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Thread: How Large a Water Cistern?

  1. #1

    Default How Large a Water Cistern?

    First time user on your forum. I need advice please.

    I'm building a house, family of four. I have a well that produces 4.5 gallons a minute. I plan to put a 1500-gal cistern in between the well and house so I have adequate water upon demand.

    The question is: is one cistern "enough"?. Putting in two cisterns will add another $2000-$3000 more., which I'd rather spend on something else.

    I know this is an assumed risk...so if the well runs dry, then I will have to fill the cistern twice as frequently iwth just one tank. I'm OK with that.


    Montana Rookie

  2. #2
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005


    A family of 4 might use 4-600 gallons a day. Depends mostly on the length of showers and the type of washing machine you have. The 2 biggest users of water. I would suggest a front loading washer for reduced water consumption. Other than that I think 1 cistern is fine. If the well runs dry and water has to be trucked in you can always add another at that time.
    Last edited by Cass; 03-06-2007 at 04:28 AM.

  3. #3


    You might need to check local codes. In my area, you are required to have a certain amout of storage for fire fighting.

  4. #4


    Oh Yeah those galvanized 10,000 gallon tanks dotting the San Diego hillsides, the only problem is for the fire department to be able to use those tanks, they have to get to them before the houses burn down...


  5. #5
    Previous member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Riverview, Fl.


    I don't know if the cisterns are a requirement or not in your area, if not, the 4.5 gallons per minute would be plenty of water without a cistern if your well is large and deep enough. For instance a 6 inch well has 1.5 gallons of storage per foot of depth, added to the 4.5 per minute.

    I can't get too warm and fuzzy having 3000 gallons per home for fire fighting purposes. The fire department could use that up trying to put out a 55 gallon drum burning trash.


  6. #6

    Default Thank you all for the info

    Thank you all for your responses and info.

    I feel much better about saving the $2500 for a 2nd cistern and going with just one cistern for my well.

    This is very good forum and I appreciate learning from all of your experiences!

    Montana Rookie


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