About the cistern.....
 

About the cistern...  

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pcon
Posts: 3
 pcon
(@pcon)
New Member
Joined: 3 years ago

We plan to build house when we move to STT later this year. Am aware building costs are much higher than in the states, but after looking at the building codes for a home on the island, I'm not surprised. But I'm having a hard time getting a cost for a cistern. We're probably looking at the minimum 10,000 gallon size. What does something like this cost? Understand that's a wide open question, but somebody should have some idea of a range. Also, have seen what appears to be above ground cisterns. Is this allowed by code? Any information is helpful. Thanks.

16 Replies
jj00802
Posts: 74
(@jj00802)
Advanced Member
Joined: 6 years ago

I do not know much about cost or construction of a cistern. However, the minimum size might need to be reconsidered unless it is for a small efficiency type cottage.
A minimum size cistern for a family size home would be frustrating and expensive to be running out of water and purchasing expensive truck loads of water routinely.
In my opinion, an extra large cistern and efficient water collection would be beneficial for everyday living and an advantage to a potential buyer if you eventually sell the property.

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specialk
Posts: 579
(@specialk)
Trusted Member
Joined: 10 years ago

Cisterns are typically part of the house. Sometimes they are buried and sometimes they are on ground level. In either case the main living space is built on top. So the cost would be included with the cost for the entire structure. There are formulas for the amount of roof surface required to collect x amount of rain based on the size of the house. That will dictate the minimum size of your cistern. Many people build two cisterns. One advantage of this is if there's a probelm with one - say a leak - you can switch to the other while making repairs.

Standby as I'm sure more folks will chime in with additional info.

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Alana33
Posts: 12153
(@Alana33)
Expert
Joined: 7 years ago

Most cisterns are built under a home.
Majority of homes are not connected to public water.

It depends on size of home you're building.
Majority of homes outside of town areas depend on rainwater collected from roof area and deposited thru downspouts to cistern.

I'm sure there is a building code formula but I don't know what it is.
More is better but contact DPNR regarding building codes for your lot/zoning and discuss with your architect.

You will be totally dependent on rainwater.
I have a 16000 gallon cistern.
We had a severe drought period last year and with tenants in residence, it was their 1st time I'd ever had to purchase water in decades. It sucked.
One learns to conserve and not waste water.

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Scubadoo
Posts: 2234
(@Scubadoo)
Trusted Member
Joined: 5 years ago

Cisterns are typically part of the house. Sometimes they are buried and sometimes they are on ground level. In either case the main living space is built on top. So the cost would be included with the cost for the entire structure. There are formulas for the amount of roof surface required to collect x amount of rain based on the size of the house. That will dictate the minimum size of your cistern. Many people build two cisterns. One advantage of this is if there's a probelm with one - say a leak - you can switch to the other while making repairs.

Standby as I'm sure more folks will chime in with additional info.

Right, the cisterns would be an integral part of the foundation, in lieu of a basement and could be compartmentalized to allow for more than one as noted. Our condo cisterns are cleaned and resealed every few years as part of routine maintenance which makes having more than one a plus if not a requirement.

Size will base based on square footage of first floor and height of cistern walls. Depending on size of home, terrain, size of cistern needed the cistern part may occupy less area than the floor above.

I'd expect there is a calculation for minimum cistern size based on number of bedrooms similar to how size of septic systems are determined. Number of bedrooms == number of occupants == total consumption.

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