gravity water system cistern ideas

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by gwithrow, Mar 5, 2005.

  1. gwithrow

    gwithrow Well-Known Member

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    help please!!We have a spring fed gravity water system, with an old cement cistern up the mountain that supplies our house and several others..there are a total of 6 springs, the water is fabulous and we are looking to repair the cistern. here is my question:..is there a prefab unit that we can use for a cistern? one that could fit down inside the existing old damaged square room like one ..also does anyone know of a person in western NC who we could consult about our system? we need to repair this unit quickly to get everyone back online with good water..thanks in advance..Genna
     
  2. fordson major

    fordson major construction and Garden b Supporter

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    to start with how bigs the old one? have seen septic tanks(new)used for this duty. maybe two in tandem? depends on how much storage you need.
     

  3. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

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    Rubber liner or patch the cement properly.

    mikell
     
  4. Darren

    Darren Still an :censored:

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    As stated patch the concrete. Afterwards coat the inside with Thoroseal.
     
  5. gwithrow

    gwithrow Well-Known Member

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    we walked up to the system today and found that the old cistern is repairable, it needs a new roof, a good cleaningout and perhaps a rerouting of a couple of pipes..it is a good system, it has lasted over a hundred years, and we may have to replace some old pipes but we are hoping to have it up and running again. over all size of the cistern is about 10x15....divided into two spaces, one is an overflow tank? there is a tree fallen into it, but overall I think it will be not too difficult to replace..we are also toying with the idea of completely relocating the cistern closer to the springs, and running the supply pipes in a different route, but until the ownership of the property is decided we will just work on the old system...we have the water rights to the springs..we will check out the thoroseal? once we have the silt off the bottom of the cistern we will see how much more has to be done...I would still love for an experienced person to check it out, but we may have to do it all then see how it works...thanks for the ideas...Genna
     
  6. opus

    opus Well-Known Member

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    I've developed a few springs out on the range for cattle. Wish I was there, I would love to help!

    The first thing I would recommend is a plastic or fiberglass tank, 1000 gallon would work nicely. I wouldnt mess with an old open one, especially if you were going to be consuming it yourself.
     
  7. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

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    If it has a brick wall between the 2 sides it's used as a filter of sorts.

    mikell
     
  8. Darren

    Darren Still an :censored:

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    My guess depending on depth is that the cistern is a 5000+ gal. tank. It will probably take far less to refurbish it than build or buy new.
     
  9. gwithrow

    gwithrow Well-Known Member

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    I think we are going to go with the refurbish idea, as money is a big factor..the sides are old stone and all is in good condition except for the roof, we will build a new roof, and access door...tighten it all up so no critters get in and see what happens...now for the pipes..the pipes that come into the cistern can be above ground? some are now up by the springs...water constantly runs through them...then ??if all is not drawn out of the cistern it overflows? to keep that water flowing..temps here do not often go lower than 25...and not ;ususally for long periods of time..not even th eold timers can think of a time when the system failed, not a drought or freezing temps...some problems over the years with the old pipes in the pastures, but we are bypassing some of that and replacing the other pipe..however do we need to keep all the supply pipes coming from the cistern under ground? or do we rig a place where the water flows all the time...say into a trough?..or do we just go straight to the houses and just draw it off as it is needed? I wish you were nearer also...I will be so glad to once again be able to drink this water....what comes from the well here is awful...thanks..Genna
     
  10. opus

    opus Well-Known Member

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    I would run the runoff to a stock tank...provided you have stock. If not, you now can have an outside bath tub. Then have it runoff to a nice gravel drywell or such.

    Dont ever stop the flow of the spring. I would keep all the pipes underground.
     
  11. fordson major

    fordson major construction and Garden b Supporter

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    i would put the pipes underground so that they would not get damaged.what are the pipes iron, cement tile ,abs? is the spring capped or can critters enter the water this way? thorocrete can i was looking at today makes no metion of potable water. any coating you use has to be nonbleeding so it will not contaminate your water. after your istall you will want to disinfect all the pipe including house pipes and the resivoir.nothing worse than a bug from the water.are you going to cast concrete as a roof or wood ?
     
  12. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Just a quick thought: For someone installing a new cistern, check at salvage yards for stainless steel tanks. Some friends found a wrecked milk truck and bought the tank, hired a back hoe to bury it, and have a great stainless steel food grade tank that holds thousands of gallons buried in their yard, for a very reasonable price. Bulk tanks are also made up to thousands of gallons capacity, and one with the smaller openings in the top would also work. Of course, you would need to be in a dairying area to find this kind of thing cheap.

    Jim
     
  13. Runners

    Runners A real Quack!

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    Ditto! If this is the case (filter wall), it's there for a reason, all the silt that needs to be trapped. If you replace the whole works with a plastic or stainless tank, the silt after a heavy rain is going to go somewhere, I wouldn't want it (and all the bacteria) in my plumbing.

    The cystern I grew up with had it's pipe about 18" off the bottom (about 12x15'), all the dust and garbage settled to the bottom.
     
  14. gwithrow

    gwithrow Well-Known Member

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    now for a question on the the type of pipe to use where we have to replace the underground ones..to reroute around the old galvanized broken ones in the pastures...we are going to bypass that field and go straight to the houses...what is the easiest and cheapest way to get the pipe laid deep enough..we have to go as far as .7 mile...the shortest will be nearly half a mile.thanks..genna
     
  15. opus

    opus Well-Known Member

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    We use white PVC to develop springs. I assume black flexible, so long as it is schedule 40 , would work well for you.
     
  16. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    The cheapest is to plow in roll plastic with a tractor. The better is to trench the distance and to install rigid PVC. With the temperatures you mentioned you will not have to be very deep. Either way make certain the diameter of the pipe is equaly to what the old system used provided the supply was adequate.