Martin Essary

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since Jun 24, 2013
SW Missouri
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Recent posts by Martin Essary


What size drainage tubes were they and how would you seal the ends?
I assume they were metal? They would need to be coated inside to prevent rust for good water quality.
I am thinking the concrete cystern is the best option to buying the plastic (expensive) cysterns.

"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them"
~Albert Einstein
5 years ago
At this time I have no filtration system.
My water comes from a shallow well approximately 100'.
I have sediment and I am concerned with contamination from farms in my area.
We were very low last year and when we had our well tested it had e-coli.
I would also like to reduce the scaling. I have to clean my shower head every few months.
I am concerned about the polyphosphate. I know it is used a lot in food processing, but to use it for my drinking water is a concern.

If I used the ceramic filter would I need the sub micron filter?

What if I went with this set up:

Sediment 5 micron
Carbon Tank
5 years ago
I am looking to add a filtration purification system to my well and was wanting to have some comments from some one with experience on the subject.
I know this is not the proper forum, but didn't see one with well water or drinking water or filtration systems.

I have looked online at several system.
The one that I like has the following set up.

pre-filter 5 micron
carbon tank backflush 300,000 gal min.
post filter micron
polyphosphate chemical water softener
UV light

Any comment or recommendations on this topic?
5 years ago
This may be a dumb question, but how does the air flow through the towers?
Can you do a drawing for the less perceptive people?

5 years ago
So we didn't get any real good ideas for replacement items for the first stage of an ES construction.
Items; Insulation, Cisterns, cooling tubes.

I think a cement or cinder block cistern would be cheaper than the plastic cisterns and you could make one large on verses the 4 plastic cisterns EB is using now.

On the Insulation what about using plastic wrapped hay bales? You would need to seal the plastic to keep the hay from rotting and leaving a vacuum, but why would it not work?
I will have to check to see the R-value comparison of the 4" rigid vs. the hay bale.

Still don't have a solution for a cheaper alternative to the cooling tubes.
I've wondered why a closed loop cooling tube system wouldn't work better? Just run a cooling tube in and out of the same room using a solar powered fan to move the air? it's more expensive, but wouldn't the air quality be better?


"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them"
~Albert Einstein
5 years ago
If you are starting with a metal building I would get several of the 250 gal. square tanks to collect water.
I saw some for $30 each. You could buy ten of them and have 2500 gallons of water storage for $300 (Cheap).

The can wall cistern was what I was thinking of, but I don't know about the lip for it.
I guess I could use the technique like the domed ES, but It would be difficult to get inside to finish it.
I assume that a swimming pool grade finish coating would be good for the inside coating.
I do have a concern with the burying and seepage around the lid.

I found plans for a cement cistern from PennState that I am reviewing to see if I can modify to work for my ES.
It is a rainwater buried cistern, but away from the house and it uses a pump to get the water back to the house.

the bus idea is way out of the box. I tend to be more conservative with my thinking.

5 years ago
If you read the first ES books they (EB) were showing you how to build with little cost similar to the $50 house by MIke Oeheler.
Now they use a lot of purchased materials. I am just looking for alternatives to the purchased items, if possible.
I plan on building an ES based house in the near future. I have been working towards this goal for about 9 years.

The 55gal. barrels would not withstand being buried which I believe would be essential to maintaining the water temperature.
This would be the same issue with the larger square water tanks, which I saw for $30 just this week.
I want to get some of them to do water catchment from my barn for the garden.

I am just looking for information from anyone that can offer alternatives to the cost issues of an ES.
I don't want to build something that will fall down after I am gone (wofati).
I have been collect items for quite awhile and have purchased land.
I am on my way to start the build, but need to conserve money.
5 years ago
Anyone have any ideas about how to make a water cistern instead of buying 4 of the 1700 gal. plastic cisterns?

In the first ES books they talk about building your ES with little cost as possible and they had an indoor cistern.
It seems they have abandoned this approach.

I bought the latest E-Books from EB and did a quick cost analyses of the first stage: tires.
Just the cisterns, insulation & culvert tubes would cost approximately $14K.

If someone has any ideas about how to replace the items I would be interested in your ideas.

I have been thinking about how to replace the 2" rigid insulation with homemade straw board.

I guess you could construct a cement cistern like the original books make with a dome top so it could be buried.

I am not sure how you would replace the metal cooling tubes with something less expensive.

I don't even want to think about what the cost of the cement will be along with the wood and the metal for the roof, then the windows.
I don't see how you could even consider building an ES with less than 100K in hand.

any thoughts?
5 years ago
I have been looking at tires at my local tire shop and I think that the low profile tires would work better for pounding / packing.
It would be similar to cutting half the sidewall off of a R75 tire. I think I can get 225 R50 16 tire fairly easy, this makes the tires about 25" across and the sidewalls are just 4½" wide.

5 years ago
Hi Todd,
I have tried to contact you previously on with no success. I live in SW MO and would like to help you if possible, just for the knowledge.
I live about 45 min. Sw of Joplin, MO. I would like to get started on my own ES, but looking at the numbers for just the first stage, i.e. Tire Works, it will take about $13K just for this stage and I don't want to get to the point it is half finished and I run out of funds. I have land that I live on in a small trailer with my wife. She is not excited about the ES, but thinks anything will be better than the trailer. Socks our cat could care less about any of it. I have some bottles I have been saving that I could donate to your cause, maybe a hundred, mostly white wine type.

If you don't mind us dropping in sometime give me a call fouroneseven threeninethree sixsixthreefour.
McDowell, MO
5 years ago