Water System Example #1 - Spring or Water Source 40 Feet or More Above House

Published by: Nick Meissner


There is a spring, creek, or any usable water source at least 40 feet in elevation above the building site (2nd story of house if plumbing is there). Yield is at least 15 gallons per hour (.25 gal/min) during the driest time of the year. Click here for more info on water usage suggestions.


This is the ideal setup! First, the springhead needs to be developed. This is to keep debris in the water to a minimum and to divert all the available water into your pipe.

The pipe should then be run to the water cistern which is buried in the ground, below the springhead, but still at least 40 feet above the building site (2nd story if plumbing is there).

Next, run the pipe from the cistern to your house and connect it to your plumbing system as you would any other water supply. Your cistern will need to have an overflow pipe installed to give the water a controlled escape when it fills the cistern up. Even if the flow from the spring seems somewhat slow, remember, it is collecting in the cistern 24 hours a day. Even at .25 gallons per minute, that equals 360 gallons per day—plenty adequate for most families who are fairly careful with their water usage. This does not include watering your garden. Refer to the irrigation section for more information on low water consumption irrigation systems.

This system is called the “gravity flow system” and is the very best system we know of. It requires no electricity and has nothing mechanical to malfunction. While it is the best, it is certainly not the only way.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our Newsletter