ferrocement water tank, septic tank, jute roofs

Started by Amanda_931, March 06, 2007, 11:22:38 AM

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Instructions here--especially for the water tanks, although there's a fair amount of going back and forth.  There is a book you can download, I think it talks about house-building.   The jute roofs have mostly pictures of tests.  The gable roof--all done in paint plus concrete plus jute--is rather neat looking--get there from the 2nd link--the index.  Even in that size you could use it for, say a battery or pump house.  And a very old Army manual on bamboo-reinforced cement.

Most in metric measurements.  I think there's a page of conversion.




That is really a great site, Amanda.  Thanks. :)


A friend who really believes that I should just start building a 6000+ gallon cistern all by myself sent it to me.

I'm glad he did, but it doesn't raise my confidence level by much--if any.


But if I'd seen this before, I might be up for putting a roof over the earth oven (space, so far) with concrete covered jute.


That roof was really interesting and goes along with some of Ken Kern's writings.


Very interesting stuff, Amanda. Another angle to rainwater collection is cementing the inside of a used galvanised iron water tank if they are available where you are- the mould is already there, and a strong concrete mix will stick to just a layer of chicken wire. ..and 6000 gallons seems a huge amount, unless you are in an extremly dry area.


I taught a friend how to make a ferrocement effluent tank for their septic system pump.  Worked great and all they were out was some time, a bag or two of cement and a bit of wire.


Quote..and 6000 gallons seems a huge amount, unless you are in an extremly dry area.

Actually it's smallish if it's your primary - only water supply.  The minimum tank size that was allowed in the FL Keys as a primary water supply was 12,000 gallons.  Mine was 14,000 gal.  That is in an area that normally got 55+ inches of rain a year.

The Bahama and Carribean houses I was familiar with often had tanks of 20,000 to 30,000 gallons if rainwater was there only source.

It is best if it has two or more chambers.  When one chamber goes empty in a dry spell you can go in and clean it and still have water.


Maybe, in a suburtban, all mod-cons situation with a mile of kids.
With no kids, no dishwasher and using a laundromat, with a 3000 gal tank in a 52 inch rainfall area I water a vegetable garden the size of a tennis court and a heap of drought- sensitive sub-tropical stuff such as hybiscus, bohenia, tibochena- plus gardenias, etc, wash the cars, hose down the decks and verandahs, run the kitchen and bathroom, and have enough left to run from rainfall to rainfall.
Only twice, during the last 25 years, have I had to get a load of water to top the tank up.


We have about 3 to 4 months rain - 25 to 50 inches.  Then 8 to 9 months with none.  It would take me 150000 to 200000 gallons to get by even with my drip system.


Yeah, I can see the problems you would have. It seems to be spaced out enough here not to create big water problems most times.


WOW!  I really am in a desert. Best average rainfall is in the month of August with 1.6" average. Most of the year it's less than a half inch a month.   :(  That is the way it is. Have to try the Okra recipe. G'nite all!


G'nite, Don.  I gotta hit the hay to go gold panning tomorrow.  Learning from a pro - I'm still a virgin at this point. :-?

I use about 500 gallons of water for the drip system per day, Pete.  Most of those days will run 70 to 100F with 2 months of nights never getting much below 80 degrees.  I don't think I'm a real water waster.  Clay soil requires daily drip to soak in enough to keep things alive.  Garden must now be about 30' x 120' I guess if it was lined up straight.


My rainfall was sorta like Glenn's.  Long periods with very little and then a whole lot in a very short time.  I remember several times when we got 20 to 30 inches in just a few days,  27 inches in 24 hours one time.   I couldn't find weather data for the Keys but in the Tampa area they had a maximum annual rainfall of 122 inches and a maximum 24 hour rainfall of 38 inches.  It probably rained for a day of so either side of that 38 inches so they may well have gotten 40% of their annual rain in a few days.  (I don't know that the 38/122 were the same year.  If not the 38" was an even higher % of that years rainfall)

In the Keys that kind of rain was no problem, not that you want to be out in it.  They are small, mostly coral rock islands.  The water just runs off into the ocean.   Now, living in the mountains, a couple inches is a big deal.  A few years ago the remnant of hurricane Ivan dumped 5 or so inches hereabouts.  All of the houses by me that are on the river were damaged.  One was washed away and one was gutted parallel to the water flow by a large current driven propane tank.

Changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes.


We have had about 5 in a day a couple times - I'm on top of the ridge so it doesn't bother me - low landers are not always so lucky although drainage nearby is pretty good and mostly able to handle it.