Opinion needed. Water system design

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by boerdoc, Feb 28, 2009.

  1. boerdoc

    boerdoc New Member

    Messages:
    49
    water system.jpg

    This is my design for my water system. I am open for suggestions. At present the well supplies the house and the irrigation directly. I am adding the cistern part of the system. Since I had an empty cistern and I needed more storage capacity (The well only puts out 1.1 gal/min but is 500 feet deep and water is 25 feet down so there is ample storage for household use in the well. 6 in all the way down. So far I placed the new pump in the well and have been using it for a month or two. The water tested well but is hard at 150 ppm. I need to get a softener (Gary!) to install. This well was abandoned and we were using a different well but that is an even longer story. The water was rusty in the beginning but has cleared up and iron is 0.3 ppm so a softener should take care of that. Yes? Today I will finish placing the second coat of Thoroseal in the concrete cistern. Just to seal better and in case we need water in an emergency I wanted to clean it as best as possible. It is water tight and the plumbing/ wiring is in place but the float valve and pump are not in place yet. I currently have two pressure tanks in the cellar. I believe 85 and 45 gallons each. My plan is to use one for each system with Cycle stop valves on each pump. Since the garden hydrant needs pressure I need to hook it up as shown. Any suggestion or things I missed as far as one way valves or switches or am I ok as designed?
  2. 99k

    99k Radon Contractor and Water Treatment

    Messages:
    460
    Location:
    Fairfield Co.,Connecticut
    After recently reading about cisterns, I would suggest that you consider this water non-potable. Therefore, I would make sure that you do not have the opportunity for a "crossed connection" between the cistern and the water supply for your house. I assume you are in a warmer climate. Perhaps there could be an air gap after the solenoids to fill the cisterm to eliminate any chance of backflow.
  3. boerdoc

    boerdoc New Member

    Messages:
    49
    North Idaho. It is 32 degrees out right now. So not a warmer climate. My plan was to keep the water separate but in case of emergency, maybe? What information do you have on the non-potability of cisterns? For my information. Thanks.
    Kent
  4. 99k

    99k Radon Contractor and Water Treatment

    Messages:
    460
    Location:
    Fairfield Co.,Connecticut
  5. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,473
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Your design looks good. I would move the back flow to the line before the float valve. A solenoid valve with a float switch might be better than a float valve. That way you could run it through a 1 GPM Dole valve so the cistern is always filling at 1 GPM or it is off. With a float valve, water seeps at really low flow as the cistern is topped off. Running less than 1 GPM will cause the pump to cycle even with a CSV.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2009
  6. boerdoc

    boerdoc New Member

    Messages:
    49
    I understand about the backflow placement. Can I put the backflow preventer in the cistern as the pipes are already buried and there is a threaded 1" pipe (now capped off) to bring water into the cistern. I could then place a shutoff valve, backflow, solenoid then Dole valve in that order. I had not heard of a Dole valve but I like the idea that if the cistern was filling during a time that we needed water inside we would not send all the well water to the cistern. Great idea. Thank you.

    BTW I already have 6 strand - 24v wire to the cistern. And I already purchased a float valve and 24v power plug from Speedbump when I bought the 2 submersible pumps. What type solenoid valve and where do I get it and the Dole valve?

    Thanks again.
  7. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I would not go with the cistern at all unless and until absolutely necessary.

    But if you are going to, I would go from the well with no CSV, a float switch in the cistern to turn the well pump on and off, a submersible and CSV in the cistern sized to provide the peak demand for both the house and the irrigation, a safety float switch so the cistern's submersible pump can not run when there is not enough water in the cistern, a pressure tank and then to the hydrant, and irrigation, softener and house.

    The cistern submersible and csv would be hung in the tank under a union to allow easy access to it/them through the manhole.

    Anywhere like the yard hydrant in your picture, that the water has to go to, or past, and then change direction to go back to something, that causes water hammer and a pause in flow. The hammer damages things including the pump. And my way above reduces parts and cost. Your pressure tank supplies water BACK to the hydrant when the pump is off, when the pump comes on, the pump stops the tank water flow and turns it 180*, causing water hammer.

    I don't like the check/backflow valve but I can live with it. They take a couple lbs of pressure to open and as long as the pump and its internal check valve in the cistern works, you always have main line pressure on the house.
  8. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,473
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    I like your original drawing and idea. This way the water for the house comes only from the well, and you don't have to worry about water quality from the cistern, as it is only used for the sprinklers.

    The hydrant comes off the well, so it should not be used for much or it will run the well dry. The way you have the hydrant shown the water does not have to make a 180. It is coming from the pressure tank until the pump starts, then it comes from the pump line.

    A sprinkler control solenoid valve with a flow control knob will take the place of a Dole valve.
  9. boerdoc

    boerdoc New Member

    Messages:
    49
    Valveman,
    The hydrant from the well will be low usage. We use drip system in the garden for the most part so the well should be good. Garden is only 24'x48'. I looked at sprinkler controls and was hoping that one would work. sounds easy.


    Gary,
    I understand your concern about water hammer. The pump is protected by a backflow just below the pitless adapter. I wanted to keep the water systems separate and we needed more storage for the irrigation. Besides, the cistern was there already. Access to the cistern is easy and the top seals well enough to keep critters out. Any photos of how to mount the pump in the cistern? The outlet in located 4 inches from the bottom through the side and has 1" threaded pvc. Can the pump be mounted on its side? I like the idea of a safety float switch to prevent running dry. Would this be necessary if I have a pumptec installed with say a 1 hour reset time.

    Biermech,
    We must have the hydrant in the garden.

    Thanks for all the help,

    Kent.
  10. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    If your well pump is 15' off the bottom, you have 660 gallons of usable water in the well IF the pump is sized to pump from that depth of water.

    You do not need a CSV going into the cistern because it is open discharge and controlled by a float switch, you also want to oxidize the iron in the cistern rather than remove it with a softener, and since the cistern is atmospheric storage, it will oxidize even if you didn't want it to.

    You say you have been using the well, have you run out of water with the irrigation running? I ask because unless absolutely necessary, I would not have a cistern, even for just the irrigation because you are going to have to clean, sanitize and disinfect it regardless. And running the house and irrigation off the cistern is better than allowing stagnation for longer periods of time; like all winter.

    You should hang the sub in the cistern and pump the water UP and out, not 4" off the bottom or you'll be sucking the rust from the iron and all other sediment out into your sprinkler heads. Right? That's not good if you want service free operation.

    And I don't know why you would want an extra CSV and pressure tank, switch, gauge, cable etc. by going with your two separate systems design IF you can do it all from the well into the cistern and out to the house and irrigation and all at constant pressure from one CSV in the cistern. What is the advantage? If you lose power, how do you get water out of the cistern? If you have a generator and don;'t want to run the well pump with it, then set the well float switch to leave like 150 gallons below the turn the well pump on level and when you lose power, unplug the safety float switch and use that 150 reserve until your safety low pressure cut off pressure switch shuts off the cistern pump so it can't run dry. You'd use that low cut off type pressure switch instead of a regular switch.

    [​IMG]
    They make yard hydrants that are self draining for winter use.

    Your hydrant is being fed from the house pressure tank while the pump is off and then from the pump when the pump comes on. I don't know what Valveman is looking at but here's a picture showing that is a 180* turn around. If the Up and Down arrows are flow direction, if a check valve, you don't get water to the hydrant unless the well pump is running and you'd have to run water in the house to get that to happen. Right?

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    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 20, 2009
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