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You can have a water windmill in your backyard!

Tom has been searching for ideas on a water windmill since we first decided to retire. He needs things to do to keep him busy while the builders work on the house, so we were especially happy to come across a shop that was just what the doctor ordered.

Out by the road, as we passed, we saw a working water windmill. This was a country hardware store catering to a small farming community. The sign out front proclaimed to the world that they were in the business of supplying windmills, so we quickly turned around and returned to speak with the owners.

Sure enough, Hightower Hydraulics Equipment, Inc. was able to provide us with information on how to build a windmill, including pricing on all the parts and a wonderful diagram of the segments necessary to build a working windmill.

Water Windmill

The Hightowers explained that the depth of the well beneath the windmill dictates the size of the blades needed for it to work properly.

Mr. Hightower patiently showed me how the working barrel drew the water from the ground, then sealed off to prevent the water from returning down the shaft. As more water is drawn upward, the existing water is pushed into the holding tank to make room for the newly drawn water.

They explained that a windmill could produce as much as 3-5 gallons of water a minute, and that it is necessary to average about 16 MPH winds to produce sufficient water to make a windmill a feasible method of drawing water.

Of course, we still have no idea if a water windmill is permissible in the area we plan to live, but it sure isn’t going to stop us from trying to get everything lined up for our own windmill.

Another way to use a windmill is for power, so we’ll attempt to use it for water or for power if at all possible. If neither is feasible, the entertainment effect is nothing to ignore.

Another shop we passed on our trip had a decorative windmill display of the entertainment variety that seemed to be highly popular. Their display models were all they had, and expected more stock to arrive the following week. These items ranged in price from $250 for an 8 foot tall model to $850 for a twenty-footer with a 40” blade span.

The real McCoy, the full-size water windmill at Hightowers, tend to run about $4,500 for the motor and blades. The well will have to be dug and the frame to hold up the structure built at additional cost.

Email Me if you would like information about either of these locations and I’ll be happy to help you in any way I can.

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