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Question and Answer ArticleHow to Pump Lake Water for an Outdoor Faucet

By Jennifer T. Derrick
Published: May 1, 2008

Q: How do you pump water from the lake for an outdoor faucet? What kind of pump should you get, and what are other items you need? – Art & Christy Jefferson, via e-mail

A: Before you go any further, check with your state’s natural resources department or other state water authorities. Pumping water from the lake may or may not be allowed depending on where you live.

Assuming you can have a pump, a basic jet pump may do the trick. One of our staff members has a pump which sits on her dock with a hose and filter tip extending into the lake. The other end of the pump is connected to a one-way valve and then a hose. She pushes it on and voilà, the garden is watered!

One critical aspect is to make sure your water intake doesn’t pick up sediment from the bottom of the lake. Some cabin owners with stationary docks attach the hose to a dock standard, above the lake bottom, and away from activity that stirs up the bottom. Others have success with foot valve stands (check out

Talk to the plumbing store professionals who sell jet pumps about the elevation the water will have to climb to reach your spigot. This will determine what kind of pump you’ll need to purchase.

Should you want to create a more complex system, a good read is “Cottage Water Systems” by Max Burns. His detailed book has clear illustrations and text on what can be a complicated subject.  

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