I have this bright idea for collecting and storing rain water by building a
large box 6' high x 4' long x 2' wide out of plywood reinforced by wooden
My problem is I am not sure of the best way to water proof the inside. I
have considered epoxy paint (like they use on garage floors) or other type
of water proofing coating but am not sure if that would work. I have even
considered using a large sheet of polyethylene or rubber pond liner.
Anybody had any experience doing something like this or have any
suggestions. Right now everything is on hold.
I don't have any waterproofing suggestions -- just a reminder that at ~63
pounds per cubic foot, your storage bin will weigh 3,000 pounds when
full. Just be sure the sides and whats underneath can handle this load.
You want a cistern, huh?
Why reinvent the wheel? Go to nearest agriculture equipment dealer or
industrial supply, and look at their plastic tank catalog. All sorts of
shapes and sizes, some potable-water rated, some not. It'll likely cost
a little more than anything you can build at home (although epoxy ain't
cheap), but it will definitely work better and last longer. A lot
depends on what you will be doing with the collected water. Does it need
to be human-safe, animal-safe, or just used for irrigation? If the
latter, a plastic stock tank (think huge bathtub) with a home made
waterproof plywood lid, would probably work. (And it would be easy to
open up and clean the inside if it started getting green on you.) Put it
up a few feet on piers, and you could even make the outflow gravity-feed.
If you really want to do it on the cheap, I'd buy some of those plastic
barrels used in food industry (like the ones that get cut in half and
used by beer resellers when they rent a keg of beer, to hold the ice),
and chain them together with plastic plumbing, again using potable-water
rated fittings and pipe. You'll have to call around, but most larger
cities have somebody that deals in them.
Anything made of plastic, sunlight is the enemy- the UV breaks it down,
and things grow in warm still water. So what you build will need to be
under a roof. Note that some places have banned cisterns for bacteria
and mosquito control reasons, so you may want to check local codes.
I would reduce the height, (6 foot would mean some very serious pressure
at the bottom. That is going to be a very heavy box when filled, make sure
it is heavy duty and consider what a leak might do. As for the
waterproofing, I would suggest fiberglass. Remember you are making a inside
out boat and one with a six foot draft.
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