What Is a Cistern Water System?

Author Phillip Pagano

Posted Mar 13, 2023

Reads 11.9K

Water supply network near buildings

A cistern water system is a type of water storage system that has been used for centuries to store and supply clean drinking water. The system consists of a tank, usually made of concrete or plastic, that is buried underground or placed above ground. Rainwater or other sources of water are collected in the cistern and then filtered to remove any impurities before being used for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and other household purposes.

Cistern water systems have become increasingly popular in recent years due to concerns about the safety and quality of public drinking water supplies. They are also an excellent way to conserve water and reduce utility bills by using rainwater for non-potable uses such as watering plants and flushing toilets. In this article, we will explore the many benefits of cistern water systems and provide you with all the information you need to decide if this type of system is right for your home or business.

Has your interest in alternative water systems made you ask, what is a cistern? Read on to learn about this ancient way to store and supply water.

What is a cistern? This may be the question you have been wondering about as you delve into the world of alternative water systems. The basic idea of a cistern is simple: it's a container for storing water. This method of storing water dates back centuries and has been used by many ancient civilizations.

In western Asia, archeologists discovered lime plaster cisterns that were dated back 5000 years ago. Ancient Romans also had their own version of cisterns beneath their buildings to store rainwater for future use. Nowadays, modern cisterns are commonly made out of concrete, plastic or even metal.

Cisterns are an efficient way to catch, filter and store rainwater for later use. They can range in size from small barrels to large tanks and can be used for various purposes such as irrigation, flushing toilets or even drinking water with proper treatment. With the increasing concern about water scarcity and environmental sustainability, cistern systems have become more popular in recent years as an alternative water source that can reduce the demand on municipal water supply.

Which is Better: Cistern Water System or Well Water?

The main difference between a cistern water system and well water is their water source. A cistern water system collects and stores water from an external source, such as rainwater or truck-delivered water, while well water comes from a high-yielding drilled well. The cistern stores water for future use, making it a convenient option for those who live in areas with limited access to fresh water.

Cistern water systems can be both advantageous and troublesome harder than well water. In the short term, cisterns may require more maintenance and attention to ensure the quality of the stored water remains safe for consumption. However, they are typically cheaper to install and maintain than wells. Additionally, cisterns allow homeowners to collect and use rainwater rather than relying solely on groundwater.

Overall, whether a cistern water system or well water is better depends on individual needs and circumstances. While wells provide a reliable source of high-quality drinking water, they are not always practical or feasible for some homeowners. Cisterns offer an alternative solution that can be cost-effective in the long run but require more attention and upkeep in the short term.

Cistern Water System Pros and Cons

Cistern water systems have become increasingly popular as people look for ways to conserve water and reduce their environmental impact. The main advantages of a cistern water system are that it can save you money on your water bill, provide a backup supply of water in case of emergencies, and help you reduce your carbon footprint. However, there are also some potential downsides to consider, such as the initial cost of installation and maintenance requirements. By weighing the pros and cons, you can make an informed decision about whether a cistern water system is right for your home or business.

1. Pros

Cistern water systems have many advantages over traditional wells. For those who live in areas with weak low-yielding wells or uncollectible water, cisterns store water for times of need. Gravity-fed cistern water systems don't depend on electricity, making them a reliable source of water during power outages. Cistern systems make it possible to avoid groundwater, which may be contaminated or difficult to access.

Additionally, cistern water systems can help homeowners conserve and manage their water usage. By collecting rainwater and storing it in a cistern, homeowners can reduce their reliance on municipal supplies and lower their utility bills. Furthermore, by using a cistern system for irrigation and other non-potable uses, homeowners can minimize the amount of treated drinking water they use overall. Overall, if you're looking for a sustainable and efficient way to collect and use your own water, a cistern system may be the perfect solution!

Discovering the Superiority of a Cistern to a Well

Although wells provide stable sources of water, there are significant differences between them and rain cistern systems. Groundwater drillers have to dig through soil layers, which may be affected by air pollution or other problematic chemicals. Additionally, private wells may contain naturally occurring radon, manganese, and arsenic. In contrast, cisterns can filter water deposited from rainfall naturally. When installed correctly with on-site surveys, close comparison cisterns prove to be less likely to harbor germs and diseases than wells that may journey alternatively up to twenty percent below the water table.

How Much Does it Cost to Install a Cistern Water System?

Cistern water systems vary greatly in price, and how much you spend depends on several factors. These factors include installation fees, pump and pipe requirements, filtration systems, and the cost of the cistern tank itself. For most residential water systems, homeowners can expect to pay anywhere from $1,500 to $10,000 or more for their cistern water system, including installation fees for smaller cisterns.

Colorful cargo containers on ship near pier

The size of your cistern tank is one of the biggest factors that will affect the cost of your installation. A 200-gallon model may be enough if you're planning on using it for garden irrigation or other outdoor purposes only. However, if you're looking to supply your entire household with water from a cistern system large enough to replace your average family's household water installation, you can easily expect to spend several thousand dollars.

Other factors that can affect the cost of a cistern water system include location (depending on ground length), filtration needs (pipes and filters), and whether or not you're attempting a DIY cistern water system installation. While it's tempting for capable DIYers to try this on their own to save money, it isn't wise without considerable specialized knowledge and equipment. A big complex job like installing a cistern water system requires professional help from experts who know how to get the job done right.

Purifying Cistern Water: A Comprehensive Guide

Design features such as roof washers, roof-water filters, gutter guards, water force breakers, and effectively screened cistern inlets are all important components to insure good-quality cistern water. However, these measures alone may not be sufficient for specific water treatment needs. Insure safe potable cistern water recommendations include sediment transport and distribution systems that can further purify the cistern water.

1. Minimizing sediment transport through cistern systems

One of the biggest challenges with cistern systems is minimizing sediment transport. There are several methods to accomplish this, including using roof washers and roof-water filters as we detailed earlier. However, these options may not completely eliminate input from fine particulates and sediment accumulation in the cistern.

To prevent sediment from reaching the distribution system and possibly reaching your clean water, periodic cleaning is necessary. This can involve draining the cistern and scooping out any sediment layer that has formed at regular intervals - typically every few years. An interior sealant can also be applied to prevent sediment accumulation in the first place, and an in-line sediment filtering unit distributed commercially by companies listed previously is another option for those willing to invest a bit more in their system. Additionally, acid neutralizers can help regulate pH levels for those with acidic rainwater sources. Overall, prices for these solutions vary widely depending on your needs and budget constraints.

Discovering the Inner Workings of a Cistern Water System

Cistern water systems are becoming increasingly popular as people look for alternative water sources. These systems work by collecting and storing rainwater, well water, or spring water in a watertight container connected to the household pipes. The location of the cistern depends on the water source, but it typically sits higher than the house to allow gravity to pull the water through the household pipes.

Modern cistern water systems have filtering mechanisms that prevent debris from entering the storage reservoir technically called a cistern tank. This is done through cistern fill ports which are lockable access hatches that provide access for both filling and inspection. Certified water hauling vehicles deliver fresh water through these ports ensuring that a familys daily 200 gallons of water remain safe for consumption.

The withdrawal pipe is connected to a water pump which pulls the stored water inside the storage reservoir up through the main water inlet and into your homes water system. To prevent sediment from entering your household pipes, many cistern systems also have ways to prevent contaminants from getting into the storage reservoirs like using filters or screens at all entry points including any overflow points. Cisterns can hold multiple days worth of fresh drinking or utility grade non-potable (non-drinking) supply with an average residential cistern holding around 5000 gallons making them an excellent idea if you're looking for an alternative source of clean, reliable and sustainable drinking or utility grade non-potable supply regardless if you live in city limits or out in rural areas where no public utilities are available.

Stay Hydrated with Proper Daily Water Intake

Having access to clean and safe water is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. While many households rely solely on water utilities, others have turned to rainwater-fed supplies through the use of roof-catchment cistern systems. The size of the cistern and its ability to store depends on the household's common household planning and budget. A small catchment area may only allow for a low-volume cistern, while larger roofs can hold up to 7500 gallons or more.

The average yearly minimum daily water intake per person is 75 gallons, which includes flushing toilets, doing laundry, cooking, and drinking. In some situations steps must be taken to conserve water as droughts can cause levels in the cistern to fall quickly. Rainwater cisterns in the Virgin Islands averaged 24 gallons per person per day due to the limited rainfall of only 160 inches annually. Cistern owners in these areas commented that their cistern supply could be considerably greater-over 100 gallons- depending on general cistern design.

In addition to providing cold running water and modem conveniences including an automatic washer, it is important for families living off-grid to take special water conservation measures such as using water-saving devices like low-flow shower heads or putting a brick in the toilet tank. These measures can considerably reduce household water consumption without requiring a conscious effort from family members. To ensure adequate supply during times of drought or maintenance periods, it is important for users of rainwater-fed supplies to regularly monitor their cistern levels so they can prepare accordingly.

How to Keep Your Cistern Water System in Good Condition

Keeping your cistern water system working properly is essential for safe and reliable access to clean water. To ensure this, it's important to follow regular maintenance procedures. One of the most effective steps you can take is to clean your cistern with unscented 5-25 percent bleach solution. This will help kill bacteria and other microorganisms that may be present in your system.

To begin cleaning your cistern, first empty all of the water from the tank. Then, mix one gallon of bleach with enough water to fill your cistern (up to 1000 gallons). Let the solution sit for 12 hours before draining it out completely. This will help ensure that all areas of your tank are fully disinfected. Additionally, be sure to flush out all water lines with bleach-filled water and let the solution sit for a 12-hour interim before running fresh water through them.

When refilling your tank after cleaning, be sure to use stock lots or bottled water until you are certain that all traces of chlorine have dissipated from the system. By following these simple steps, you can help keep your cistern water system in good condition and enjoy safe and reliable access to clean drinking water year-round.

Discover the Safety of Drinking Water from a Cistern

Woman Drinking from Glass

Drinking cistern water fortunately is a safe and eco-friendly option if proper filtration is in place. The cistern tank collects rainwater from the rooftop gutter system, which is perfect debris and foreign objects filter. Water filters that remove large particles, such as tree bark or leaves, should be installed at the entry point to prevent visible trouble. However, microorganisms, bacteria, and trapped air pollution may still exist in less-filtered water. Therefore it's always a terrible idea to simply pour cistern water into running toilets or watering plants without modern standards of proper filtration.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are cisterns used for?

Cisterns are containers used to store water for household or agricultural purposes. They have been used for thousands of years and can be made from a variety of materials such as stone, concrete, or plastic.

What were cisterns used for?

Cisterns were used to collect and store rainwater for household use or agriculture in areas with limited access to fresh water sources, such as ancient civilizations in the Middle East and Mediterranean.

What is the average cost of a cistern?

The average cost of a cistern varies depending on the size, material, and installation fees. However, a basic 1,500-gallon plastic cistern can cost around $700 to $1,500.

Does cistern water need to be disinfected?

Yes, cistern water should be disinfected before use to ensure it is free from harmful bacteria and contaminants. This can be done using various methods such as chlorine tablets, UV systems, or filters.

What is a cistern water system?

A cistern water system is a type of rainwater harvesting system that collects and stores rainwater for later use. It's an eco-friendly alternative to traditional water sources and can help lower your water bills.

Phillip Pagano

Phillip Pagano

Writer at Celebrity Examiner

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Phillip is a passionate writer who loves to share his thoughts on various topics. He has been writing for many years and has gained a lot of experience in the field. His work is always well-researched and thought-provoking, making him a respected voice in the industry.

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