NoCo Urban Homestead Tour 2017: #18 Future Plans: Unearth Cistern, Water Harvesting & Storage

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This is about where the cistern is located in the yard.

Back sometime when the home belonged to Jason’s grandparents, Jason’s mother was digging a hole to plant tulips when she found a piece of flagstone. When she moved the stone the bottom of her hole fell out into dark nothingness below. Ready to investigate, she got a flashlight and found a very large cistern buried and forgotten. It has a cement bottom and stacked stone sides. We estimate that it is, from our quick flashlight-in-a-hole assessment, about 12’wide by 10’deep. That’s about 5,800 gallons of water storage (if my middle school math skills are still sharp as a butterknife).

We haven’t unearthed it yet, but I am very excited to give this water chamber new life. I’m already dreaming up all the routes available for harvesting both grey water and rainwater from the roofs of our house, garage, and covered patio. I welcome ideas for finishing the top of the cistern. A walled koi pond? Covered with a hatch door so the water doesn’t evaporate? A natural edged pond? So many options.

Last summer I lost the bid for an incredible water pump windmill from Nebraska – had I acquired that beast I would have most certainly put it to work above the cistern. My heart still thuds loudly in my chest for that beautiful old windmill. I’m still keeping my eyes peeled for another one.

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Alanna is a free spirited, techie-turned-entrepreneur starting a new adventure in a vintage cottage with her awesomesauce hubby, sassy cat and a little green flying monster

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