If you’re looking to make your home greener, consider purchasing a cistern tank.
What is a cistern?
A cistern is a large, waterproof tank that is designed to collect and store rainwater. This water can then be pumped into homes, businesses, or used to irrigate fields. Many cisterns, especially those intended for domestic use, also include purification systems. At the very least, most have filters or grates where the rainwater enters to keep out any large pieces of debris that flow with the rainwater. When cisterns are used purely for agricultural irrigation, they don’t necessarily require filtration systems and can be even be left completely open to the air.
How do cistern tanks work?
Rainwater flows into an intake, which can be just a simple pipe with an internal filtration/purification system. At the bottom of the tank is another pipe, often with a pump. This is where the water leaves the tank and enters wherever the pipe has been routed to (sinks, toilets, showers, and so on). There is also an internal pipe with an opening towards the top of the tank. This is an overflow pipe, which lets water out when the tank gets too full. Tanks can be installed below ground, on the ground, or even on the roofs of houses. Below ground tanks are good for keeping them out of the way. However, water that enters the tank from the ground rather than from a roof can often pose more of a threat of contamination. Tanks that sit on the ground usually collect rainwater from a gutter that runs from a roof. Both of these kinds of tanks require a pump to move water to the their destinations. Putting a cistern on the roof may seem odd, but not only does it prevent groundwater from entering the system, it also utilizes gravity to move the water to where it needs to be rather than using a pump.
Why should I consider installing a cistern in my home?
Cisterns cut down on public water usage, which will lower the cost of your utility bill. By utilizing a cistern, especially in areas of heavy rainfall, you can seriously slash the amount of water you have to pay for when you use from a public reservoir. In addition, using a cistern helps keep excess rainwater from overloading the public sewer system. During a heavy rainfall, if the public sewers get too full of water they expel a harmful, unpleasant mixture of sewage and water into bays, rivers, lakes, oceans, etc. Using a cistern helps collect some of that water that could potentially contaminate beautiful bodies of water and puts it to a practical use. It also decreases the amount of water that goes to a public treatment facility. If it doesn’t arrive to be treated, those facilities don’t have to spend costly energy to decontaminate it. So in actuality a cistern is greener both for your personal use and for the environment as a whole. Since you’re bringing in water from the outside and using it personally, it’s highly advisable to buy professional grade cistern tanks rather than trying to re-purpose other containers or build one on your own.