Harvesting Rainwater—Part One

>> Sunday, August 21, 2011






I have mentioned before that we live on top of a “ridge.”  To have a well one would have to drill very deep.  Down the hill, near where Darryl is building his house, there is a well but the water has a great deal of sulfur in it.  The local water company has run water lines throughout the county, bring public water to almost everyone.  We hooked onto the line coming onto the property when we moved here seven years ago.  However, we have wished we could do something to have our own water supply.  Having a cistern to hold rainwater captured from the house roof has been an option.  But, we just couldn’t figure out where to put one.  We put gutters on the house and did acquire some poly tanks to catch and hold a few hundred gallons of water, primarily to be used for watering the garden and the flower beds.

Darryl had determined that he was going to purchase some concrete septic tanks and use them for cisterns at his new house.  We had considered that as well, but as I said, we couldn’t figure out just where we would put them.  A few weeks ago, while discussing this again, it just came to me that they could be put right next to our house, between it and the driveway.  Since Darryl was ready to buy his tanks and get them set in it seemed the time was right for us to go ahead and get ours and get them all done at the same time.

So, we are putting in two tanks, each with a capacity of 1500 gallons.  When filled they will give us 3000 gallons or a bit more.  We have had to be ultra conservative of water in the past and will have to do so again.  Generally we get rains regularly enough that we shouldn’t have much of a problem but perhaps during the summer months we will need to exercise more care.

Here are a few photos of the cistern project.

IMG_0063 Due to rock right under the surface we were unable to dig down deep enough to set the tanks under ground.

IMG_0067In order to put the tanks as deep as possible I spent several hours busting out rock with a sledge hammer.

IMG_0069This photo shows some of the rock along with dirt removed from the hole we had dug.  The fellow used a small backhoe to dig the area out.  I finished it with sledge hammer, shovels, and a lot of labor.

IMG_0073This is as deep as it gets!  This was taken just prior to delivery of the first tank.

IMG_0074The first tank has arrived and is being prepared to be set into the hole.  We will continue with the story in part two.


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