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Thread: Cistern or Well?

  1. #1

    Default Cistern or Well?

    Hi everyone. We just purchased a home that was built in 1920. When we purchased the home we were told it had a cistern with a broken pump. As it turns out the pump works fine, it was just a loose electrical connection.

    Anyway, looking into the cistern I am now wondering if this is really a well. It is about six feet in diameter and about six feet deep. At the bottom is the pump and a blue canister which I am guessing is for holding pressure. There is a pipe which runs from the pump down into the center of the cistern floor. When we turned on the pump, water was spraying out of one of the hoses and was draining into our basement where it collected in our french drain and was pumped out by the sump pump into our yard.

    What doesn't make sense to me is that, if this was to collect rain water, why is there a drain allowing water to enter our basement? Shouldn't it just fall back into the water supply? Also, the cistern is empty of water, so the water it is pumping is coming from the pipe in the cistern floor. Could this be a cistern that was turned into a well, or is it possible that there is a floor that seporates the water supply from the pump (this seems unlikely since the pump is 6 feet down in the cistern and the drain going into our basement would be pointless (there is no other openening to collect water).

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Previous member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Riverview, Fl.


    This could be an old cistern with a well drilled down the middle or it could just be a well pit. Without pictures it's hard to tell.


  3. #3


    Thanks for the ideas. I'll post some pictures and will do some reasearch on a vault.



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