Hi, I'm new here. I live in Michigan, recently moved to a rural area. This is the first time I've ever had a well, so please bear with me. I have an electric pump, 12 gpm, and a 20 gallon Well Mate pressure tank on a 4" well. I don't have many details beyond that, but if you tell me what I need to know, I'll find out. I suspect that they didn't have to drill too deep to hit water, we're only about 150 yards from a large lake and there's fresh water in every direction. Our goal is to become as self-sufficient as possible and to be prepared for both short term and long term emergencies. We were thinking about either a solar powered pump or an indoor hand pump. An outdoor hand pump seems like a bad idea, what with all the snow and ice. I suspect, that the preferred set up would be a solar powered pump, whether the solar power is dedicated to the pump or whether we tie the existing pump into a larger solar/battery system that we hope to have in the future. The bottom line is that we won't die of thirst if the well pump fails, but it sure would be a PITA, and if I'm planning ahead, might as well plan to be keep the faucets running, right? I've really just started thinking about this and it's a bit overwhelming, so mostly I'm looking for ideas, advice and a nudge in the right direction. I have a second topic/question. At present, our short term emergency water supply (in the event of power outages) is empty spring water jugs that we've refilled with tap water (which is well water, softened and filtered) and put in a closet in the basement. I did not do anything special to sterilize the jugs, figuring that they held clean water before, but it occurs to me now that they could have easily been contaminated with human germs. This water is meant for drinking, cooking, bathing and flushing the toilet and would get us through a week or two at most. My question is, is that a safe storage method? Would it be advisable to treat the water or to boil before drinking? Another question that just occurred to me, what about the hot water heater, is that water safe for drinking and cooking, straight from the tank? Thanks for reading. I look forward to learning a lot here.