Step-by-step guide for a geothermal installation

Slideshow: Want to end chopping ice from stock tanks in the winter? Here’s what it takes to install a “self-heating” system.

Chopping away at ice from the top of a frozen stock tank is a daily chore for many Western cattle operations. As temperatures drop, cattle still need access to water, and making that possible can sometimes be a challenge.

Ranchers may find that with a few basic steps, they can create “self-heating” stock tanks warmed by geothermal power on their operations. The key is to be able to dig deep and have a water source that’s below the frost line. The slideshow shows the steps it takes to create a geothermally heated stock tank using the techniques perfected by Bud Williamson, who ranches in northeast Wyoming. With the help of his three sons, he continues to perfect installation of the geothermally heated tank.

Waggener writes from Laramie, Wyo.

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