Thursday, October 25, 2007

An alternate cistern

I haven't actually made this cistern myself. I live in North Ga, and even though the state is in a "drought", we've had plenty of rain where I live. However, this is one of those ideas that I've kept in my mind - you never know when you'll need something like this.

Most houses have rain gutters with a downspout. The downspouts drain the water away from the house - unless you reroute the water to where you want it.

What I have seen done is to make a small 55-60 gal. cistern with a trash can under a downspout. They took a large, clean trash can and build a small fence around it, about 3 feet high and just a bit wider than the circumference of the can. They placed the can in the middle of it, on top of a couple of bricks and put some large gravel around the can to stabilize the outside of the can - to keep it from tipping over as it fills. They then cut the downspout so that the end was just inside of the trash can. They cut a hole in the lid, just large enough that the downspout could fit through it and let the lid close. They also covered the cut area with small screening - to keep dirt and leaves out. They also fit a small piece of screen at the top of the downspout for the same reason. You will have to make sure that you check for leaves in the gutters/downspout or it will block the downspout from draining.

You can make one of these for each corner of the house. That would be about 240 gals. of extra water. If you can have some other clean trash cans around, you could dip off the water to the other cans and keep letting your spouts funnel water to the fenced cans.

NOTE: If you DO NOT have a fenced yard or have small kids, I would use food grade 55 gal drums to do this and use a siphon to remove the water from it. Any kind of bucket - even a 3 gal bucket with water in it is a drowning hazard to a small child. Being top heavy, they fall forward and can not get back out and are dead before anyone finds them. The food drums have two 3" openings in the top. The lid is one solid piece and no one can fall into it. Also the fence keeps the barrel from being tipped over. 55 gals of water weigh a LOT and a kid pulling on it would be badly hurt if it fell on them.

I have also seen a threaded drain port about 2" from the bottom of the can/barrel. The port lets you attach a hose to it and turn water access off and on.

I have also heard of people getting a new septic tank sunk in their yards and having the flow from their downspouts funneled into that. They used a submersible sump pump (new) to drain the water as needed. Some people also put in a drain field so that when the tank is full, the water has someplace to drain to. It would depend on how much rain you get as to what you will need.

Here are some links I found:

http://www.rainbarrelguide.com/

http://www.geocities.com/rainsystem/howto.html

http://www.lid-stormwater.net/raincist/raincist_specs.htm

This site has a LOT of neat stuff!
http://www.floydcountyinview.com/cistern.html

http://deercreek_63080.tripod.com/theprimitivecabinwebsite/id8.html

http://www.harvestingrainwater.com/suppliers/water-tankscisterns/

http://www.scribd.com/doc/96380/rainwater-harvesting

http://www.plastmo.com/plastmo/rbdivert.html

5 comments:

Penless Thoughts said...

I just saw your comment on Jen's blog about the word Magic in Magic Chicken. I say keep the word Magic. I think we should not bow to being hijacked of our beautiful language "gay" when I was a child meant happy. "straight" meant an even, correct line. Etc, etc. WHY should we give up the true meanings of words to the deviant society? Just my opinion!!! I think it's time we quit being run over and bowing to the calls they make.

I hope this makes sense and you understand what I mean :o)
Susan

homemoma said...

hello from across the world - estonia. thank you for visiting my blog. i left you a reply to your comment there.

homemoma said...

i leave my reply to your comment here. i am an estonian and i learned the language in school for 6 years as my third language. tho i speak/understand it better than my second language. and in most part i have kept the knowledge by reading and just talking a lot. oh and dont forget influene of tv.

homemoma said...

wow, dutch is a very difficult in my opinion, at least speaking it. it is so interesting that you have audio processing issues and not understanding words to understand. i have a bit different problem. i know the word and understand it but i sometimes dont know the word in estonian to translate to others.

english is not that difficult of a language. try estonian or finnish and you have your toung twisted. well i also read, speak and understand finnish but i dont write it. and i have learned russian as my second language for 11 years but to be honest i have big trouble with it. i do understand some words of swedish also.

i am so glad that nobody is reading my blog or commenting my mistakes ;)

Darlene said...

Susan,
I do understand where you're coming from. I did go ahead and change it. It's like anything else, if the name means one thing to the general populace and another thing to you and you use your name for it, the general populace won't understand what you're talking about.
I'd rather not have drug associations on my web site. Too many people will, in my opinion rightly, boycott a web site or blog that they think is supporting drugs or the drug culture.
But in many ways I agree with you! It is sad now isn't it?
Darlene