Working on idea's for a Water spring on property

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by speedfunk, Dec 26, 2006.

  1. speedfunk

    speedfunk Rock On

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    These pics got a bit messed up when I converted a png file to jpg , but you get the idea.

    The thought is to first build the spring box ( Large box to the right of the pics). I added Red lines to show how the grade will play into the design. I added blue for the water level.

    The Spring box is around 6' x 6' and 4' deep and is made from Concrete blocks. There are two water lines that run from the spring box. 1" pipes that will go to the garden and to the house for water. They will be buried 4' below ground (common for our regional frost line) I'm interested to see if I need a water pump for the hose to the house. The house is aprox 20' below the spring. My guess is the pressure will be to low , it would just be nice to have it be completely passive ya know I will have to play around after it's built to get an idea if it will be enough.

    The water that over flows the spring box will then be fed into a pool of water, 6"'s deep and aprox 5' x 2'. What I hope this will do is provide a nice cool place to put my veggies. The veggies could be on shelves . The spring HOUSE ( housing the food) might have to be insulated , maybe something cheap.

    Any idea's, reasons why it's flawed big time :Bawling:

    I've never built a spring so any thoughts would be much appreciated..

    Jeff
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  2. Blu3duk

    Blu3duk Well-Known Member

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    I grew up witha developed spring, and the one flaw everyone forgets to compensate for in some way or other is the sediment that comes into the original box..... it gets packed like concrete in a short time. you need to be able to divert the incoming water while draining your main box to tend to the sediment levels every few years.

    20 foot of fall to the house will be about 10 pounds pressure, so a pump my be in order and a pressure tank as well. you could use a 12 volt RV pump if you were off grid and didnt need to have it running all the time for pressure everywhere..... enought to do dishes with and shower with, and could be installed inline in the house with wiring at the shower and the sinks to turn it on or off as needed. [perhaps not your plan but for others searching and wondering about a similar project]

    We had an 8x8x8 squared poured tank, and after about 5 years the drain access was covered and compacted with sediment that was hardpacked like concrete, took several hours of sledge hammer and bar to pound out the 2 inch drain to get to the water...... should have been a fancy pipe at the bottom with a 90 and an uprite as an overflow, but when dad was doing it for him and the nieghbor the neighbor didnt think it was bad enough to warrant doing something so fancy.... til it needed servicing as the sedimeent got up to the foot of the pump..... prepare for the worst event and be suprised that it never occurs.

    William
     

  3. boonieman

    boonieman Well-Known Member

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    I think it looks like a pretty nifty idea. I'm wondering how a concrete block structure will stand the test of time though. Have you thought about maybe using a concrete cistern instead of block? Also, the little attached cool room might stay a little cooler if you have some perferated trays for the overflow water to go thru, kinda like the trays on a cooling tower. This will greatly increase the surface area of water/air contact and will also create some air movement. Again, looks like a really creative idea.

    ps. previous post about the 10 pounds pressure to the house is correct based on your estimate of 20 feet of elevation.
     
  4. speedfunk

    speedfunk Rock On

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    I added an extra foot of space below the 4' frost line mark that the pipes must enter from the outside at.

    10 pounds huh..too bad. I figured it woudln't be enough. :grump:

    I assuming your describing what I added in the picture? The 90's would be no big deal and if there is a chance that it might help worth the little bit of time. Do you think this setup would be enough? For draining the spring box , think a garden hose and cyfin (wow, spelled complelty wrong)
     
  5. speedfunk

    speedfunk Rock On

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    Appreciate the kind words.... :dance:
    I've seen them used before . My father built 2 springs using block and they have seem to hold up, one is going on 25 years the other around 15. The problem with one of his designs was more the roof :Bawling: Which lead to us drinking rotten woodchuck for a week lol. MMMMM!!!. I'm also fairly comfortable installing block, .. I might pour a couple of the core's full of concrete, maybe the corners ..we will see. I will have to look into the cost of a concrete cistern, I would think maybe $500 , that sound about right?



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    I gave your suggestion quite a bit of thought as it was a very good one. Allthough I'm not quite sure what trays your refering too. Below in the pic is the solution I came up with. Basically a metal shelf sitting in the water (similar I think to what you were refering too, It should act as a reverse heat sync. The food would also not have to rely on shedding heat through the air , but directly through conduction of the metal to the water, seems to me that should work pretty good ! :hobbyhors

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  6. boonieman

    boonieman Well-Known Member

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    I was assuming you were planning on using the cool spring water to keep the spring house portion cool. Just a pool of water will have some cooling effect, but when you look at the surface area (square inches) of the area of water that air comes in contact with, it's really not that much. Maybe the metal shelving immersed in water will conduct the cold, but you might want to experiment with that before a full blown installation. The trays I was referring to is like water runs onto the first tray (top), which has small holes in it. It drains down to the next tray, which also has holes in it, etc, etc. This creates a lot more surface area of water to air. It also has an evaporation effect, which also cools. Before there was air conditioning, water running over trays, or slats, or some variation of it was used for cooling. Hope to see pictures of you project when done. You're also very fortunate to have a good spring like that. Also, as far as your water pressure goes, do a search on the internet for water rams. I can think of several ways to come up with getting more pressure to the house using one of those, and you obviously have greater imagination than me. Good luck!
    Danny
     
  7. speedfunk

    speedfunk Rock On

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    Your assumption danny is correct. The spring water will flow through that "pool" of water. The overflow of the spring flows into the pool, then runs out the lower (left in the picture) side of the spring house. So that water will constanstly be replaced will cool spring water. Last year while taking alook at someones land I came across a dairy creamery ( I belive it was a creamery :baby04: ) What they did was to keep the milk from going bad , they used a something similar where they would run cold creek water into a channel made of concrete. They would set the milk in it and it would keep until someone picked it up.

    I have an idea now of what your talking about. I'll ponder on the tray setup, maybe there might be a way of incorporating that or it might be easier or cheaper. Thanks for the help Danny!

    I have in the past looked at ram setup and might have to look into it again. Another issue i have is lack of time. Next year , pending ..the spring has to go in first and then a small house. I think everyone knows how that goes. so we will see, I'm a bit concered about how much I have to get done (being that I am building the whole house) :help:


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  8. crafty2002

    crafty2002 Well-Known Member

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    I think everything looks good but I am pretty sure you will need a pump. There won't be quite 10 lbs pressure at 20 feet and that isn't much pressure.
    You get .43 PSI's per foot of head or rise, so that would only be 8.6 PSI and that would be at floor level if I am looking at your 20' measurement right. Then the shower head would be raised back up about 6 feet so you would loose that along with pipe loss for flow so you would really only end up with something more like a little less than 6 lbs at the shower head and that would just be a drible from it.
    I didn't look for them but Mother Earth News had some plans a few years ago to build a ram pump useing PVC pipe and fittings. I think it was Mother any way.
    If you have enough flow from the spring there is a way to get some more pressure without an electric pump fairly cheap. If you build one of these ram pumps, etc.
    You can cut 3 or 4 trees to build a tower for a tank, and use a ram pump to get the water to the tank, say 30 feet high and 10' up the slope from the spring, which would give you more pressure, you would end up with 40 feet of head and 17.2 PSI pressure at floor level, mind you.
    As far as the spring box goes, it looks good to me but I would form it up and pour concrete. You dont really want to put anything on the block to make them hold water and if you need to bury pipes 4' for the frost line, blocks are going to get wet and freeze and that will cause them to crack faster than you can repair them.
    You could use rock and cement to lay them and that would be water proof to the point they wouldn't freeze up and break apart beacuse the water temp would keep them warmer than 32 *.
    Now that just brought up another question. If you have a four foot frost line where you live, does the water flow year round from this spring????
    Any way, you might also think about useing something like 2" styrofoam (spelling,???) for the out side of the forms with something like the pins they use for forming concrete but leave them in there to hold the insulation on after the pour. That way the cold weather won't freeze the concrete and the warn weather won't warm it up any so the cooler section will stay colder from the water temp.
    Good luck and God bless
     
  9. speedfunk

    speedfunk Rock On

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    That is something I didn't even consider!! :nono: yeah it look like it's a electric or ram pump

    The problem i see with this is that is it would freeze..however there is not reason I couldn't burry it . I have that much of an raise in elevation above my house

    Well would the water at ground temp help moderate the freezing temps? I understand what you mean about the freezing though ..it's def somethign to consdier

    Yup... it does it flucutates a bit based on season but I've watched it a whole year and it's been non stop

    this is a very good idea...and good food for thought. I appreciate your detailed post Crafty , very much!

    When it's built next year I'll follow this up with some pics.. that and electric are first priority!
    :hobbyhors

    Jeff
     
  10. boonieman

    boonieman Well-Known Member

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    Here's a couple more things to think about.

    How far away is the spring from the house and garden? Maybe your spring house that you want to keep your veggies cool could be close to the house instead of right at the spring so you don't have to pack stuff so far.

    If you end up having to pump water with a pump anyway, maybe you'd be better off installing a cistern and just run a water line from the spring to it. If a drought happens to hit, springs can suddenly quit for awhile. Even well established ones. At least you have a cistern to have water hauled to. I always like backup plans. :rolleyes:
     
  11. speedfunk

    speedfunk Rock On

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    Good food for thought. Thanks boonieman, I'm still finding springs coming out of our hill side .. I count 5 so far. It's a nice thing to have so many. One thing we do have plenty of is rain. Droughts are far and few between.

    *also side note I've been thinking instead of shelving sitting in water to increase my surface area I've thought about using 5 gallon spackle buckets in the water. The food would sit in them and that should keep them quite a bit cooler...I'm not sure about any moisture problems... might be some.. I'll have to play..

    J
     
  12. js2743

    js2743 Well-Known Member

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    getting water from a spring box that is built from blocks back in the early 50's and its never leaked or had any trouble. who ever built it plastered the blocked with cement no trouble at all so i say go for it. also you might wanna go lil higher with your block while building can never have to much water storage.