Living Without Running Water (In A Ghost Town)

Water! That's been the missing puzzle piece at Cerro Gordo since the town was established in 1865. There have been many attempts at securing running water here, but none have worked in the long run...yet.
This week I dive into the past, present, and future of the water problem here at Cerro Gordo. I'll go through how I currently deal with no running water, how I'm attempting to get water from the abandoned Union Mine, and what I hope to do in the future.
I thank you all so much for the support of the town and the channel. If you haven't already, I really hope you'll subscribe to keep up to date with the progress here!
For more photos around town: brentwunderwood
I have also set up a Patreon for those interested in more content, live video AMAs and supporting me and the town!
Thank you! To the supporters on Patreon who help bring this town back to life: Cooper Dysert, Tom Packer, Margaret Estrella, Erick Rodriguez, Mario Meulen, Jeremy Hanks, Arin Perry, Susan de Christofaro, Michael Kalinowski, Adam Crew, Will Reynolds Young, Aaron Stoddard, Pam Bergman, Thomas Moore, Taargus, Chris Malin, Jared Tietjens, Patrick Carroll, Ellie Reeds, Karl Kasarda, Dan Kincade, Steve Merritt, Marcus Holt.
Cerro Gordo T-Shirts and more: (all proceeds go to hotel rebuilding)
Mailing address: PO Box 490, Lone Pine, CA 93545
Thank you all so much!


  • Ghost Town Living
    Ghost Town Living3 months ago

    Thank you all for checking out the video! I really appreciate. What type of videos would you like to see more of in the future??

  • albee26


    4 days ago

    You should pitch a reality show Idea to history channel or something. I bet it would be a hit watching the process of fixing it up.

  • lowkey righteous

    lowkey righteous

    10 days ago

    This video was awesome

  • baltic jackpot

    baltic jackpot

    10 days ago

    I'd gladly go down there to fix that pump for ya

  • steve mccoy

    steve mccoy

    11 days ago

    Install Big water tanks underground, uphill from the town, haul water in from Keeler,or someplace else, maybe Olancha.

  • MrMadsticks


    12 days ago

    Hi, thank you for the great content and dedication. I really enjoy your historical background explanations and would like more in debth explorations of different artifacts in the videos.

  • Dr3itausend und Eins
    Dr3itausend und Eins18 hours ago

    You Sir are awesome ! All the Luck keep it up .. Thx for sharing Cheers

  • Dave Johnson
    Dave JohnsonDay ago

    I bring my water up from 1050' to a 1200 gallon tank. I'm 100% off grid on everything and my pump is 230v. The pump has failed only once in 17 years. Cost was about $400 to have it rebuilt in about a week. I use a generator for about 30 minutes every 2 months to refill the cistern. No waiting for water to flow with a check valve 16" above the pump water stays at ground level. I'm above 8000' in northern New Mexico.

  • W.O.N.S
    W.O.N.S2 days ago

    I'm a new subscriber and love these videos why couldn't you be my history teacher in school so much amazing knowledge and it's so exciting 😊 but I hope that there is a way water is able to come to your Lil dream town can wait to see that happen!!!!

  • Sai Shankar
    Sai Shankar2 days ago

    Can you dig a borewell?? You can tap into groundwater

  • On The Fly By
    On The Fly By2 days ago

    Sorry to repeat this vid is more apropriate... Install modular break tanks into your water supply on one or 2 levels of the mine. Pump water from the 700 level 250 feet into a break tank and then from that tank pump it up another 250 feet into a second break tank and then up to the surface. This reduces pump header pressure massively, uses less power and reduces strain on the pump equipment, pipework and associated fittings. Should also increase flow. That's how we engineer water up skyscrapers. Building services engineer Manchester UK

  • Derek Suddreth
    Derek Suddreth2 days ago

    H2O = 8.2 lbs/gal

  • Morning Moon
    Morning Moon2 days ago

    Its a shame you can't dig a dam and fill it with snow.

  • Morning Moon
    Morning Moon2 days ago

    You blow my mind! Wishing you all the best. Hope you are ok. I found your page last night. My sister and brother in-law collect antiques. My 3 sister's and I grew up with a Mum that went scrounging in abandoned house's when I was a child in New South Wales, Australia. I respect your reasoning and passion for what you do. Sorry about the Tavern. Sending you immense kudos! Stay safe. Am looking forward to watching your adventures.

  • Faith Busby
    Faith Busby2 days ago

    Its so pretty there

  • bruinz1977
    bruinz19773 days ago

    When you got stuck you should look into tracks for your side x side i have a set and what a difference

  • NoneYer Business
    NoneYer Business3 days ago

    Too bad your in Commiefornia. Not much use in being off the grid there.

  • Jolly Cooperation
    Jolly Cooperation3 days ago

    People try to survive by collecting rain. Government: Wait. Thats illegal. Me: No one *OWNS* rain -_- so stfu Government.

  • Cecilia Bar
    Cecilia Bar4 days ago

    easyyyyy with the making me dizzy!!! and sick to my stomag ! sorry to be complaning but i just don't want to miss a bit... thank you Love!

  • Mohammad Al Turk
    Mohammad Al Turk4 days ago

    hey miner check this guy's solution for harvesting water maybe it can work for you to harvest water from snow or rain

  • R Barnard
    R Barnard4 days ago

    I'm sure someone has already figured out how many PSI is needed to raise water 700 feet.....315 lbs/sqr inch. I am surprised that plastic pipe handles it without turning into a balloon.

  • R N
    R N4 days ago

    The water Witch would definitely work! Only problem is that you'd have to dig down 700' to get at it.

  • Mr. Pisces
    Mr. Pisces4 days ago

    Thank you for the sub brother! I appreciate the support man! much love!

  • Jaybyrd Cybertruck
    Jaybyrd Cybertruck4 days ago

    What about adding a new town water tower?! would provide gravity fed pressure :) fill it up once a week or so when you have the town ready for adventurers!

  • Annissa Thape
    Annissa Thape5 days ago

    You should try groundwater wells, they are a great source for water and it should be accessible... talking as a geography student. It’s not too costly and it should never run out. So try doing that. Hopefully one day I can come down there and help you find some gems (also in geology).

  • AllOutdoors TV
    AllOutdoors TV5 days ago

    Heating up my shower while watching this

  • Saleem Khan
    Saleem Khan5 days ago

    If he has an accident and he has no cellular access he is dead.

  • meycoe
    meycoe5 days ago

    are old fashioned cisterns allowed in cali? sounds like a combination of wells and storage will be needed

  • meycoe
    meycoe5 days ago

    you need a couple of good ride and pack and camp with

  • Hunter Bottge
    Hunter Bottge6 days ago

    How do u got wifi connection?

  • Gavin1130
    Gavin11306 days ago

    Cerro Gordo, couldn’t have found a better person to tell its story, and I’m not just saying that. You’ve done an incredible job, and it’s easy to see how passionate you are about what you’re doing. Some ppl will never get to experience something they’re truly passionate about in their lifetime. It’s sad, but ppl who are afraid of change, and avoid taking any risk, are the ones to usually miss out. Stay safe, BOL!

  • Vickie Lewis
    Vickie Lewis6 days ago

    Nestle drained that area.

  • Wanda Cox
    Wanda Cox6 days ago

    Water witching is a thing and does work! Give it a shot. You know there is water at 700 ft. In the mine, luck may find the vein closer to the top at another location.

  • Wanda Cox
    Wanda Cox6 days ago

    I hope you have company there too much solitude isn’t healthy.

  • Scott Botham
    Scott Botham6 days ago

    Beautiful wow no words can say how beautiful this is

  • Janet Rogers
    Janet Rogers6 days ago

    Thats how pioneers did it well water heat fill a tub

  • Janet Rogers
    Janet Rogers6 days ago

    Get snow boil snow in a pot

  • james collingwood
    james collingwood7 days ago

    Well I guess when global warming takes full effect and everything melts there should be a lake again

  • William Wurthmann
    William Wurthmann7 days ago

    Living off grid here in Alaska; water is what I have lots of.

  • Robert D
    Robert D7 days ago

    What did you pay for the place?

  • Benjamin Wayland
    Benjamin Wayland7 days ago

    In 1969 I Asked Yeshua/Jesus forgiveness of sins, HE took the needle out of my arms. I'm 73 now and clean. He never leaves U. The only power over satan!!! is Yeshua/Jesus.Pride is Satan's sin. Don't allow it to be yours ASK Yeshua/Jesus to forgive your sins, and c ome into your life while U still have breath, NOW. Don't gamble with your eternal SOUL

  • Joan Donnelly
    Joan Donnelly7 days ago

    Have you considered rainwater collection if not outlawed by your state, which I think California might not allow it????

  • liver FDG
    liver FDG7 days ago


  • Tjd
    Tjd8 days ago

    The 1/2 mile wouldnt work as a siphon?

  • FakeVirus
    FakeVirus8 days ago

    Watching in VR... We have come a long way in a short time!

  • thomas beltran
    thomas beltran8 days ago

    It would be nice too have a sherp up there. It is a All-terrain vehicle very nice

  • Jiminy Kripes
    Jiminy Kripes8 days ago

    I see hills with snow. You need to make two underground reservoirs. One for potable one for fire, put plastic on those hillsides and catch the snow and rain make it collect into your reservoirs. You need a firetruck you could use for water management . Something practical just in case you have a fire God forbid . Looks like fun,

  • Hatchit
    Hatchit8 days ago

    Thanks to L.A. for drying up Owens lake. 🖕

  • Dog Doodle Dandy
    Dog Doodle Dandy8 days ago

    I’m assuming you had the water tested for lead, etc., too?

  • Kaz Bleasdale
    Kaz Bleasdale9 days ago

    We haul water to our farm and have 2 large underground tanks for the houses. We fill them every 2 weeks. For our gardens we have a tank we fill in summer above ground. We bought a truck to haul the water that has an insulated water tank on the back so it doesn’t freeze in the cold winters we have. Great video. Love watching all you are doing.

  • shauna cohn
    shauna cohn9 days ago

    Hey what was that pump at lake Owen that the drone flew over - looked like masses of water coming out of it??

  • shauna cohn
    shauna cohn9 days ago

    So wait, what happened to the springs - did they just dry up?

  • shauna cohn
    shauna cohn9 days ago

    Yaaaaaas a water diviner - there’s even a movie - I think Russell Crowe was in it? What about a bore? And really? You can’t collect snow? How bloody weird and what a waste - you could have huuuuge tanks and get the snow melting into them

  • maria13corvette
    maria13corvette9 days ago

    There is the possibility of finding water, even though it’s at high altitude there are rock chambers within the mountains. I’m not a witch but I come from a small mining town with same problem and constantly they look for water and they find it.

  • Kamil
    Kamil9 days ago

    literal Rango situation here

  • Bill Ayers
    Bill Ayers10 days ago

    Hey there, just found your channel and I'm hooked!!! One of my very good friends owns a place out there near Ballarat near the Barker ranch, it's not too far from you. It would be really great to take a quick trip over to your place and check it out if that would be ok. I love the channel!

  • Mary Hart
    Mary Hart10 days ago

    Who knew that there was such empty and beautiful places in our country...awe struck!

  • P Hiser
    P Hiser10 days ago

    I saw a documentary about waterless desert communities without running water who've put up super absorbent material I believe with a plastic backing to stop evaporation, on the top of the early morning dew side of the mountain. The dew collects in the material, runs down and collects in a trough for daily collection. You might want to try that. They collected an amazing amount of water, but the height and length of the material was tall and long

  • Nicolay Hoven
    Nicolay Hoven11 days ago

    What powers the pump? Do you have to go down to fuel it?

  • Lee Hague
    Lee Hague11 days ago

    I appreciate your channel Brent, fantastic. P.S. I took a drink every time you said Cerro Gordo, woke up days later in the ICU... Kidding, but maybe I'll switch to herbal tea just in case.

  • Lucille Kenney
    Lucille Kenney11 days ago

    Got up to get a glass of water; I'm grateful. I need to fix that dripping tap.

  • Mary K Kay's Artful Journey
    Mary K Kay's Artful Journey11 days ago

    Beautiful scenery❤️💯🙏🏻

  • Supreme Automotive
    Supreme Automotive11 days ago

    Rain water for toilets

  • Terry Tallent
    Terry Tallent12 days ago

    Oops ! Is an understatemt.

  • Знакомое Имя
    Знакомое Имя12 days ago

    Обожаю рекомендованные видео, вот это я понимаю контент

  • FL H3
    FL H312 days ago

    A quick tip for water in winter: don't use yellow snow... 😀

  • Thomas Schumacher
    Thomas Schumacher12 days ago

    You have roofs why not capture run off in tanks

  • Brent Middlebrooks
    Brent Middlebrooks12 days ago

    Witching is common in our part of the country. My Grandfather located the well on my parents land. Even told how deep it was, and he was right. Different people use different “tools”. Some use bent metal rods, others, like my grandfather used a forked stick (type off wood is important, not sure what he used) with a silver coin lodged in the fork. I tried and I don’t have the feel, gift, ability? Don’t doubt the guy, it’s a real thing.

  • Daniel von Bose
    Daniel von Bose12 days ago

    Could you work with a conservationist or naturalist to bring back Owens Lake?

  • Reace walker
    Reace walker12 days ago

    should have started a counter to see how many times you say Cerro Gordo on this channel lol

  • Mike Brawley
    Mike Brawley12 days ago

    Didn't realize you owned a trailer down in Keeler. You mentioned you don't have internet but use cell phone data. If you can get line of site with Keeler and have internet down their you could send it up wirelessly. If you don't have line of site from the town you could setup a repeater tower on a hill to get it to the town. Ubiquiti makes Enterprise grade equipment at a good price. Would be worth the investment so your not uploading videos over Cell data. Plus it would be faster as long as the internet provider is good in town. IF you want to stay on Cell data look at Mint Mobile. It runs on the AT&T network if you have that up there. Unlimited data for $30/month which really means 35GB before they throttle you.

  • A Smith
    A Smith13 days ago

    I know there are a lot of comments here and this may have been suggested already. For the issue if the mine water freezing towards the the top, a cheap solution to try might be to get dollar store pool noodles and wrap the pipe with them securing them with zip ties.

  • david currie
    david currie13 days ago

    I enjoy the content you provide. However the shower setup looks incredibly dangerous, and it's never a great idea to use jugs, and pails that were previously used to store corrosive and flammable chemicals to store your water. Stay safe lol

  • The Gainestead
    The Gainestead13 days ago

    Water tower? Like on tremors lol

  • Daniel Clark
    Daniel Clark13 days ago

    My dad drove a water truck in the "Hill Country", lol. When a drought would set in, like Texas is known for, my dad would hook up to the local fire hydrant, fill the truck and go dump the water into the customer's cistern. Even modern homes subsist on auxiliary water sources.

    DAVID ROSE13 days ago

    What would you do if your vehicle broke down. Can you make it home walking?

  • kennyw
    kennyw13 days ago

    Your property appears to be located above the principal Basin and Range basin-fill aquifers. Together, they underlie 148,000 square miles. The question is how deep is it in your particular location? Actually, it's the million dollar question, right? I would contact the USGS water resources in California to learn about any studies done in your area. Who knows, you may be able to drill a well to supply all the water you need. In fact, many arid areas are tapping aquifers for irrigation and other human needs. We know there's a massive aquifer under your property, but the question is how deep is it and the USGS might have the answer, approximately. It's also possible your already into the aquafir at 700 feet and you could better exploit the well you already have. This is where a hydrologist would come in handy, right?

  • Iball nonya
    Iball nonya14 days ago

    Honestly, I think constructing large cisterns to collect rainwater & snowfall is one way to somewhat-reliably get water into town. And good luck getting permits for THAT. The "environmental impact studies" you'll you'll be sued to conduct along with the permitting and construction costs will probably be just as great as piping it up from Keeler - and probably take longer too. Cali's various environmental groups are utterly ruthless on how landowners use their own land. Use the mine for non-potable water purposes when you can, but as you already stated using water trucks filling up large water tanks is probably going to be the eventual resolution. I lived on the Iraq/Kuwait border for a number of years and that's how we solved the "water problem" for our wet CHUs (Containerized Housing Units) that had working toilets, sinks, and showers. A water truck would roll up once a week and fill up the large water containers that were piped out to all the CHUs. As long as you put the containers above the town you can let gravity handle the flow down into the hotel and surrounding buildings. The freezing problem will have to solved of course, which means wrapped pipes with a heating element wire wrapped along with it hooked up to a thermo-controller that turns the heating elements on when the temps get to around freezing.

  • Gen Nelu
    Gen Nelu14 days ago

    why don't you dig up a well on the bottom of the tunnel.?

  • Chinther Thritothri
    Chinther Thritothri14 days ago

    your endeavors in this ghost town are so interesting. Best of luck reviving it.

  • Vinnytsia
    Vinnytsia14 days ago

    One day I will visit Cerro Gordo!

  • Steven School Alchemy
    Steven School Alchemy14 days ago


  • Darrell Roeters
    Darrell Roeters14 days ago

    You can drink your piss one or two times.

  • Exploring Abandoned Mines
    Exploring Abandoned Mines15 days ago

    Buying your own water truck is the best way to go. Look for a good used one. It would pay for itself in no time!

  • Hzrduz
    Hzrduz15 days ago

    You inspire me bro watching you channel has taught me alot of values best of luck to you and your journey

  • Katherine Szewczyk
    Katherine Szewczyk15 days ago

    I love your perspective on life, I really hope to come visit your town someday soon! Thank you for posting your journey!!!

  • Tanner Altizer
    Tanner Altizer15 days ago

    Can I come out and work for you

  • Glen Goh
    Glen Goh15 days ago

    During winter, are you able to store all the snow in a waterprooofed man make pond or reinforced concrete tank so that when it melts you can use it later. You can even pipe the cool air to use as air conditioning in the hut in Summer, presumably the tank is well insulated.

  • Mr.McGoover
    Mr.McGoover15 days ago

    If you had any source of river or stream through the mountains you could set up a ram pump, no electricity needed.

  • Francis McClaughry
    Francis McClaughry15 days ago

    my thought is who own all of the land around the town. and if there were any registered gold clams

  • A M
    A M15 days ago

    He was running a highly rated hostel in Austin, Texas, when the opportunity arose to buy Cerro Gordo. Underwood and his business partner Jon Bier, founder of a boutique PR agency, bought the entire town for $1.4 million. So where is his partner at? I don't think he lives there at Cerro Gordo.

  • John Brooks
    John Brooks16 days ago

    Where do you get your electricity from ?

  • John Brooks
    John Brooks16 days ago

    I find it strange you don’t have gutters on your roofs to collect water and snow. You could run a heating element inside the gutter to melt the water and then run it into a storage tank.

  • John Brooks
    John Brooks16 days ago

    In Australia we call them “water diviner” !!

  • Johnson's Gee-rage Extra's
    Johnson's Gee-rage Extra's16 days ago

    i think you could use a helper pump on that hose end get the pressure higher just let the main pump do most the work and the helper will just build up pressure so you can water back in the house piping

  • Chase M
    Chase M16 days ago

    Is an atmospheric water generator/air well an option? Just pull the water from the air, or is it too dry?

  • Sean Becker
    Sean Becker16 days ago

    Beautiful. I love your story. Keep up the great work and be safe. Please!

  • e Xqurat
    e Xqurat16 days ago

    If the water can be pumped constantly without decreasing at the bottom of the mine, you can pump into the tank above the future hotel and from there it will be drained to the tap in the hotel. However, even this will require more surface pressure and will increase the amount of water pumped. But if the water at the bottom of the mine will decrease during pumping, then this solution is useless. Otherwise you have wonderful videos, I recently discovered you and I'm looking forwardvfor every new episode. I am from Europe, but I would very much like to visit you sometime in the future if it is possible. Thank you very much for the videos.

  • Fontanna LaVetter
    Fontanna LaVetter16 days ago

    What about rain water harvesting? Earthship homes can reuse the water 3 times before it is done with it.

  • Dakota k
    Dakota k16 days ago

    What about insulation in the building with the water pipe adding a second pump to help put tanks in the build and a filtration system and save tons of money hauling it buying it or putting piping in 5miles away. Just a suggestion what I'd go with but love your videos

  • Mary Peletier
    Mary Peletier16 days ago


  • cheryl huhn
    cheryl huhn17 days ago

    AMAZING 😄🙋👍

  • TheInfamousLabs
    TheInfamousLabs17 days ago

    Dayum the Gordon house looks niceeee

  • ‘Mmmmerica USA
    ‘Mmmmerica USA17 days ago

    Why aren’t you shovelling that snow into one of the bathtubs 🛀 and treating it/hearing it for water?! Has the land been surveyed for water wells?

  • Scott Holtzman
    Scott Holtzman17 days ago

    I'd like to visit sometime