Installing a Buffer Water Tank

How long do you plan on storing the water?

Another option would be to have the reserve tank in-line with municipal supply and fit a jet pump with pressure switch after the tank to then supply the house. I have this with my well point.

Pump in well to 2 500l water tank.
Float switch in water tank to control the pump in well to switch on when it's half full and turn off when it's full.
UV light in the water tank.
Jet pump after pump with pressure switch plumbed to whole house. If any tap is opened, the pressure switch picks this up and turns on the jet pump.

Pretty simple setup and a few non return valves at the right place to ensure water flows in the right direction.

Float switch in tank to turn off municipal supply and closed when the tank is full.
Jet pump with pressure switch after tank to feed house.

You will not have water standing for long as it's constantly being used and topped up as needed.
 
How long do you plan on storing the water?

Another option would be to have the reserve tank in-line with municipal supply and fit a jet pump with pressure switch after the tank to then supply the house. I have this with my well point.

Pump in well to 2 500l water tank.
Float switch in water tank to control the pump in well to switch on when it's half full and turn off when it's full.
UV light in the water tank.
Jet pump after pump with pressure switch plumbed to while house. If any tap is opened, the pressure switch picked this up and turns on the jet pump.

Pretty simple setup and a few non return valves at the right place to ensure water flows in the right direction.

Float switch in team to turn off municipal supply is closed when the tank is full.
Jet pump with pressure switch after tank to feed house.

You will not have water standing for long as it's constantly being used and topped up as needed.
I you use that tower as on the website, some service provider is going to use your tower as a repeater.
 
And a jet pump and pressure switch from the tank would be cheaper and easier than raising a water tank to get sufficient pressure.
 
Been wanting to do this
How long do you plan on storing the water?

Another option would be to have the reserve tank in-line with municipal supply and fit a jet pump with pressure switch after the tank to then supply the house. I have this with my well point.

Pump in well to 2 500l water tank.
Float switch in water tank to control the pump in well to switch on when it's half full and turn off when it's full.
UV light in the water tank.
Jet pump after pump with pressure switch plumbed to whole house. If any tap is opened, the pressure switch picks this up and turns on the jet pump.

Pretty simple setup and a few non return valves at the right place to ensure water flows in the right direction.

Float switch in tank to turn off municipal supply and closed when the tank is full.
Jet pump with pressure switch after tank to feed house.

You will not have water standing for long as it's constantly being used and topped up as needed.
 
The idea is that you do not store the water. You use water from the tank every day for some function, such as filling the toilets or a dedicated tap in the kitchen etc.

So you are using water from the tank constantly.
 
You'll definitely want to check with your local municipality if you are allowed to do this. Some like Cape Town are a bit sticky about filling water tanks with municipal water.

There's also be issues around water quality etc that the municipality will be concerned about if you're going to use the water indoors.
 
I like the idea of gravity. It costs nothing and even the government cannot stop it from working :)
 
I like the idea of gravity. It costs nothing and even the government cannot stop it from working :)
I think any gravity fed system is going to be more costly than an equivalent ground mounted tank with a jet pump and pressure switch.

R3 500 should get you a decent jet pump with pressure switch, non return valve and fittings that will be able to run showers.
 
You'll definitely want to check with your local municipality if you are allowed to do this. Some like Cape Town are a bit sticky about filling water tanks with municipal water.

There's also be issues around water quality etc that the municipality will be concerned about if you're going to use the water indoors.

I don't see how this could be an issue at all.

If you can install jacuzzi's, pools, koi ponds, large baths, then you can install a water tank.
 
I don't see how this could be an issue at all.

If you can install jacuzzi's, pools, koi ponds, large baths, then you can install a water tank.

Cape Town is still under Level 3 water restrictions. There are still strict rules about filling things up with municipal water. Lots of other water-stressed municipalities will have similar rules.
 
I you use that tower as on the website, some service provider is going to use your tower as a repeater.

:)

Ja obviously no-one is going to install a tower that high (unless you have your own hill or mountain in your property), the point was to show how high you would need to go to get back to council pressure. Hence the discussion about just using a few dedicated lower pressure taps etc.
 
Cape Town is still under Level 3 water restrictions. There are still strict rules about filling things up with municipal water. Lots of other water-stressed municipalities will have similar rules.
Confirmed
Storage of water is an ownership issue as I have it (City owns the water,you're paying to use it not keep it)
Pools etc is an oddity but also regulated
 
OK I looked at the City of Cape Town by laws (attached), as far as I can tell there is nothing restricting a buffer tank, other than if you want bury it, you need permission.

I see also that there are design specifications which you need to follow for similar tanks for specific industries and buildings, but no specific design requirements for households.

I also checked with a friend of mine who is a professional consultant in the field, and he was unaware of any restrictions. He quickly looked up the City of Johannesburg bylaws and could not find any restrictions either.

So I remain unconvinced that this would contravene any municipal bylaws.
 

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I wrote a quick article on installing a tank in your home to provide water during an outage to a few dedicated taps.


Nothing special, but I don't see this idea talked about or implemented a lot.




Thanks for the time taken to write this article, useful insights. Few things I picked up on my installation.
  • Foundation is critical 5000l = 5 tons etc. Most use some sort of rebar in the concrete, and ENSURE it is level. Avoid placing larger tanks on roof. You have covered this in the article, but this is critical.
  • Gravity fed can be problematic, on average 10m height = 1 bar pressure, so to get 4 bar pressure this needs significant height.
  • Get the correct booster pump based on your specific maximum requirements of pressure and flow rate (2+ showers at the same time etc), Ideally get one with variable VSD if you can afford (DAB e.sybox, grundfos scala etc).
  • Water left in the tank too long stagnates and gathers lots of issues including algae, rather connect your tank in line as opposed to a seperate "incase" type storage.
  • A tank guage is an inexpesive and very useful way to check levels on your tank without getting the steps and a torch to peep in the tank or knock the sides to estimate levels - highly recommended (https://www.jojo.co.za/products/rain-harvesting-tank-level-gauge/)
  • Non return valves and stop valves should be installed at every step as required for ease of maintenance. Also connect in such a way that you can easily bypass this setup if needed.
  • Two "permanent" type filters I would recommend inline are a disc filter (130 micron etc) just before the inlet to tank which reduces sand in your tank, and prevents cleaning inside the tank, which is not an easy task. The other optional filter is a PTH (http://watersofteningrsa.co.za/what-is-pth/) just inline after the booster pump to assist with overall limescale/kalk buildup. Both these filters do not require replacements but just cleaning once in a while.
  • Ensure your HDPE piping is correct standard and rating for high pressure. There was once a sabotage of some sort at our local municipal feed which resulted in very high pressure in line (10bar+). This caused issues for many in our area who instaled HDPE rated at 8 bar.
  • Different suppliers of tanks have different UV protection rating. As I understand it is still better to place the tank where it would not get too much direct sunlight (under a tree/ near a wall etc to limit direct sunlight). I have seen some place a shade net over to assist as well.
 
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Ja look I wasn't suggesting something as massive as 5000 litres!

My thoughts were more around say 200-500 max, just enough for a day or two, and then only supplying a few key requirements such as toilets and a dedicated tap or two.
 
I have 2X 2500 l tanks installed on existing brick paving without any problems for more than 3 years already.
The two tanks are connected to a booster pump which switches off when no flow of water is detected or the pressure has built up to a preset level.
As the tanks are closed with a lid no dirt is detected on the bottom yet and the water is still clear, without any algae after more than a year of non-use.
I normally used the water on a rotational base to water my garden to ensure that water is not older than 3 months.
The last time I decided to leave it longer to see what the result will be, but it still looks clean.
I will again try to use it on a rotational base in the future.
 
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