I’m contemplating building a couple of cisterns to catch rain water to use for summer irrigation. They would be underground and covered. I can get plastic 1,000 gallon tanks for about $1,000, but I’d like to hold somewhere around 5-10,000 gallons.
I’ve considered the following ways:
1. Poured concrete.
2. Concrete block.
3. Plastic tanks.
4. Less common “alternative” holding methods.
Criteria for choice of material/technique will be a combination of how much water I can hold, price per gallon to hold it, labor to install, “being leakproof”, ease of cleaning, and long term soundness.
I got quite a few recommendations here a few weeks ago about using dry stack retaining wall blocks for retaining walls. That got me to wondering if I could dry stack a round “tank” (sort of like a kiva) and line it with some sort of poly or other sheet material that would actually hold the water.
I’ve never built a concrete “roof” and would like suggestions about how to go about building a roof or top over the tanks. I considered pouring slabs with rebar in them that I could move with a backhoe to set over the tank after curing. I’ve also considered building a temp form deck to hold the concrete in place until cured. I could also use steel beams, but I imagine that would cost extra.
Maybe I’m crazy (Hey! I heard that!), but I’d like to be able to park a car on top of one of the tanks.
I think it’s worth it for me to do this due to my own and my wife’s love of gardening and horticulture. We live in a place with average annual rainfall of around 14-18 inches. In drought years the town we live in bans outdoor watering or drasically restricts it.
Thanks in advance for all suggestions, thoughts, and experiences with cistern building!
PS – I did read the article in FHB about the giant cistern in Texas.
I’m thankful for the loyal opposition! It’s hard to learn much from those who simply agree with you.