I've got a cistern--any ideas?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by renee7, May 15, 2004.

  1. renee7

    renee7 Well-Known Member

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    Indiana
    When I bought this place 2 yrs ago. I knew there was a cistern about 10 ft from the kitchen door. Last yr. I was so busy that I didn't pay much attention to it.
    This spring I raised up a piece of concret and looked and it is full of water.

    My son says, fill it up and cover it up. But, I can't see destroying a perfectly good cistern. I've got a good well so I don't need the water. But who knows about the future.

    If I keep it, it will have to have a new top on it. It might be dangerous as it is.
    I was thinking today. Why not put a hand pump on it, and use the water to water things.

    Will mosquitas breed in the water? Any way to keep them out? Or an organic substance to kill them?

    Any body know any thing about cisterns?
     
  2. CarolinaBound

    CarolinaBound Well-Known Member

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    Well, I'm of no help, but I can't wait to read the pearls of knowledge. I'm thinking what a really good idea!!

    CarolinaBound
    SagHarborGifts.com
     

  3. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    You definately don't want to fill it in, even if you do have a well. You can never have too many options when it comes to water. Ask anyone in anarea that's been going through drought for a few years.

    At our house we have a cistern that we haven't restored yet. I've been looking for someone to do the work on it. It's hard to find someone these days for the old masonry/cement ones. We need to replace the cap on ours and I'm assuming replace the pipe that runs to the basement. It is hooked into the same piping (with a seperate pump and pressure tank) system as the well but the valve has been closed for a long time. We know the previous owner didn't use it so we are talking at least 12 years of disuse.

    I calculate ours to hold 1800 gallons or so. Not as much as I would like but not too shabby. As water availability, cost and use increasingly become issues I think more people will be looking into cisterns.

    Even with a well and springs I plan on putting in a few cisterns in at our farm. We have something like 10,000 square feet of roof on our barns and I want to collect the water from them. At a minimum we can gravity feed the water down to a couple acres where I am going to fence and plant some fruit trees.

    If the cistern is properly covered you shouldn't have to worry about misquitos.

    Mike
     
  4. Ann-NWIowa

    Ann-NWIowa Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I think both Backwoods Home and Countryside magazines have featured articles on cisterns in the last couple of years. Also, I know I've found information on the Internet on building, maintaining, purifying etc. regarding cisterns. If your well would be out of service for any reason that cistern water would be priceless. Hauling water to drink is one thing, but hauling water to flush toilets and wash clothes is a major undertaking. First priorty is to make sure it is safely covered.
     
  5. BeeFree

    BeeFree Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Make sure you get a safe secure top on it. We once had a cistern and it had a small hole in the top and mice got in it. Guess they were wanting a drink. We had to clean it out and redo the top. We then put a gallon of purex into the water when we refilled it.

    Sure was a lot of work.
     
  6. renee7

    renee7 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Indiana
    Thanks every one.
    Well, I thought I had a good cistern, just thought I did. But it looks like that I don't.
    It was full of water in the spring. But I just now went out and moved a piece of cement and measured. No water.

    It's about 4 ft deep. I bet it's filled in with mud. And about 4 ft across.
    So think I'll just leave it alone. Cover it up better, and if it is ever needed, it's there.
     
  7. Oilpatch197

    Oilpatch197 Well-Known Member

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    ON this subject, I want to build a sisteren, is it somthing I can do Myself, or do I need to hire a contractor, or purchase one of those HUGE sistern plastic tanks and bury that?

    Also How did the oldtimers dig Water wells?