Cistern, any advice?

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  1. 747mopar

    747mopar Well-Known Member

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    I'm pretty sure I've got this covered but like hearing different ideas so here it goes....

    We built our house 15 years ago and have relied on a preexisting spring for all of our water needs ever since. As the family grew we went to a front load washer and offset the demand but now we added another and am sick of all the silt (shallow spring) so we're starting over. The old one is a 575 gallon above ground concrete tank whereas the new one will be a 1150 gallon burried plastic tank with a submersible pump on a 40/60 switch. I hit 3 springs digging our basement and fortunately took the time to develop them so there's lots of great water dumping over the hill plus 2 more springs to tie into... long story short I live on an oasis.

    Questions are what's a good method of pre cleaning the water? If I only use the springs from the basement which are deep and filter through gravel I'm not concerned but can't see wasting the others. My thought was to burry a plastic 55 gallon drum ahead of the tank, plumb a pipe from the bottom of the drum to just shy of the top to feed the cistern with the overflowing water then the incoming water from the springs would feed in halfway up the drum which would be filled with no smaller than 57 gravel creating a place for silt to settle??? I would also add a flush out drain to periodically flush it out.

    Any ideas on any aspect of this project are welcome. Tank is ordered and I'm going full throttle this Wed until it's done.
     
  2. Photon440

    Photon440 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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    • oldbee

      oldbee FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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      Wish I could help more than the above. But,I’ll say one thing; 3 washers over last 20yrs and none will throw cold water. Just checked new one that’s feeding off lower sink that has never plugged up. Hose screen is plugged(?), more detectiving myself I guess.
       
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      • mopar 3 B

        mopar 3 B Well-Known Member

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        Any idea what size particals need to be filtered or what the intake flow per minute is?
         
      • multimopes

        multimopes FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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        I have a well in my neck of the woods and that means minerals and iron which vary depending on the water table. I got tired of cleaning aerators and was worried for my new dishwasher; (had to take apart the solenoid valve several times on the old one), so I installed a low maintenance filter system that I designed myself. Pictured below. The top filter, 74 micron, reverses flow so it backwashes it self simply by turning the top valve 90 degrees and pushes the crap off the outside down the drain. The second filter is a standard cartridge and I change them about every 6 months of so. I started with 5 micron and am down to 1 micron. I am quite pleased with the results. I designed the system to run off of either filter alone or using both with first as a pre-filter or bypassing the whole mess. If you look, I can also back flush the lower filter as well. I also put air bleeds on top and inlet and outlet gauges to monitor pressure drop. HPIM1935.JPG
         
        Last edited: Aug 12, 2018 at 11:17 PM
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        • 747mopar

          747mopar Well-Known Member

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          I talked to a company about filters and they offered free testing so why not, I didn't learn much. The tds count was 200 on the one we're using and the other 125, the ph on both were 7, neither have iron or calcium and the hardness was at 5... that's it, that's all he could tell me. Oh yeah and that he could sell me a $6,300 filtering system!

          I'll have to look into a better source for testing.

          As for flow, are we talking about the springs? I've timed one at 5 gallons a minutes when it was really pouring but Aug-Sept it's more like 1 gallon every 2-3 minutes.
           
          Last edited: Aug 12, 2018 at 11:56 PM
        • 747mopar

          747mopar Well-Known Member

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          Hmmm, I like what you have going on there. Good ideas:thumbsup:
           
        • multimopes

          multimopes FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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          Thank you. The most expensive part was all the shark bites, which are movable by the way. I suck at sweating pipe and would have been cursing my butt off having to drain and re-solder leaky joints. The mess I created could have been worse. LOL. That Lakos "twist to clean" filter is a great design and was the inspiration for the whole thing. I also use "mineral magnets" strapped around the pipes to help with iron deposit removal and that helped also.
           
        • 747mopar

          747mopar Well-Known Member

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          I was going to ask about the filter types, I'll look into those.

          As for sweating you need to give it another whirl with a little guidance. I've never ever had a joint leak so your missing a step, technique or something? In all honesty I'm probably done messing with it myself especially given how expensive it has gotten. PEX is just hard to beat now days, it's super quick, easy to route, easy to work with, no flames around your studs and it's affordable so why mess around with piles of fittings and all the extra work?
           
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          • multimopes

            multimopes FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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            The Lakos filter isn't sold except to plumbers usually. I got it from Bigbrandwater.com. The other housing is a standard model, don't remember the brand, I got it from my father and it was over 30 years old. The filters for it are around $5 & sold at any hardware store. They have many types of filters for it including charcoal. My supply lines are 3/4".
            The reason I hated soldering is when doing a 90, 45 or coupling, I'd get one side done okay but when heating the second side the first would let go. Also I ran out of acetylene a couple times when doing jobs. I watched someone else do it after so many years and it seems I use too much heat and didn't clean the copper good enough. I soldered flushing tees on my furnace (tank-less coil) 28 years ago so that I could do my own coil cleaning and that worked fine. freshwatersystems.com has filter systems too as well as cannonwater.net.
            Incidently, the inside of both filters is now stained orange from iron and it won't come off! It's good I put the gauges on it to see the pressure drop. LOL
             
            Last edited: Aug 13, 2018 at 3:20 AM
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            • Road Rat

              Road Rat FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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              I’ve seen sand filters with a UV sterilizer downstream of that used for drinking water in Central America. They work very well and the sand filters are back flushable. The water in the rivers there was very silty. Might look at that. Very simple setup that worked for an entire Marina with restaurant.
               
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              • tak419

                tak419 Well-Known Member

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                If I read it correctly your issue is the silt accumulating in the cistern tank ? If that's the issue and you want to remove as much silt before the cistern you're on the right track with the barrel and gravel. The in house filters are good but your tank will still fill with silt. The silt won't fall out of the water till the water slows down and the gravel will slow the water. Your inlet doesn't have to enter in the bottom, anywhere in the stone will work. You don't want the inlet to end up in the silt and plugging up. If it were mine instead of a 55gl I'd do 2-3 30gl barrels. The water will have more of a chance to drop the settlements and should come out crystal clear after the third barrel.
                 
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                • 747mopar

                  747mopar Well-Known Member

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                  I meant bringing the water into the center of the drum on the vertical side, could be higher but well below the top and in the gravel.
                   
                • tak419

                  tak419 Well-Known Member

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                  We're on the same page then...you definitely have the right idea. The reason I mentioned the 2 or 3 tanks is there are times at work we run shallow pumps and in sand. The sand silt will quickly plug the pumps. We do a 3 bucket system all filled with gravel and out the sump hose in the last bucket, it'll run all day and usually won't get any sand in it.
                   
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                  • mopar 3 B

                    mopar 3 B Well-Known Member

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                    Thats why I asked about gpm. If the container is to small particals will not fall out and just get flushed threw.
                    I have some 275 gal containers to play with. But still from what I have read natural filtration is the best.
                     
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