Swimming pool conversion

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Wayne wrote:

Hi Wayne,
I spent about 5 years in Alice Springs in the 70's so I have an affinity for you blokes Down Under!
Here are a few thoughts regarding your project:
1) Here in the States, we are over regulated and paranoid about safety. We have come to expect any job to be over-engineered and complex, or it won't work. We have come to fear even the smallest risk to our health and spend excessively to reduce that risk. It sounds like you don't have these burdens.
2) How will you design and build a cover for the pool? I imagine a solid concrete, reinforced slab over the pool; but then again, see #1 above ;) I'm sure there is a simpler way.
3) Can you capture enough rainwater to supply your needs? Your roof is the obvious choice, and any other source may add to the filter burden.
4) I saw the TOH episodes in Bermuda. The whole community was served by rainwater caught in basins acres and acres large. It goes to show that catching and storing rainwater is a feasible method on any scale. It sounds like you can supplemant your rainwater with well water if needed. You will have to tie both plumbing systems together somehow.
Good luck with the project,
James
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teabird wrote:

Yep you are probably right about us not having the same burdens as regards safety, but I guess in a lot of ways we're a fairly hardy bunch out here. No offence intended but we've survived a lot.
My idea was to create a suspended grid of galvinised iron to support a structure of compressed concrete to create a lid (and a decent sized area to use as an entertainment area) allowing for an access point in case it has to be dredged for sludge.
Collecting water shouldn't be a problem so long as it rains, I already have ample points to gather from, the pool is currently ready to overflow from recent downfalls. And yes I have considered the fact that it could push the lid off, and have devised (in my head) a system to stop that happening. That was something that came to mind fairly early in the process.
Thanks for not dismissing the whole idea, I still think it has its merits regardless of those who have suggested otherwise. Cheers Wayne
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Wayne wrote:

Its too bad theres not some way to have your cake and eat it too. a removable cover for occasional swimming use seasonally and rain water storage at off times?
dont know enough about your part of the world to know if thats feasible..
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

That may be feasible, but I don't know that I'd be happy about the possibility of the grandkids peeing in it in the summer....... but an interesting thought I must say! Cheers hallerb
Steve B wrote:

I couldn't agree more Steve, health is funnily enough at the top of the heap of my many questions in regard to this whole issue. But you are suggesting that the entire thing should be scrapped because you simply don't know whether or not it is going to be an issue, you feel it is, then it must be so.
For the last two hundred and some years, Australians (and funnily enough the rest of the world) have been living with tank water, dam water, creek water and so on. I'm sorry Steve but you strike me as a person who is living in an over regulated and closed minded society. If you can show me something to definitively deny the possibility this will work, I'll listen, otherwise allow other to give good rhetoric on the idea.
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It's a simple thing, Wayne. Make it. Spend some money on it. See if it will work. I could be wrong.
I own properties in three states in the United States. On two of the properties, the need for temporary water is an issue. One two acre parcel is between Dolan Springs, AZ, and Meadview AZ. The only way to get water is to haul it yourself.
Our cabin is in rural Utah in the Wasatch Mountains. It has a spring fed system in the summer, and that is monitored by a licensed M.D. who has one of the lots. We have a relatively expensive filtration system on it. For about five months a year, the system is shut off due to sub freezing temperatures. When we go up there during the winter, we have to haul our own water in. We never leave any extra water there because "things" start to grow in standing water.
I am not totally inexperienced to living on "wild water."
What you are proposing is not outlandish. BUT, when you get to the 55,000 liter size that you are contemplating, housing it in a holding device that is not designed for the purpose, and not being able to totally seal the thing from elements, I begin to find some reasons that would make a reasonable man conclude that you might have problems.
You yourself have already proffered the idea for a way to remove "sludge". You must anticipate the water degrading.
You may be able to do this, and it may work for you. IF IT WERE ME, I would use a container designed to hold water for long periods of time, and I would learn and understand the downsides of unsanitary water. And by unsanitary water, I mean any water that comes from a source not regulated by health department laws.
I know that Indians used to drink out of creeks and rivers and lakes. In your land, the Aborigines probably still drink "wild water" and don't have ill effects. Maybe even you have a tolerance to it after years of rural living.
What you are considering is costly. If you are not right, you will be throwing a lot of money away, and you may get very sick. And if you are right, you will have the satisfaction of a job well done.
Enough rhetoric?
Steve
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Steve B wrote:

Wonderful rhetoric mate, much appreciated. I have mentioned elsewhere on here that I'm waiting for information from the local water authority, and I will let you know what the result of that is. I've worked out that I can fairly easily seal the top, although it will be costly, so a lot is going to ride on the answers I get back as to what is neccessary to assure water quality, and also the ability of the existing pump to get it up to the top floor.
The bottom line on this might end up with me emptying it punching some holes in it to avoid it lifting out of the ground, and filling it in, but I won't make that decision until I've worked out if it may be worth it. Cheers Wayne
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wrote

I think maybe I'd consider such a converted pool for storage of outside-use water and include a drafting standpipe for fire department use, but I'd be real hesitant to use it for potable water.
aem sends...
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ameijers wrote:

An interesting idea, might be worth looking into. If I can't use this for potable water in the end, I'll be hooking it for at least the toilets and washing machine I think.
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wrote:

UV light is a very effective sterilizer. One solution is to have an intermediate holding tank sized to your personal water consumption and sterilize only that tank's water.
As for the pool water there is a lot of research already done, and published material available, that will maintain clarity in relatively large (aquarium) tanks of water and yet be biologically benign. Maybe that's the way to go. Establish an ecologically balanced dark cave (minimal sized) community. That will keep in check the microorganisms. Any life threatening contamination or conditions will be immediately obvious should that community fail to thrive.
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You'll be using water that has to have sludge removed from it?
My, you ARE a hearty bunch.
Steve
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Steve B wrote:

Generally you will have a certain amount of silt from the roof. After a few years, you need to clean it out, in the interests of clean clear water, not health although I wouldn't want to drink the stuff.
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teabird wrote:

Yep you are probably right about us not having the same burdens as regards safety, but I guess in a lot of ways we're a fairly hardy bunch out here. No offence intended but we've survived a lot.
My idea was to create a suspended grid of galvinised iron to support a structure of compressed concrete to create a lid (and a decent sized area to use as an entertainment area) allowing for an access point in case it has to be dredged for sludge.
Collecting water shouldn't be a problem so long as it rains, I already have ample points to gather from, the pool is currently ready to overflow from recent downfalls. And yes I have considered the fact that it could push the lid off, and have devised (in my head) a system to stop that happening. That was something that came to mind fairly early in the process.
Thanks for not dismissing the whole idea, I still think it has its merits regardless of those who have suggested otherwise. Cheers Wayne
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Build the cistern cover as a raft, or just build a regular gable-roof, or even a complete shed over it.

The best way to do that is to just pump well-water into the cistern with a 2" or bigger air-gap, to prevent backflow.
There should not be any plumbed connection, or you risk cistern-water ending up in your well, which will screw up the well.
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Goedjn wrote:

Raft system is what I"m looking at, probably reinforced cement sheeting. It can be properly sealed all the way around, and provide a good flat surface to walk around on so long as we build a good sturdy structure to hold it.
Provided we have enough rain, we shouldn't have any real issues with capturing water. It's currently almost at the point of overflowing as we've had a lot of rain. I will probably look at using groundwater as a topup system as well.
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Just in case anyone is still monitoring this post, we've been advised by the experts now, and it is feasible, with a lot of money involved, to attach to the house system.
Having said that, the amount involved to make it potable is prohibitive for now, perhaps down the track we will consider that option.
For now we are looking at meshing the top securely to stop insects and such, decking over the top, and using the water for irrigation, laundry and toilet flushing. This will save a lot of wastage on it's own.
If you want to know how that goes, email me and I will pass along what the effects are in future. Wayne
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Wayne wrote:

That's basically a cistern you're contemplating making. Look it up on Google. Not advisable.
Pop
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Pop wrote:

Hi Pop Looked it up on Google, and got a huge amount of cistern manufacturers ads and how to fit one to a toilet etc. nothing definitive. Can you shine any light on your recomendation please.
I'm hearing a lot of people here saying it can't be done, but so far not one convincing reason it isn't a reasonable idea.
Try a google search on "underground rainwater tank" and you will find there are literally hundreds of companies selling them.
I have the tank, I need a top, and some good advice on what CAN be done to make it work, I'd rather not hear any more on how it CAN"T be done. It's pretty obvious it will work.
So please those of you who are dedicated to making things happen please keep posting.
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I don't know if you noticed, but those tanks are not made of porous plaster.
Steve
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Pop wrote:

Hi Pop Looked it up on Google, and got a huge amount of cistern manufacturers ads and how to fit one to a toilet etc. nothing definitive. Can you shine any light on your recomendation please.
I'm hearing a lot of people here saying it can't be done, but so far not one convincing reason it isn't a reasonable idea.
Try a google search on "underground rainwater tank" and you will find there are literally hundreds of companies selling them.
I have the tank, I need a top, and some good advice on what CAN be done to make it work, I'd rather not hear any more on how it CAN"T be done. It's pretty obvious it will work.
So please those of you who are dedicated to making things happen please keep posting.
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Just as a idea, a roll away cover, true you cant dance on it, but no one could fall in. Add a really good filter and chlorinate or otherwise treat the water.
Someone mentioned peeing in the water.
Everyone should realize all water has been used befoire:( It just gets reprocessed!
For toilets no trouble
for clothes washing who cares as long as the water doesnt soil the clothes
showering is akin to drinking the water, of course ever go swimming in a lake? drink well water? etc etc.
how much $ are you willing to spend on filtration?
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