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Will

Spring (the wet variety)

I'm posting this here before doing any research of my own because I'm lazy.

I spent yesterday afternoon clearing out the kitchen drain (I have such a romantic life Confused ).

Once I'd shifted all the leaves, mud, chunks of plaster etc, I discovered that there is a steady flow of water into the drain between the slab and the pipe. It appears to be coming out of the wall of the house about six inches below ground level. It's not coming out at particularly high pressure, it's freezing cold, clean and didn't stop when I turned the water off, which I'm guessing means it's more likely a spring than a leak - there are quite a lot round the village.

Our terrace is built on a slab rather than having a cellar like most of the other houses of a similar age, which would also suggest that the builders knew a cellar would get wet.

Question is, what do I do after I've got the damp wall sorted out? The obvious answer is to build a soakaway or divert into the drain (fortunately near the house, so not too much excavation), but I was wondering if there was a simple way to harvest the water. It seems a shame to waste it, especially as I haven't got round to installing a water butt yet.

Any suggestions, as ever...
Behemoth

Hmmm, me thinks we should increase your drainage charge, I'll just speak to Dave in billing..... Very Happy
Will

Firmly in South Yorkshire and out of range of your grasping mitts Razz Aren't I? help
Behemoth

I suggest sir is mistaken. A survey team will be out next week. they will leave the invoice for their services with you.

But seriously folks - it should be possible to divert it to a holding tank that then overflows back into the drain and then our sewer. It would mean digging holes and a bit of building work but shouldn't be rocket science. You'd need to put a proper lid/manhole cover on to stop people, children, animals, burglars falling down it. However, it might cost a bit.
Will

Hmm. I was hoping somebody would come up with an automated watering system made from canes, washing-up liquid bottles and gaffer tape.

Heigh-ho.
Behemoth

You might need a traffic cone as well.
Nanny

didn't del boy ake a fortune out of peckham spring water?


grenoside spring water sounds almost as good


then there is the money you will be able tomake from the spring dressing festival that will take place during solstice week

that's your future secured then
Will

Nanny wrote:
didn't del boy ake a fortune out of peckham spring water?


grenoside spring water sounds almost as good


then there is the money you will be able tomake from the spring dressing festival that will take place during solstice week

that's your future secured then


He did indeed. Mine would at least be genuine spring water (although it might need separating from the outflow from the washing machine which runs into the same drain.) Unfortunately my production method is limited to holding a milk bottle under the crack in the side of the drain...
judith

Will wrote:
Unfortunately my production method is limited to holding a milk bottle under the crack in the side of the drain...


Isn't that how Mr Perrier started?
Will

Quite possibly. I suspect that his spring was probably somewhere a bit warmer than under the kitchen window behind the recycling bin. And that he didn't have to crouch down uncomfortably.

Then again, it could explain why he is (presumably) considerably richer than me. I just don't have the perseverance.

Oh, and my water isn't fizzy...
Behemoth

And he wasn't subject to our 'licence' fee.........
dougal

Re: Spring (the wet variety)

Will wrote:
I'm posting this here before doing any research of my own because I'm lazy.

Got the energy to read this ? Very Happy Very Happy
http://peacecorps.mtu.edu/spring_box/index.html
tahir

Kind of like a raised bed eh Dougal, that'd give me more drop for a ram pump wouldn't it?
Will

Thanks for that Dougal - will peruse in a bit.
dougal

tahir wrote:
Kind of like a raised bed eh Dougal, that'd give me more drop for a ram pump wouldn't it?

Errrr? Water just doesn't flow uphill !!! Thats what pumps are for...!!!

The basic idea is that you make a chamber below the water level, and get the water to enter that chamber through a sand/gravel bed. Dependant on the shape of the land, there will probably be a need for a dam arrangement. The idea is to get a 'clean' offtake, with a fairly constant pressure head.

Will - I had some other refs for spring capture, but I can't find them right now. Perhaps the competition, the utility companies behemoth, might have some links for you? ISTR that you can 'abstract' something like 20 tonnes of water a day without need for any permission or paperwork...
tahir

dougal wrote:
Errrr? Water just doesn't flow uphill !!! Thats what pumps are for...!!!

The basic idea is that you make a chamber below the water level, and get the water to enter that chamber through a sand/gravel bed. Dependant on the shape of the land, there will probably be a need for a dam arrangement. The idea is to get a 'clean' offtake, with a fairly constant pressure head.


Not just thick, can't read either Laughing

I thought what it did was to sort of fill a raised tank.
dougal

The chamber can be raised above the ground (depending on the slope)... but its level wouldn't give you any more "head" than the source provides...
Will

The problem I've got is that the point where the spring has sprung is about six inches below ground level, under the house, and the house is at the lowest part of the garden. Any water gathering will presumably therefore mean excavation and/or pumping. Unfortunately it's also about halfway along the access path across the back of the terrace...which has the foul drain for the rest of the terrace running underneath it.

The easiest solution is probably going to be to improve what is happening already and channel the spring into the drain with damp proofing to stop the water soaking up the wall. It just seems a pity to have a free source of fresh water on my land and not be able to use it.
James

Donít know what your local geology is, but groundwater in the south Yorkshire coal fields is rising due to the mines being closed - the mines were pumped, these pumps are now stopped, and groundwater is returning to normal. In some places, Ďnormalí may be what the groundwater level was 150 years ago- before the mines and the more recent Victorian terrace houses may have been built.
Iíd be careful about using water without knowing its source- it may look clear, but the hydrochemistry may not be too good. If its come from mines, it may well throw an ochre (orange coloured iron oxide bloom) sediment if left in a glass on the window sill.
If itís a surface water derrived spring youíve got (in which case your ground would be most likely dry in Summer), then itís far more likely to have elevated levels of contaminants (lead, chloride, hydrocarbons, pesticides, herbicides, nitrate). So I wouldnít use it without getting it tested.
Will

Thanks James,

I'm up on a hilltop above Sheffield and a reasonable distance from (and certainly above) most mines. I'm only looking at using it for watering and car washing, not drinking.
dougal

Chap I know has a springbox/well as his sole source of water.
He has a roof tank with a float *switch*. The switch operates the pump that transfers water from the well up to the tank.
Assuming there's no microbial contamination - would there be any harm in your pumping "Will's mineral water" into your attic header tank? That way it'd feed washwater taps, loos - but drinking water would still come from the kitchen cold tap, which is supposed to be supplied direct from the main.

I'm thinking that you could set the float *valve* to maintain say 75% level in your tank from the water main. And have a pump that would *switch* on if the level fell below, say, 95%. A second outdoor switch could prevent the pump running if the level in your springbox fell too low (or the supply stopped for the summer)... When the tank would replenish from the mains supply. Hmmmm.
Will

Just in case anyone was interested...


...oh, you weren't. Hmm. Rolling Eyes

Got the house insurance people in to have a look. They had a probe around with a listening device and deduced that there was a leak somewhere. Lifting some slabs revealed that the kitchen had been replumbed at some point, with the old feed from the main left in place. This had just had the end bent over rather than capped, and the water pressure had gradually unbent it. We had a rather pretty water feature behind the bin for a little while, and the hole is now a pond pending the weather improving enough to fill it.

A spring would have been more exciting, but I'm glad it's sorted.

Do I get a badge or a certificate or something from Behemoth for tracing one of his leaks?
Behemoth

You get a certificate for "Considerate Citizenship: Water Conservation (second class)".......and a bill for the wasted water. Wink
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