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pumping into elevated cistern  RSS feed

 
Patrick Mann
Posts: 307
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
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I want to build an elevated cistern to store rain water from roof run off. The idea is to pump up rain water and gravity feed my drip lines from the cistern during dry periods.

My parameters are:
- ~1000 gal cistern
- ~20 ft lift
- cheap

I was thinking of using a sump pump like http://www.sumppumpsdirect.com/Wayne-SPF50-Sump-Pump/p2457.html.
Has anybody built a system like that? What was your experience?
 
R Scott
Posts: 3357
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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20 foot of lift doesn't sound like much--but it is more than most sump pumps can handle.

It takes a HUGE volume pump to keep up with a modest roof.

Cheapest way IMO, is to build 2 cisterns--big one gravity fed from the roof and a small one up high to drive the irrigation. Then a small pump can pump up to the high tank only when you want to water. An IBC tote is enough to run a lot of drip line
 
Patrick Mann
Posts: 307
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
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R Scott wrote:
It takes a HUGE volume pump to keep up with a modest roof.


I don't need to keep up with the roof run-off. I'm fine with losing most of it. I just want to store more than I can in my 55 gallon rain barrels. I only need to divert a small amount to fill up 1000 gallons pretty quickly.

Another reason for the elevated cistern is that I don't have any good place near the roof line to put my cistern; given how my yard is layed out it needs to be further away.
 
Joe Braxton
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Location: NC (northern piedmont)
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Doug Gillespie
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We're doing something similar (see the Homestead in NE Georgia thread), in that we're building a water tower on our land. Our pumps include a grid powered A/C submersible pump (although we have no grid tie on the property yet) and a Simple Pump (to which we will be adding the gear motor and a solar set-up). Both will fill the IBC totes in the water tower, and the water will be distributed from there to the rest of the property by either gravity flow (when we have power) or a jet pump (when we don't). The main thing about getting the water into the tower, as far as I've been told, is to use one or more check valves in the supply line.

Doug
 
Patrick Mann
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
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elsyr McCoy wrote:The main thing about getting the water into the tower, as far as I've been told, is to use one or more check valves in the supply line.


Doug, thanks for the pointer about check valves -- I didn't know that but it makes perfect sense.
What type of submersible pump are you using?
 
Doug Gillespie
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Our submersible, which is down our well (which is 640' deep) is a Franklin sub-drive. Then we also have, in the same bore, a Simple Pump, which is currently hand operated (but which will get the gear motor and solar panel when I have time to install them). We'll be filling the tanks directly from one or both of these pumps (with on/off handled by float switches). I also have a simple on-demand non-submersible 12v jet pump, a Shur-Flo, that we will use for some limited distribution of water from the tanks.

Doug
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