4,000 gallons in 48 hours

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by velacreations, Jul 18, 2013.

  1. velacreations

    velacreations Monkey+

    How to make a huge rainwater cistern

    We had less than 1" of rain between October 2012 and July 2013. But, now that July is here, the rain season has started, which means that it is Spring, here!

    We received about 2.5" of rain in the last 48 hours. The rainwater cisterns are filling up! We caught 4,000 gallons during this period, which is enough to keep our garden watered for an entire year.

    Here's our roof potential:
    House Roof + tank roofs - ~1,000 gallons of water per inch of rain.
    Barn + barn tank - 500 gallons of water per inch of rain.
    Sheds and assorted tanks - 150 gallons per inch of rain.

    TOTAL - 1650 gallons per inch of rain

    For capacity, we have the following:
    House cisterns - 14,500 gallons + new tank(7,000 gallons, under construction)
    Barn Tank - 7,000 gallons
    Shed tanks - 1,500 gallons
    Swimming pool - 2,000 gallons

    TOTAL - 32,000 gallons

    So, we need about 20 inches of rain to fill everything, if they start empty.

    BUT, our water accounts are about:
    House Tanks - 6,000 gallons
    Swimming pool - 1,000 gallons
    Barn tank - 1,500 gallons
    Shed tanks - 1,000 gallons

    TOTAL - 9,500 gallons

    So, our current capacity is 32,000 - 9,500 gallons - 22,500 gallons, which translates to about 14 inches of rain.

    We typically receive about 25 inches per year, and I think we're now around 5 inches for this year (4 of that is this month). We can reasonably expect 20 inches of rain between now and the end of October.

    Rainwater catchment information
    fmhuff, Airtime, Icefoot and 3 others like this.
  2. NotSoSneaky

    NotSoSneaky former supporter

    Interesting system.

    Two questions: Roughly what is the square footage of the collection area ?

    How pure is the water ? Have you had it tested ?
  3. velacreations

    velacreations Monkey+

    The square footage of the house and tanks is about 1600 sf. The barn and tank is about 800 sf. The sheds are about 300 sf.

    we haven't had it tested, but we've been living on it for about 13 years. We have a whole house filter and then a carbon drinking filter.
    NotSoSneaky and kellory like this.
  4. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Very nice... I suspect if you call your State's Department of Ecology, or whatever it is named, and ask for their Drinking Water Section, that they will do a test, on a Water Sample that you send them, and give you a Report on it's Potability, usually for free, at least once.... It would be nice to know, for sure, what is in the Raw Water before the filters.... .......
    NotSoSneaky likes this.
  5. velacreations

    velacreations Monkey+

    yes, I can try that. thanks!
  6. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

  7. velacreations

    velacreations Monkey+

    I'll check it out, thanks!

    Ok, looking at it, it's just a UV filter, right? It says the lamp pulls 14 watts. Is it on all the time, or just when you open a tap?

    If all the time, that's 336 wh per day
  8. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    416835325_o. Looks like the light needs to be used only in short bursts at 14wts, not continuously, and only after filtering to remove sediment. A solar panel, a couple of batteries, and an inverter , (with a simple charge controller) should be all you need, as far as I can see. But, of course, I defer to the experts. @Airtime, mentioned that he treats about 100gals at a time.
    fmhuff likes this.
  9. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    Pump and Supply companies will often test water for free as well.
  10. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    On my system, the UV Lamp is connected to the same Power Source, that supplies the 12 Vdc Pressure Pump. It is connected, AFTER, the Pressure Switch, so that the UV Lamp, only is lit, while the Pump is Running... This allows for Germicidal Operations, just when there is water flowing thru the Filter/UV System.
    We have our water tested once a year, with two sample taken. One sample of the Raw Water before the Filter/UV system, and one sample at the Tap, in the kitchen. (After the Filter/UV System) Never have had either Sample come back, as contaminated, or non-Potable, in two decades. We change the .5 Micron Filter, and the Activated Charcoal Filter, twice a Year, and the 1 Micron Sediment Filter, between the Cistern, and the Vane Pump, Once a Year.... ......
    Airtime likes this.
  11. velacreations

    velacreations Monkey+

    that's a good way to hook it up, but in my case, that wouldn't work, cause the pump is at the other end of the house than the kitchen.

    I already have the sediment and carbon filters, so I only need the UV one.

    I will read a bit on them, see what I can find out about an on demand one.
  12. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Color me stupid, if you wish, but why would the location of the pump make any difference? As I understand it, you need a holding tank of some size @100gals), anywhere after the filters, and before the tap. At that tank, the UV treatment is done on the standing water in the tank. with a little plumbing, this could be done anywhere there is room for the tank. Where lies the problem?o_O
  13. velacreations

    velacreations Monkey+

    The problem lies in the hooking up the UV light to the pressure switch, so that it only comes on when you turn on a tap. Those of us on solar/wind systems have to consider the energy use of something that is on all day long. :)

    So, for my system, the pump (pressure switch) is about 40 ft from the kitchen tap.

    Right now, the pump is where the line comes into the house, in the bathroom. It goes through the bathroom, then to the kitchen sink. I have the drinking filter right before the kitchen sink. It would be great to add the UV filter there, where I need it.

    so, that's the problem. If the UV filter itself had some sort of switch to just turn on when needed, it would save a considerable amount of energy.
  14. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Ok, so you only want the UV light when the water is flowing? Then could you not just install a second pressure switch in line, where you need it? o_O
  15. velacreations

    velacreations Monkey+

    yeah, I guess that is the best way to do it. Just set up a second pressure switch. Does anyone know if you can just buy the UV sanitizer, instead of the whole filter assembly. I have the filters and canisters and mount, I just need the UV part.
  16. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Never seen them sold individually, but you might contact the the OEM, and see if they would sell you just the UV Unit....
  17. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

  18. fmhuff

    fmhuff Monkey+++

    One place we lived that had cistern that used a UV light which consisted of one glass tube inside another. The water moved through the space between the tubes and an intense UV lamp was inside the inner tube. We also used a cup of bleach each month in the cistern to keep stuff from growing. The filters took out just just about everything before it hit the UV source. The lamp only came on with the pump which pressurized an accumulator for the house pressure.
  19. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    Multiple pressure switches can be problematic in that they can be tricky to kick on and off together, or dial in the hysteresis, etc. Just run some wire. Not that hard.
  20. NotSoSneaky

    NotSoSneaky former supporter

    Its threads like this which make this forum great ! [coo]
    kellory likes this.
survivalmonkey SSL seal        survivalmonkey.com warrant canary