If you were with us for And More Water – Part I, you saw the cisterns that we put in to capture rain water from the house. Yesterday I finally got around to completing the system.
When I built the cistern, I left a 2″ stub up in order to draw water out of the cistern and pump it to various hose bibs. As you can see below, I finally completed the connection and put the pump in place. The smaller 3/4″ line delivers water to the four corners of my porch so that I can irrigate the garden, orchard, etc.
Though I have 120v outlet available, I decided to go with a 12v “on demand” pump. I figured It would come in handy to have a 12v pump for other projects, and the “on demand” feature means I don’t need a tank and pressure relay – it’s built in. Any time the pump senses a pressure drop (opening a spigot) it turns the pump on. I have a small trickle charger connected to the battery to keep it charged up. I could have gone solar, but already had the components to make it work.
In order to make it more attractive, and to protect the equipment, I used some landscaping blocks left by the previous owner to make it look like a well. Someday I may even put a roof on it (and clean up those mounds of dirt left over from digging the overflow pond).
Of course things never go quite as planned. In the final picture you can see that I had to make a repair to the distribution lines. I had a small crack in the PVC “T” where the riser (galvanized steel) came up to the hose bib. I guess I got overzealous tightening it. Of course this has happened to me before and I always swear that I will never screw a steel male nipple into a plastic female fitting, but I do. I was told by another fellow that he always uses Teflon pipe dope AND Teflon tape on all his jobs, so I took to doing that here to ensure I wouldn’t have a leak, thus mitigating the need to over tighten. You can also see from that photo that I’ve left a short piece that will allow for future expansion out into the soon to be orchard.
All-in-all, the system works just as I had envisioned it. I can water my future plants with superior rainwater. And as an added bonus, we now have a redundant water supply in the event my well ever has issues – I can back feed the cistern water into my house supply. I don’t think I would drink it, but certainly good for washing and flushing.