bulging HDPE cistern
Monday, October 26 2009
I applied few layers of polyurethane in the brownhouse and then ran into town, mostly to nearest cheap liquor store in Uptown Kingston to get more of the cheap stuff that comes in plastic bottles. I also went into Herzog's to scout out possible options for finishing out the penetration between the brownhouse cabin and its composting basement. There was an interesting flashing system for a wide-bore woodstove pipe, but nothing was really appropriate. I did, however, find even better containers for the brownhouse cistern, which will both supply water for a sink and moderate the passively-solar-heated indoor temperature. My first candidate for a cistern was a 20 gallon cylindrical polyethylene trashcan, but then I found a rectangular trashcan that could fit thirty gallons into the same space. Today I found two different sizes of polyethylene boxes that were wider and shallower than either trashcan, meaning I could mount them high on the brownhouse wall and have usable space underneath them. Unfortunately the larger of these boxes (which might have held 50 gallons) was an inch too long to fit the space available (and it also had a few unfortunately-placed holes). So I went with the smaller of the boxes, which claimed to hold 32 gallons.
Back home, I wisely decided to test the new candidate cistern by taking it to the greenhouse and filling it with water from the well (which was full nearly to the top from recent rains). Distressingly, the container bulged outward all along the flat surfaces of its walls, leading me to wonder how stable it would be holding water for months at a time. This is the problem with spatially-efficient rectangular designs; they're less geometrically stable when containing pressurized substances.
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