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Installing a Cistern

Many people have questions about the installation process of a cistern. Below you will find photos and descriptions documenting one of the jobs Southern Arizona Rain Gutters recently completed. This event was scheduled as a workshop and involved the installation of aluminum gutters and a 6x8 culvert cistern. Click on any image for a larger view

The truck arrives
Removing Gutters
DAY 1: 6:00 am-SARG Arrives
The SARG truck and crew arrive.
  They start by first removing the old gutters.
  SARG crew installing gutters
Then they extrude the new gutters to be installed and lift them onto the roof.
7:00am-Gutters and Piping
Some of the SARG team work on installing the new aluminum gutters. Meanwhile, other team members are digging a trench and laying the underground piping that leads to the cistern.
Downspout and underground pipes   Building Form for Concrete pad
This is a close-up of the piping that has been laid underground. Eventually a downspout will be installed connecting the new gutter system to the underground piping thus allowing all water on the roof to flow into the gutters, down the downspout, through the underground pipes and up into the cistern.   8:00am-Building the Pad
After the piping has been installed (you can see it poking out of the ground) SARG builds the form for the concrete pad that the cistern will sit on. It is reinforced with rebar. (Note: In this instance the cistern is outside of a wall so a hole was drilled through the base of the masonry wall and the piping was run through the hole).
  Filling up concrete
While the pad for the cistern is prepared, the cistern is cleaned and sealed.
9:00am-The concrete truck arrives
The concrete truck arrives delivering pre-mixed concrete. SARG members stand by with wheel barrows and muscle power.
Wheel barrow full of concrete   Spreading Concrete
The SARG team works together to wheel barrow the concrete from the truck over to the form.
The concrete is spread around the piping and leveled in preparation to put the cistern on top.
  The SARG team lifts the cistern
10:00am-Easy Does it!
The SARG team then prepares to lift the cistern with a method of straps and poles. It takes four strong SARG member to lift the 350 lb cistern and a few extra members to help them guide it along the way.
They carefully walk the cistern over to the concrete pad and prepare to place it on top.
The cistern is put into place   Finishing Touches
11:00am-Done for the day!
The cistern is centered over the piping and gently set down in the wet concrete. The concrete will now dry around the bottom of the cistern sealing it in place. This concludes day one for the cistern installation and SARG cleans up and leaves for the day. They will return in a day or two after the concrete has time to set to finish the project.

DAY 2: Finishing Touches
The concrete has set and the SARG team is back to complete the project. First they put a lid on the cistern. This lid will keep out debris, mosquitoes and sunlight from the harvested rain water. The lid is loosely bolted on and can be removed to clean the tank.

Downspout   Finished Cistern
DAY 2: Ready for Rain
Finally, the downspout is connected from the gutters to the underground piping and then is painted to match the gutter system. The system is now complete and the cistern is ready for its first rain!
  Follow up. . .
This 6x8 cistern holds almost 1700 gallons of water and the owner said it was full after the very first rain. They are using the harvested rainwater to water their trees and fill their pool. The owners decided to paint the cistern to match their exterior wall. This can be a do-it-yourself project or you can hire us to do it for you (Note: A galvanized primer must first be used before painting).

Call us today. 299-RAIN

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