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Water Storage: Tanks, Cisterns, Aquifers, and Ponds for Domestic Supply, Fire and Emergency Use--Includes How to Make Ferrocement Water Tanks [Paperback]

Art Ludwig
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 30, 2005 0964343363 978-0964343368
A do-it-yourself guide to designing, building, and maintaining water tanks, cisterns and ponds, and sustainably managing groundwater storage. It will help you with your independent water system, fire protection, and disaster preparedness, at low cost and using principles of ecological design. Includes building instructions for several styles of ferro cement water tanks.

Editorial Reviews


A guide to water systems that explores every facet of designing water resources wisely, efficiently, and in concert with nature. -- Richard Freudenberger, Executive Editor, Back Home Magazine

All sorts of alternatives to your standard plastic water tank, accessible by anyone from homeowner to builder to civil engineer. -- Amy Wynn, Builders Booksource

If you run a water system, for a weekend shack or a whole community, you need this book! -- Doug Pratt, Real Goods Technical Editor

On average water systems, this book will pay for itself a hundred times over in errors avoided and maintenance savings. -- Zane Satterfield, P.E., National Drinking Water Clearinghouse

Practical design solutions, comprehensive illustrations, and plenty of photos—a thorough treatment of a topic that’s vital to our survival. -- Claire Anderson, Home Power Magazine, Mother Earth News

From the Publisher

Water Storage describes how to store water for home, farm, and small communities. It will help you design storage for just about any use, including fire safety and emergency, in just about any context—urban, rural, or village.

This book includes:

•General principles to help you design, construct, and use any water system

•A look at common mistakes and how to avoid them

•How the different kinds of storage can serve you—tanks, groundwater, and ponds

•How to determine the optimum amount of storage for your needs

•How to determine the best shape and material for your storage

•How to manage aquifers sustainably for inexpensive storage of water in the ground

•Plumbing details for inlets, outlets, drains, overflows, access, etc. storage accessories and gadgets such as automatic shut-off valves, remote •Level indicators, ozonators, and filters

•How to build your own high-quality tank from ferrocement

•Original design innovations—published here for the first time—to improve the quality of stored water, increase water security, make maintenance easier, and reduce environmental impacts

•Real-life examples of storage designs for a wide range of contexts

This book offers underlying design principles as well as design specifics. If you run into a situation not specifically covered, there's a good chance you'll be able to use these general principles to figure it out yourself.

Installed water storage typically costs fifty cents to three dollars or more a gallon ($60-200/m3). If you've got this book in your hands, you're probably on the verge of making decisions about hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of storage. On an average water system, this book could pay for itself a hundred times over in savings on construction and maintenance.

Most of the information otherwise available on water storage comes from vendors. Oasis Design doesn't sell water storage hardware, so you don't have to worry about being steered towards stuff you don't need. Rather, we make our living by providing information to help people have a higher quality of life with lower impact.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 125 pages
  • Publisher: Oasis Design (May 30, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0964343363
  • ISBN-13: 978-0964343368
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.6 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,628 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Art Ludwig is an ecological systems designer with 28 years full-time experience in water, wastewater systems, energy, shelter and human powered transport. His specialty is complex, integrated "systems of systems." Art has studied and worked in 22 different countries, consulted for the states of New York and New Mexico on water reuse policy, and given dozens of lectures and workshops.

He designed his own education in Ecological Systems Design, graduating from UC Berkeley. At Berkeley, he developed the first cleaners specifically designed to be biocompatible with plants and soil, and founded a successful business to manufacture and distribute them.

Art currently lives with his family near Santa Barbara, surrounded by over 20 different kinds of fruit trees.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
196 of 197 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book November 16, 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I agree with the positive comments in the earlier reviews. This is a great book covering all common forms of water storage vehicles, with plenty of technical details so you really can undertake these projects yourself. The section on ferrocement water tanks is very comprehensive; the plans for building the beautiful urn-shaped tank shown on the cover are worth the price of the book! Our area averages about 18 inches of rainfall each year; the important word in that statement is "averages." We have had as little as 10" one year, only to be inundated with 40" the next. Our 8500 gallons of water storage captures most of our roof runoff and allows us to water our gardens, greenhouses, and fruit trees with rainwater instead of high-mineral ground water during dry times (which is most of the time). Rainwater is better for the plants and storing it keeps our well from being stressed by watering. I also highly recommend Art Ludwig's books about greywater; we incorporated some of his design concepts when we built our house. To me, greywater reuse is the flip side of the water-catchment coin, allowing us to make the best use of this most precious resource.
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153 of 162 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sounds Simple, And It Is, Once you have it explained August 17, 2005
Most of us, in the United States at least, grew up where the supply of water was so simple. Your house was automatically connected to the city water mains when it was built and for a few dollars a month all the water you needed was supplied at the turn of a tap.

My first home made water supply was out in the Louisiana swamps where average rainfall was more than fifty inches a year. It was a simple matter to build a catch system that caught the rain off the roof. But it was full of crud. A simple little device to catch the first of the rain in a bucket and when the bucket was full it pulled the outlet over to the big cistern and I had a water supply.

Later I moved to the desert and water got a lot more tricky, with rainfall of eight inches a year the rules are different. The biggest projects were a series of about five thousand small enclosed catch basins which were burried in every little dry creek bed to catch what little water there was for birds to drink. Yes, it may sound silly, but that's what the people with the money wanted.

As for this book, I only wish that I had known what contained in it when I started. Everything he says sounds so simple, makes so much sense that I wonder why I had to spend so much time making mistakes that taught me these same things.

If you're going to go play in the water business, either for yourself, or even for a water department read this book first.
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110 of 116 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive and readable June 7, 2005
This is a friendly book that reads like a conversation with a very knowledgeable expert. The language is simple without being condescending, so a layperson can read it without becoming confused or overwhelmed. It is packed with information, explaining all aspects of choosing and implementing the design that best meets your needs. It is an essential read for anyone who needs to store water (which is all of us). If you buy one book on water storage, this should be it!
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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful and concise July 17, 2009
Having no prior familiarity with the topic of this book, I read it with the hope of obtaining a general understanding of the process of storing water and in particular for the intent of learning about concrete tanks for residential use. The book is only 119 pages, but is 8.5 x 11 and packs a lot of content into that small space.

Simply stated, this book is about residential water storage. It outlines a variety of ways in which water can be safely stored and then specifies the advantages and disadvantages of each. For my interest, the book was an excellent primer on concrete tanks. I had a general conceptual idea of what I thought I was looking for and this book helped expand the details; such as the design for the cover on the tank, the inlet and outlet, valves, gauges, etc.

If you are looking for a book that is a good general guide on how to do water storage - this book will likely satisfy your needs. The writing style is fluid and easy to follow and there is no technical language requiring any prior knowledge of the field.
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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read the book, Build the tank December 27, 2007
I Built a 10,000 Gal tank straight out of this book for US$ 1,500.
It looks good & it doesn't leak.
What more can you ask for ?
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book September 8, 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I purchased this book mainly due to the picture of the water urn on the cover. The plans for it are included. This book has a lot of information regarding water sources and water collection and containment. Recommend for anyone interested in water collection/conservation. I do wish the pictures inside the book were in color (the are all black and white).
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected September 16, 2011
By bernie
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Was disappointed with this book. Was looking for something more on the line of water harvesting and storage procedures. It focused mostly on the making of ferrocement water tanks which I would not in the least try to construct. Still looking for a good rain harvesting & storage book.
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84 of 103 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Water Storage: Tanks, Cisterns, Aquifers and Ponds. August 4, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Too much social and environmental commentary which I have noticed is common for books on this subject. I just want information on how to best design and build a water collection system. The benefits are obvious to anyone who would buy this book so why use half the book to convince the reader?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
interesting reading
Published 8 days ago by P. Christensen
5.0 out of 5 stars water yummy yummy
excellent book with good instructions as well as some history and explaination about what and why to build a tank with ferrocement
Published 29 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for every environmentalist
You will want this very detailed and instructional book. How to build, ciollect and drink potable water for any future emergency. A must read
Published 1 month ago by funkylama
5.0 out of 5 stars Very usefull for the DIYer
This book covers exactly what it says - Water storage, all the mechanics and specifics of it, many things most people wouldn't think of without some sort of experienced guide. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Not really for single family homes unless you are off the grid.
This is mostly focused on big projects, not home-size ones. I am passing it on to someone who does more construction.
Published 3 months ago by Susan Winter
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific DIY and how-to book for the California drought
I live in a small town just north of Santa Barbara (the authors' address) and purchased this and the greywater book to assist my fellow citizens in preparing for drought--which is... Read more
Published 4 months ago by William L. Seavey
5.0 out of 5 stars one great book
said to be one of the best books written on the subject and more important everyday.Photos,illustrations through out,with safety in mind.
Published 4 months ago by Mel
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
I love the pictures, instructions and creativity contained in this book. I think anyone interested in self sufficiency, emergency preparedness or just plain practicality would... Read more
Published 5 months ago by ladyliberty
5.0 out of 5 stars great, practical
Practical applications and first hand accounts of solutions for water storage. like the comparative pro and cons approach of explaining different phases of the water storage.
Published 5 months ago by Robin Rogers
4.0 out of 5 stars Detailed storage tank construction!
I must have for anyone who wants to build any form of water storage. I would have given it a 5, but the writer leaves out lots of good information to get you to buy his other... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Terry Davis
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