need water suggestions

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Dixie912, Feb 6, 2004.

  1. Dixie912

    Dixie912 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Tennessee
    Need to see if any of you have any good ideas. We live on the side of a mountain, and we catch our water from a spring about 900' above the house on the side of the mountain. The water comes down a small waterfall and we catch it in a wooden box about 3' square. There is a 2" pipe coming out of the box runing toward the house.
    We need a good, foolproof way to keep the debris from clogging up the catch. Right now we cover the wooden box with 1/2" wire, then screen, and roofing tin on top of that. Water can still run under the roofing tin, so some of the debris washes across, but some goes in and clogs the end of the pipe. (The pipe has a shower drain over it also.)
    We have heard there is a way to let the water in that will make it a self-cleaning system. Don't know how this is supposed to work. DO any of you have any ideas? We would appreciate any help. We have been fighting this battle for 4 years.
    BTW - We also have a commercial water filter system at the house to clean out anything that might be in the water, and we have the water tested regularly for safety. THANKS!
     
  2. I use (2) tanks. The first one catches all the settlement and the overflow pipe goes to the second tank and then to the house. Has worked great for many years. Your second tank can be completely sealed if you want to. Your strainer will be in the first tank on the over flow pipe.
    Mike
     

  3. Never mind the question, please tell us that you have a hydro-electric generator in the lines? With a 900' head you sure should have one or more.

    A company selling hydro-electric generators can supply the proper intake method for keeping debris out.

    Wow! A chance at nearly free electricity with minimumal maintainence.
     
  4. JWH123

    JWH123 Well-Known Member

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    I'm just theorizing here, but what do you think-

    I assume your 2" pipe sits full with water until you draw some water out of it. I'll further assume that your wood catch basin only captures a small part of the waterfall flow. If you are running the entire flow of the waterfall down your 2" pipe, I don't think this idea will work.

    Instead of catching this water at the bottom of your 3' square catchment box, why not have some sort of basin as follows:
    Take a 55 gallon drum. Lug it 900 feet vertically up the side of your mountain. Cut a few 1/2" holes in the bottom of the barrel as slow drains. Take your 2" feed pipe to the house, rig up some sort of flange and attach it to the barrel so the pipe will come out about halfway up the barrel. So the barrel will fill with water from the waterfall, assuming you're drawing less water than the flow of the waterfall. Dirt, gravel, and other heavy stuff will settle to the bottom of the barrel and maybe out the 1/2" holes. Leaves, branches, and other light stuff will float off the top of the barrel, along with the majority of the flow of the waterfall.

    Every once in a while you will have to turn the barrel over to get whatever doesn't drain out the 1/2" holes in the bottom of the barrel.

    Just some wacky thoughts.

    John

    By the way, if you have 900' of vertical drop, that would be 390 PSI of water pressure at the bottom of the pipe! You'd need some serious pipe to handle that.
     
  5. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    Somewhere near your catch box install a'T' fitting of the same size as your supply pipe pointing down, add a gate valve to the bottom of a long pipe that is attached to it. This allows anything heavy to sink, just open the valve as often as needed.
     
  6. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    go to a plumbing supply and buy a length of the perforated corrugated 4 inch pipe that is use in a drain field of a septic system. Buy the pipe with the "sock" on the exterior. This sock is a non rotting material that is used to prevent the dirt in the drain field from clogging the perforations. Bury the pipe in the stream with the 2 inch feed pipe to the house on the downstream end and inside the perforated sock covered septic pipe. Cover the pipe with sand and enjoy clean water.
     
  7. Dixie912

    Dixie912 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2003
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Ok. These are some great ideas Maybe some more information will stir some more.....
    We are catching less than 1/3 of the water that comes from the waterfall, even during the dry seasons. Right now we are about to drown!
    The screens cover over with leaves and small rocks, clog up, and we have to go up the mountain about once a week to clean them off. The drain cover that we have on the 2" pipe also covers over with leaves and will allow no water to go in the pipe.
    We have the 2" pipe with the screen on it sitting up about 8", at an angle, in the wooden box so that heavier debris can settle to the bottom and give us a little time before it clogs completely.
    We did try using 2 tanks at one time. That helps with some of the sediment, but the problem is keeping the pipe from clogging up as we catch the water in the beginning. We use one sediment tank now.
    We never thought of using the water pressure to power a generator. What an idea!! We will definately look into that.
    It may be a good idea to drill holes in the bottom of the wooden box to let some stuff out. We can try that... about the same idea as cutting holes in the bottom of the barrel.
    Thanks so much for the ideas. Please let me know if anything else comes to mind. :)



     
  8. Seems that you should be able to either allow the extra water to clean the screen surface by either back flowing through it if you directed all the water into the box or by angling the screen cover so that the excess water aids in removing the clogging debri.
    Perhaps a venturi type shape would be helpful in this situation, where you allow water to flow past on both sides with an icreased flow rate which will drag along the clogging debri. I can draw it but not so good at explaining it.
    Hopes this helps.
     
  9. joan from zone six

    joan from zone six Well-Known Member

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    key word in suggestion above is "angling"
     
  10. charles

    charles Well-Known Member

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    O.K., I'll have a go at it too. Treat you problems with debri like they do in lakes (around here).

    Have your 3 ft sided box drain out via its bottom with a pretty big orifice but an orifice just smaller than would be necessary to drain the whole box faster than the incoming water fills it. Water will rise to the top of the box and overflow some while most of the water exit out the bottom carrying away debri.

    Now, enter you house line in from the side of the box and submerged below the water line but not sucking off the bottom. When the end of your house line is thus inside the box attach (I assume you're using pvc) a 90 degree sweep/elbow so that the entry to the line points down.


    Floting debri should be carried off the top of the box, sinking debri should go out the bottom of the box. Because of the head depth pressure you have in the box, clean water should be able to enter you house line by going "up" the sweep/elbow.