanitary issues that roof was probably painted with lead base paint — last painted maybe 1960? But for watering the garden and emergency household use with appropriate processing, it’s darn good to have.

  9. Walt says:

    Just one further comment on that pitcher pump. A couple of days after I installed a new one, it got to be all but impossible to get the water up the six or eight feet from the level in the cistern. Once it was flowing, all was okay, but get’n ‘er primed was a chore.

    Pulling the pump off the pedestal, I discovered that the tongue of the leather flap valve had spread out as it absorbed water, to the the point where it would no longer close. Trimming 1/8″ all around the tongue fixed the problem.

    I have since added a foot valve (actually, a check valve intended for use on a sump pump outlet) and that made things REALLY easy.

    There’s a lot of turbidity due to dirt on the roof, etc. — I don’t have a setup to let the first few gallons go elsewhere when there’s rain or a float-type suction in the cistern — but for watering plants that’s no issue.

    Another issue is mosquitos but keeping the cistern closed up tightly takes care of that — eventually.

  10. Chris says:

    Walt, I’d be interested in knowing more about your cistern system. How big, how it was installed, whether tree detritus in the gutters causes problems, etc. I’ve been thinking about putting one in at my parents’ place.


  11. roger says:

    I wonder if it is feasible to rebuild a pitcher pump or just buy a new one. I have one that is probably 50 years old. I may not even be able to get it apart.

  12. southernpatriot says:

    Just bought a pitcher pump at Lowe’s and mounted it to a 55-gallon plastic rain barrel. Works very well,I used a piece of PVC 1-1/2 in diameter with a threaded adapter to connect it to the pump. I cut the pipe off leavening about a half of an inch from the bottom of the barrel. There was already a a hole in the top of the rain barrel and three holes drilled thru the base of the pump. Placed the pump on the top of the barrel marked were I had to drill my holes.Once the holes were drilled through the plastic, I reversed my bolts upward and used washers and bolts to hold the pump in place.I’m wanting to keep it close to the house and use it all year long,but I think this is going to be a hard winter. May just draw it down and put it up for next season. Thanks for the interesting stories. Take care SP

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