Underground Water Tank Guide: What is a Cistern?
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- July 23, 2014 /
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What is a cistern? This is a commonly asked question as it is often a word used when talking about water storage. It is a form of water storage that can be used for various things. When you are looking to have any kind of underground storage tank to help with toilet flushing or even irrigation, you will be able to utilize one of these and cut back on your water bill.
The Pros of Having a Cistern
There are many pros to having a cistern at your house. This ensures that you have something that can be useful for your home or business. Some of the pros that you will find include:
- Constant access to water
- Independent from public supply
- Provides affordable water
- Prevents accessing polluted groundwater
- Softer water
As soon as you look at all of the pros, it’s easy to see why people choose to buy a cistern. They can range in size from 2000 gallons to well over 30,000 gallons. You simply have to decide where you have room for it on your property.
Depending on the size, you can be 100 percent independent from the public water supply. This will save you money and prevent any contamination or pollution. When the public water supply is low and there are restrictions on when you can use water, you are exempted from these restrictions since you have your own water supply.
If you have a rainwater capture system, the rainwater that is collected within the cistern is also going to be softer than public water. You won’t have to spend money to get a water softener because it will already be at a desirable level. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about other problems such as sulfur or iron levels in the water.
Even if you had to boil the water for drinking, you can always have access to water. This is ideal for instances when there is a power outage or emergency and to ensure that you have the water at an affordable price because you won’t have to pay by the gallon if you are on city water.
Shopping for a Cistern
When you are shopping for a cistern, it’s important to know exactly what it is. It’s an underground water tank that is made of polyethylene and can be designed to collect rain water. When you purchase one, it is typically installed several feet below ground.
You can find tanks that are small or large depending upon what you need. When you buy a cistern, you want to consider how many things you are going to use the water for, such as:
- Flushing toilets
Once the rainwater is collected, there are various ways to filter the water. These filters are typically not expensive. Whether you need them or not will depend on what the water is being used for. If you plan on using it strictly for irrigation, then filtering may not be necessary.
If you are going to purchase a cistern for the purpose of cooking and drinking, you will want to get a potable water tank that complies with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations. This FDA designation is NSF-61. This ensures that you can count on the quality of the water once it is pumped out to you.
There are other features that you can explore in addition to size and potability. You will want to look at how you are going to pump the water out of the tank, whether there is a self-sealing cover, and whether the tank is light enough that you can transport it. While you are probably not going to move the tank with great frequency, it may be something that you want to take in the event that you move. Otherwise it will be a feature that you sell with the house.
Some of the water tank accessories also need to be considered. You can by a water pressure booster. This is an accessory that allows you to increase the pressure of the water as it comes out of the tank. If you are using the water stored within the tank for showering or even irrigation, you want the pressure to be similar to what you would get out of a city system.
Pressure can vary based upon the kind of booster that you shop for. Other accessories are designed to help with septic and plumbing so that you can integrate the tank’s water into your household functions.
The more you know about a cistern, what it does and what the features are, the easier it will be to buy one and maximize it’s effectiveness. This ensures that you save money, have constant access to water, and reduce or eliminate your dependency on the public water supply.