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Old 10-29-2014, 11:01 PM   #1
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Can I switch the same pump from a well to a cistern?


Rural property, shallow well + 3000 gallon rainwater (or bought water) cistern.

Prefer cistern water but it is nice to have options.

Can't I just put a big Y switch into the intake of the pump and choose which source I use?

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Old 10-29-2014, 11:39 PM   #2
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Can I switch the same pump from a well to a cistern?


I don't see why not, but I am not a plumber and don't know if there is some code issue. There is definitely no problem with the pump. The pump doesn't care where the water comes from.

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Old 10-30-2014, 07:23 AM   #3
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Can I switch the same pump from a well to a cistern?


For safety sake--I suggest seperate pumping systems---the cistern could be considered 'nonpottable' water--and could contaminate the 'pottable' well---
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Old 10-30-2014, 07:09 PM   #4
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Can I switch the same pump from a well to a cistern?


Do not under any circumstances enable a cross connection between the well and your cistern. Even if you valve it off it is not 100% safe. If you only can afford one pump make a choice.

Think of it this way
Other folks drink from that water your well has.

Same as if you had a public water supply.
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Old 10-30-2014, 08:00 PM   #5
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Can I switch the same pump from a well to a cistern?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghostmaker View Post
Do not under any circumstances enable a cross connection between the well and your cistern. Even if you valve it off it is not 100% safe. If you only can afford one pump make a choice.

Think of it this way
Other folks drink from that water your well has.

Same as if you had a public water supply.
I'm not sure what the problem is with drinking cistern water. According to Mother Earth news it is WAY cleaner and safer than well water or city water.

If any contamination occurs, believe me - it will be that nasty sulfur-heavy, iron rich wellwater messing up my shiny new cistern.
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Old 10-31-2014, 06:13 PM   #6
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Can I switch the same pump from a well to a cistern?


What the worry is from is the roofing shingles and bird droppings. They may carry disease and parasites. That is why you need to filter it and treat it like a water treatment plant. The surface your collecting from must be free from releasing any chemical contaminates. The sun breaks things down if you use the wrong material. Tin or steel roofs are the only thing I trust

http://extension.psu.edu/natural-res...ater-treatment

I would drink the cistern water. By the way you could just build a cistern with concrete and block.

Last edited by Ghostmaker; 10-31-2014 at 06:21 PM.
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Old 10-31-2014, 11:36 PM   #7
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Can I switch the same pump from a well to a cistern?


Well water depends on were you live. In New England my well water is pretty darn pure. City water likewise. Cistern water and rainwater in general is highly acidic form the west to east storms perhaps caused by the mid west coal burners. I will take my water from the ground aquifers after it's filtered through a couple of hundred feet or more of good Mother Earth.
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Old 10-31-2014, 11:48 PM   #8
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Can I switch the same pump from a well to a cistern?


Trouble is this is a riverfront property with a sky-high water table. Can a deep well have a casement to prevent shallow water from seeping in?

Never mind though - the mineral content of this water is staggering. I'd rather be filthy.
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Old 10-31-2014, 11:50 PM   #9
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Can I switch the same pump from a well to a cistern?


OK - forget the roof water. Separate 500 gallon container for use in outdoor washing and watering ONLY. No feeding house from roof water.

3000 gallons of pumped-in water from a truck in a belowground 2-tank system (simply because of the logistics of larger tanks). That's a 45 day supply of water for an old bachelor.

How much per truckload is water?
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Old 11-01-2014, 04:15 AM   #10
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Can I switch the same pump from a well to a cistern?


Read the link from the university. It explains the roof washer and how to build the cistern. 50 gallon a day is normal water usage for a single person.
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Old 11-01-2014, 06:09 AM   #11
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Can I switch the same pump from a well to a cistern?


I live in an area with a high water table---I'm 300 feet from a river on a gravel base--

Yes--a deep well will not be contaminated by the surface aquifer----mine is drilled to 180 feet deep---well set at 130---still lots of iron from that aquifer---several neighbors use the shallow wells---no big problems for them---
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Old 11-01-2014, 12:15 PM   #12
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Can I switch the same pump from a well to a cistern?


Have you considered having a shallow well and adding a RO system with UV light? It may be a lot cheaper than drilling an additional 150' feet?
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Old 11-03-2014, 08:41 AM   #13
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Can I switch the same pump from a well to a cistern?


The trouble is that deep or shallow, the water quality doesn't change. We are in an area of glacial moraine deposits in what was originally the great Black Swamp East of Fort Wayne.

The ground quality is good for things like septic - it is a small hill, but the water quality is horrendous.
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Old 11-03-2014, 08:51 AM   #14
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Can I switch the same pump from a well to a cistern?


RO systems with UV should take of water quality issues.

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