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Country Discussion Topics
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Old House Help
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Matt    Posted 04-02-2002 at 07:43:49       [Reply]  [No Email]
Within a few feet of the back of my house is a 3 foot square concrete pad. The other day I went to move it and found something interesting. The pad is a cover for some type of underground water storage tank. Under the lid is a 2 feet round opening. The tank is made of brick and is about 10 feet square. It is about 8 feet deep. There is only one 1 1/2" pipe coming into the tank. It comes in about 5 feet from the bottom. The water in it is very clean and there in no smell at all. The walls and floor are very clean and in good shape. There are no drains or pipes going out of this area. I really don't think it is a sepict because of the small pipe and how clean it is.
The house was built in 1946 (56 years old). There is a septic system than is on the other side of the house that look to be the orginal system.
Any ideas on what this might be?


Larry    Posted 04-02-2002 at 19:33:04       [Reply]  [Send Email]

Yep,sounds like a cistern to me. I still have one here on my place. Years ago the water was pumped from the ground with a wind mill. Later someone put an electric motor on the pump jack. The water was then piped to the cistern through an under ground pipe. Fron the a smaller pipe brought the water into the house where there was a pump and preasure tank to supply the house with water. Does the cover on your cistern have a hole in it about te size of a down spout pipe? Most people use to save the rain water off the roof along with the well water. That is how they got thier soft water.


screaminghollow    Posted 04-02-2002 at 18:07:07       [Reply]  [No Email]
My place has a cistern also. The pipe going in was also used to suck water out. Water was pumped out of a shallow well with a gas engine pump for 30 min per day. Then a check valve kept the water from flowing back to the well, but the water could flow into the house to supply the sinks etc. through the same pipe at the cistern.


joe    Posted 04-02-2002 at 13:58:04       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Hi Matt- sounds like a cool discovery. I wonder what the top is made of. Covered with a few feet of dirt? Grass dry out over it in the summer? There isn't any evidense of it in the cellar? Cisterns should have some kind of tap or draw-off. Does the 1.5" pipe head out back? joe


joe    Posted 04-02-2002 at 13:57:02       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Hi Matt- sounds like a cool discovery. I wonder what the top is made of. Covered with a few feet of dirt? Grass dry out over it in the summer? There isn't any evidense of it in the cellar? Cisterns should have some kind of tap or draw-off. Does the 1.5" pipe head out back? joe


Salmoneye...Doh!    Posted 04-02-2002 at 14:31:15       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Look for leftover metal chunks on the four corners!
May have been where the windmill was for watering livestock.

Just thought of it...


Mike8n_b    Posted 04-02-2002 at 09:08:41       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Possible it could be a dry well for a sink and / or tub. Put some colored water down the drain and see if it reappears.

Just throwing a thought.

Mike


Hilltopper    Posted 04-02-2002 at 08:36:21       [Reply]  [No Email]
The downspouts probably drained to the cistern at one time along with any other out buildings that were nearby. Keep the cistern to water your garden etc. until it empties or you can re-connect it to the house. If you want rid of it fill it up with sand etc. Our old farm house had a cistern under the kitchen sink along with two wells close to the house.


Salmoneye    Posted 04-02-2002 at 07:55:43       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Look up the word cistern.

Usually filled from rainwater runoff and eave gutters...


Cistern    Posted 04-02-2002 at 07:55:16       [Reply]  [No Email]
yep.. keep it too!


Ya Beat me!    Posted 04-02-2002 at 07:56:38       [Reply]  [No Email]
Salmoneye

;-)


Matt    Posted 04-02-2002 at 08:13:24       [Reply]  [No Email]
OK, so it is a 6000 gallon cistern. Why would it be behind my house? What would they use it for?
The down spout do not drain into it.


Salmoneye    Posted 04-02-2002 at 09:12:30       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Probably not anymore.
I assume you either have a well now or are on town water.
I am betting that the 1 1/2 inch pipe is not coming in but going out as an overflow. Probably goes a good long ways underground toward the downhill side. Leastways mine does. If the pipe is at 5 foot off the bottom that will give you more like 3750 gallons of storage before the overflow.

As hilltopper says above though, use it or don't.
Up to you...


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