A cistern is basically a water reservoir of any kind which is used to accumulate and store water for future use. Cisterns are usually constructed close to the building which will use their water, sometimes even inside it. Traditionally and still in some parts of the world people direct roof runoff from the rainy season into a cistern where it is stored for use during dry periods. Water from a cistern is typically pumped out by hand, drained by gravity, or it may be pumped by an electric pump such as a one line jet pump.our drinking water with ultraviolet light (UV) makes good sense. It’s environmentally safe, it’s well proven, and it’s the way of the future for water disinfection requirements around the globe.
- Safety: be sure the cistern is of sound construction and that it is safely covered or protected from someone falling into the cistern or from a child climbing into it.
- Direct roof runoff, not surface runoff, into the cistern. Some clever roof runoff management systems direct the first roof runoff onto the ground, permitting dust and debris from the roof surface to be disposed-of before the remaining roof runoff is directed into the cistern for water storage. Other water sources may be used to supply cisterns, including even local or municipal water supplies. In this case the cistern is being used as a backup or off-peak water supply source.
- Do not assume that water stored in a cistern is potable prior to filtering and treatment. The water should be tested for contaminants before used for drinking; it’s fine to use cistern water for watering plants or lawns if that water usage is suitable and permitted by other conditions.
- Do not install an open, un-covered cistern in a building where moisture from the cistern could cause a mold or rot problem.
Provide access to the cistern for inspection and cleaning
- Pumps for cisterns: if you intend to rely on an electrical pump to move water from the cistern to its point of use during bad weather and possible power outage your pump will need a backup source of electricity.