Fresh Water



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Philmont's Back Country Water Sources

Philmont offers over 30 staffed camps and 50 unstaffed camps as part of its high adventure program. During the busy summer season, some camps may host as many as ten treks in a day which means there could be as many as 120 campers in a rather confined area. Some camp sites have streams from which to draw water but others require water to be packed in or, as we saw on our trek, water is made available via solar powered wells.

The photo below shows a typical solar powered well with storage tank. The tank has a simple spigot available for filling water containers. Since this system does not treat the water, there is a large sign warning that the water must be treated before use.

Interesting note: The solar panel automatically tracks the path of the sun in order to maximize solar exposure.



Most of the staffed camps we visited provided potable water by adding a chlorination system to the solar powered well as shown below. Of particular note -- these systems are protected by federal law. Don't mess with them!



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