Tuesday Book Review: “Water Storage” by Art Ludwig

Water Storage: Tanks, Cisterns, Aquifers, and Ponds for Domestic Supply, Fire and Emergency Use–Includes How to Make Ferrocement Water Tanks by Art Ludwig

Review by Allison Hamaker

On Saturday, August 4th, our blog had photos of our dry pond, which we will line and fill next year.  We do have city water plumbed carefully throughout all 40 acres, but I have strong feelings about having a backup system to ensure we have an uninterrupted supply for security purposes.  To that end, we want to save rainwater in cisterns, run grey water through a sand filter and then to the orchard, and maybe dig a well.

In Rio Linda, California, when the city built a system to provide water, the city leadership passed an ordinance requiring that all private wells be capped.  This switched ownership of the underground aquifer to city control.  With this in mind, I visited the County planning department to ask how Calaveras County handles wells.  They were shocked at the idea of capping wells, and said I could have a dual city/private well system if I wanted.  “Knock yourself out,” they said, and laughed.  Briski Well Drilling Company is the local driller, and we’ll contact him when we’re ready for a well.

Beyond the pond, there are many design choices for water storage.  My brother-in-law Van lives in the eastern Utah desert.  He built a concrete box and traveled to town twice a year with his water truck to buy drinking water, until city water came through.   So we could build a concrete box.  At the garden store Green Acres they sell plastic rain barrels.  More research brought me to this book:  Water Storage by Art Ludwig.  He gives several design choices, the engineering specs, advantages and disadvantages, pressure details, height of tanks, pipe materials, etc.

First, Art helps define how much water is needed, so we don’t under- or over-provide.  Then he lists options by showing how water is stored around the world, even in goat bladders!  On page 29 he illustrates the town of Manzanillo, Mexico where each house has a 1m3 rooftop water tank because the city system only pushes water for a short time each night.  The book is rich in helpful engineering specifics.  On page 86 he shows the design of a small sand filter for drinking water, and on page 93 he says, “a flat roof that is supported by a central pillar is four times stronger than one that spans the whole diameter of the tank without interior support.”  I love that detail.

Along with his design specifics, he earnestly searches for improvements to those designs.  On page 66 he says, “My next house is going to have a water meter set into the tile above the kitchen sink to keep us continuously apprised of our water consumption.”  On page 85, he shows how he and a property caretaker changed the design storage of water from a creek, increasing max flow 260% by moving the tank to a better location.  On page 104, after giving fabulous directions on making an urn-shaped ferrocement tank, he provides tips for doing it more easily “next time.”

I believe that this little book will give us all of the options, engineering, and do-it-yourself specifics to be successful in building our own secondary water system to parallel our city water system.  It will be beautiful, functional, and safe, thanks to Mr. Ludwig.

Next Post
Leave a comment

Tell us what you think! (Note: We don't use your email address unless you join our email list, nor do we share or sell your information.)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

  • Tuesday Book Reviews:

    "The One Straw Revolution" by Masanobu Fukuoka
    Our review or Amazon:

    -
    "Grow Your Own Fruit" by Carol Klein
    Our review or Amazon:

    -
    "Hobby Farms Magazine"
    Our review or Amazon:
    Order Hobby Farm Magazine
    -
    “The New Self-Sufficient Gardener” by John Seymour
    Our review or Amazon:

    -
    "Water Storage: Tanks, Cisterns, Aquifers, and Ponds for Domestic Supply, Fire, and Emergency Use" by Art Ludwig
    Our review or Amazon:

    -
    "The Woodwright's Guide: Working Wood with Wedge and Edge" by Roy Underhill
    Our review or Amazon:

    -
    "The Forgotten Skills of Self-Sufficiency Used by the Mormon Pioneers" by Caleb Warnock
    Our review or Amazon:

    -
    "City Chicks" by Patricia Foreman
    Our review or Amazon:

    -
    "Making Your Small Farm Profitable" by Ron Macher
    Our review or Amazon:
%d bloggers like this: