It’s a Bird, it’s a Plane… No, it’s a Rainwater Collection Tank

While most of our residential rainwater harvesting systems installation involve a simple procedure for getting the rainwater harvesting cistern into place, we have had a few projects over the years that have definitely presented a challenge for us.  While we have never come across a challenge that we couldn’t meet, it has made for some very interesting installations.  This project was definitely one of them.

The homeowner was building a new house on a lot that had a high degree of slope from the street to the back property line.  The multi-story house design will allow for a wonderful view of Lake Austin but in order to achieve the view, the floor elevation of the house produced a basement area underneath the backside of the house.  This provided us the perfect opportunity to design a rainwater harvesting system that used the property’s slope to our advantage.

An exterior wall was built that created the basement area.  A compacted base of granite gravel was installed in the basement area which would be the foundation for the cisterns.  While a concrete foundation for a rainwater cistern is feasible, in most cases, it is not necessary to go to the expense of a concrete foundation.  Rainwater cisterns have an even distribution of weight so they don’t need a concrete foundation to help distribute points loads as you would have in a building structure.

The video below shows the journey of the rainwater cisterns from the closest highway, through a residential neighborhood, to the project site.  We carefully surveyed the path to get the cistern delivery truck to the site so that we would not have any issues with overhead power lines, etc.  Once at the property, the cisterns had to be turned right side up since they were shipped to site on their sides.  Then, a crane was used to lift the approximately 2,500 lbs cisterns from the street cul-de-sac to the tank location which was approximately 150 feet.

Do you want to consider a rainwater harvesting system for your new home project but you think you may have a difficult site?  No problem!  With our experience and expertise, we can design the most optimal and cost-efficient system for you.  Give us a call at 512-490-0932 or request a consultation here.

Chris Maxwell-Gaines :I am a professional civil engineer and urban planner that focuses on creating impacting and sustainable projects by identifying all of the hidden water conservation opportunities available in a project. I am particularly interested in working within the realms of sustainable site planning, integrated water management and planning, and low impact development practices.