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Scoria Earthbag Tank/Well House

 
Posts: 46
Location: Colorado Springs, CO zone 5A / Canon City, CO zone 5B
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Hi All-

We have started building our tank/well house from scoria filled earthbags. Just wanted to share some photos.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1569408199960020.1073741827.100006725657912&type=1&l=9dd7088781

This is our second project with bags. The first was 2 small retaining walls made with soil filled bags. Working with scoria is an entirely different kettle of fish, and after having work with soil filled bags, it takes some getting used to. There is no satisfying "ringing" when the bag is fully tamped. The fill, even after tamping, easily shifts. The recommended ties (baling twine) seem essential for a cohesive whole.

The bags are much, much lighter. Our bags are 15" x 30" empty, and finish out at 12" x 22" when filled with 6 scoops of the #10 can. They weigh between 25 and 30 pounds.

We are currently on row 13 of 42 - thank heavens they get shorter as you go up, but now some scaffolding will be required.
 
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Hey T,
Nice to see a fellow Scoria bagger east of the sangres!
Like you said its a different beast than EBs, wrt shifting while tamping an uncompleted dome make sure that you have a good running bond and barb wire, and if necessary spike they the rows occasionally. Most importantly, correct any deflection from compass.
What's your diameter? What's your plaster method? No windows on a well house means that you don't have to plaster the inside, although overhanging plastering is a lot of fun! Keep us posted!
 
T Phillips
Posts: 46
Location: Colorado Springs, CO zone 5A / Canon City, CO zone 5B
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Hi Christopher!

You mean there ARE scoria baggers east of the Sangres??? Everybody here looks at us like we're nuts.

Our diameter is 14' interior, which means we don't need a permit. (Under 200 sf in Fremont County.) It will be big enough to house all of the water filtration equipment, a 210 gallon vertical storage tank (chosen strictly for its ability to fit through the door in case of failure), pressure tank and pump, and still have room for tools or to be used as a storm shelter.

We did a pretty major correction yesterday where the circle meets the buttresses - off by 1.5" on one side and 3" on the other on row 15. We made up the different over the next 2 rows. Knowing what we know now, we should have gone with the pole compass and articulating arm instead of the simpler and cheaper rope and caster. We were fried the day we decided what to do, and having no experience and never having been to a build, we didn't realize the buttresses would interfere so completely with the accuracy of those spots. Oh, well, live and learn. Mike is a math guy, so he figured out what we needed to do.

It is very unlikely that we will finish before winter, so we painted a 50/50 wash of paint and water onto the oldest bags and will tarp it all in a couple of weeks until spring. I would like to do a papercrete exterior for maximum insulative value a la Kelly and Zana Hart's house, but we don't know the area well enough yet to figure out a source for that much paper. We'll probably just paint the interior white for maximum light reflection and to protect the bags.

Any ideas or suggestions are most welcome, and thanks for your interest.
 
Christopher Steen
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Recycling centers are always good for bulk materials. I leave the glass and metal because those make sense to recycle. In the paper dumpster, stacks of neatly folded newspaper are a gold mine for Papercrete--I use one eb stuffed full.per mix.
Watch your correction for movement. Maybe spike that spot down, likely a fellow Scoria traveler. I like Scoria bags, but their shifty-ness requires extra attention. And never too late for a compass.
 
T Phillips
Posts: 46
Location: Colorado Springs, CO zone 5A / Canon City, CO zone 5B
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That's a good idea to stake that spot. We have been staking every 4 rows or so, but it makes excellent sense to do that one spot in particular.

I can never figure if i can get away with taking recycled materials AFTER they are in a container. I'm a little concerned about being accused of stealing. (It's private company, not a municipal service.)

Thanks for the suggestions!
 
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