need reality check and mfgr recommendation for home water system

I have a 130' well with the pump at about 115', 6" casing, and a recharge rate of between 3 and 3.5 gpm. Current delivery system uses a 1/2 HP submersible well pump to deliver to an old galvanized pressure tank with 30/50 setting.
Unfortunately, there are 5 people and a half acre of land that all want to use this water and the system can't always keep up. A 1/2" garden hose carelessly left on can (and has!) empty the well in a couple of hours. To prevent this in the future, I am modifying the system by adding an atmospheric storage tank, booster pump and new pressure tank.
I've already bought a 1100 gal poly storage tank and installed it where it will go. However, I thought I should get a reality check on my planned layout from those who have done this before.
The system as I envision it will go something like
----------------float switch--------------------------- | | well pump -> flow restrictor (3gpm) -> check valve -> storage tank -> booster pump -> pressure tank -> house, etc.
The flow restrictor will be to keep the delivery to the storage tank within the recharge rate of the well. The well pump will be controlled by a float switch. The booster pump by a pressure switch with an additional float switch to prevent pumping the storage tank dry. At some future point, there will be a filter between the pressure tank and the house, but that's a separate project.
The booster pump will have to provide 12-15 gpm at a maximum lift of about 20' (the second floor) and roughly 30 psi.
To preempt any "why don't you have a professional do this" I will say that I got a couple of bids and they wanted about $3000 more than I've got (bids in the $4500 range). So that option isn't available right now.
So what I need from the kind readers of these newsgroups is
1) an opinion on whether you think it'll work and any suggestions you might have on how to make it work better.
2) a recommendation on pump manufacturers as to reliability and affordability. As far as I can tell from reading these groups, Goulds and Grundfos get the thumbs up most of the time, but what I'm trying to determine is whether there are other pumps that will do a decent job at a lower price. To make this clearer, I've been told that you can get 30 years of reliable service out of a Goulds, but they cost about $600. What I want to know is if there is a pump that will give me, say 15-20 years of good service at $300-350? This is after all an easily accessible and therefore replacable pump.
Thanks.
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How are you going to keep bacteria from growing in the storage tank?
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(Oscar_Lives) says...

Not a problem. Toss a cup of bleach in there once a month and it will stay squeeky clean.
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On 3 Jun 2004 16:21:13 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (F. Stephans) wrote:

Have you thought about trying to set up a system to catch rainwater to take some of the pressure off the well?
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don' snipped-for-privacy@there.com (The Watcher) wrote in message

Like a cistern, above or below ground.
Hopefully, the users on the system are already practicing water conservation?
Linda H.
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snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net (Tallgrass) wrote:

The only way to get users to practice water conservation is to put a meter on it and charge for water usage. Suddenly you will have lots of water.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (F. Stephans) says...

It will work fine. That's very similar to the system I have installed. I use a 2500 gallon tank, but that's about the only difference. You could also flow restrict your well to a lower rate to avoid any possibility that it will run dry. At 2.5 gpm, the well will pump 1100 gallons in 7.33 hours.

Separate the pump and the motor in your mind. The pump will last until the seals wear out. You can replace the seals and run it for another century or so.
The motor will run until the starter contacts or bearings wear out. Since there is no lateral load, the bearings will run for decades. The contacts will depend on how often the pump kicks on and off. The larger your pressure tank, the longer the motor will last.
I would advise a trip to Lowe's. I saw a nice looking 1/2 hp shallow well jet pump for $149 at Lowe's a couple weeks ago. It had a GE motor, and should run fine. With positive pressure on the suction, a 1/2 hp centrifugal pump will push a LOT of water. Spend your money a large bladder pressure tank, in the 60-80 gallon range. Replace the pressure switch on the pump with one that has a low pressure shutoff, so if the cistern goes dry the pump shuts down.
Don't forget that you need a check valve between the pump and the cistern. :)
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Larry Caldwell wrote:

What does a 2500 gallon tank cost? Is it buried? It's plastic of some kind I assume.
(pondering rain water capture, but it could be just stupid in california where it rains 4-5 months, then doesn't at all until the next Nov.).
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On Mon, 07 Jun 2004 04:23:26 GMT, Chuck Yerkes

Around here a rain water cistern would be about 10 times that size (on the order of 20-30,000 gallons. Think swimming pool sized. The older ones are somewhat smaller. a 2500 gal tank would not last very long at all for home use (days).
-Rick
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Rain water: If you get enough rain, it doesn't matter if it comes all in 5 months --- except that the more concentrated the collecting, the more storage you'll need. Read about a study for a lady in Texas, similar rainfall pattern: plan wasn't feasible as she needed too much storage.
From my experience, rain water collects MUCH faster than one would guess. I put a 55 barrel under a downspout (1 of 2 downspouts collecting from ~ 250 sqft of roof). I wasn't expecting to collect water too fast: late afternoon downpour and I could actually see the water level rising in the (opague white plastic) barrel. Seven minutes later, 55 gallons and overflowing. I was out in the rain re-directing the gutter back to the sewer pipe. Figure that was 0.02 inches per minute (I'm guessing 2/3 of the water went into the downspout I collected from) but that comes to 1.25 inches of rain per hour.
If you do decide to go the rain water route, let us know: there's a bunch of stuff you need to check out.
Good luck. Bill
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no snipped-for-privacy@verizon.com (bill) says...

At 200 gallons a day for a family of 4, to get you through a 200 day drought, all you would need is 40,000 gallons of storage. That's about three stainless steel milk tanks off of semi trucks. For short term storage, I would probably just buy an above ground swimming pool and build a cover over it. For a long term water storage installation, I would cast an in-ground concrete tank and line it with a plastic liner. It would probably be cheaper than 4 of these guys:
http://www.watertanks.com/category/273 /
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snipped-for-privacy@june2004.NOSPAMsnew.com (Chuck Yerkes) says...

It cost me about $700, on sale at the farmer's co-op. It is an above ground tank, and yes, it is a black plastic, which minimizes algae growth. I have it set above the level of the house, so when the power goes out we have gravity feed water from the cistern, with enough pressure to flush the toilets.
2500 gallons lasts us about 10 days in the summer, with no irrigation. The well did go dry a couple years ago during a "drought of the century" scenario. I had water hauled in by truck. The most a dual axle tanker can haul is about 1800 gallons, so I could take a full load.
During normal drought years, the well just goes low flow in the summer. I keep it regulated to 1 gpm, which is plenty to keep the cistern full.
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Larry Caldwell wrote:

Hmmm, I'm doomed (it's a bit more vertical here than horizontal). My thoughts were more for collecting water for "grey water use" like watering plants, etc rather than for human consumption.
It's always kind of struck me that were houses plumbed to expect dual water inputs, we could save a ton of water. My toilet doesn't really need potable water. Sinks and showers reasonably would. My hose outlets need not be 100% pure water. I wash a car or plants and they can take reasonably filtered water just fine.
With 6 consecutive drought months (fog and dew keep native plants alive), it wouldn't be worthwhile to do this with just a couple hundred gallons. But maybe if I find a pair of 55gal drums to take roofwater, I can at least hit plants with it. No qualms about hitting it with a little bleach.
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On 3 Jun 2004 16:21:13 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (F. Stephans) wrote:

Instead of the flow restrictor, you might consider putting a timer on the well pump. Good - more flexibility in getting the max. amount from the well, and a little faster tank filling and shorter cycles perhaps. Bad - higher cost, and some initial monitoring to verify optimum timing. Might result in additional pump cycles.
As a backup (but not as a primary system!), add a pump protection device in the control box.

The additional float won't be needed if you use a low-pressure cutoff style pressure-switch. Requires manual reset anytime pump pressure drops too low, which is usually because tank is empty. Good - cheaper, simpler. Will stop worn pump from running to death. Will also stop pump before tank runs dry if the pump can't keep with a downstream pipe break. Bad - will also require manual intervention after a power failure if water use causes pressure to drop too far while power is off. So not a good idea if the pressure switch is hard to access, especially if you have frequent power failures.
Wayne
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