I live in a jungle village in the Amazon rainforest. We are very fortunate to have running water that comes from the village, but it only runs three times a day and will not run at all some days. It also doesn't have nearly enough pressure to run over a story in height. As a family living here we wanted a better solution water problem
The solution is a sixteen foot tall reenforced-concrete tower that holds two water tanks on top. The tower holds 800 gallons of water equaling 6,672 pounds! The water is pumped up to the tanks from a lower tank that collects rain water and the villages water. Once in the upper tanks it is gravity fed to our house. This system gives us water no mater if the villages water is running or if the electricity is off.
Water towers like this one are nothing new in our area. Everyone who wants continual running water has to build one. We originally built ours of wood. The wood held up for about thirteen years which is good considering this is a rain forest and termites are ferocious. Once the wooden tower started making my Dad a little to nervous we decided to have a concrete one built.
I didn't build it - a project like this is pretty significant - ,but I get to see how the workers did it. The first step to learning is watching. I want to show you in this instructables how local carpenters built this cement structure, and show you how you can do it too. This is a big and dangerous project, so I would advise you to have have some knowledge on doing this. This is an instructables geared more to get you thinking and give you the idea and basic instructions to building something like this. Many instructables are things that I will never make or don't have the opportunity or need to make, but I appreciate the ideas and knowledge they give me. Thank you instructablers for all the great instructables!
I am not responsible for any injuries or problems that may come from making or using this water tower. It is a big dangerous project, and the tower could be dangerous. I am not responsible in any way for any hurt or injury you might face in building or using this project.
Remember to vote for me. I would love to win a concrete mixer. (My back would love it too if I would have one here.) :)
On to the building!
Step 1: Tons of Materials - Literally
Sand (several tons)
25 100 lb. sacks of cement (it is a job to carry these) :)
Gravel - about two tons (offloading six tons of gravel by shovel from a truck = a sore back) :(
Lots of water
Steel: (in 20' lengths)
32 pieces 1/2"
2 pieces 1/4"
6 pieces 3/8"
thin wire to tie the steal together
Form boards - to form into molds to pour the concrete into (use old boards because the curing concrete draws out all the moisture from the boards bowing the board greatly and making them useless)
Plywood to form the mold for the top of the tower (we didn't use plywood, but it wood make things a lot easier)
Regular tools - hammer, saw, tape, level, ect.
Some sort of scaffolding
Step 2: Planning - Dimensions - Concrete
The footing or base of this tower is a rectangle 6 feet by 9 feet. It is dug into the ground about two feet, but may need to be deeper depending on your soil consistency. It has to be a rock solid foundation.
The tow columns are sixteen feet tall and are 10 inch square. The key to the columns is to keep them strait and level.
The platform at the top is about 8 feet by 5 feet.
Since this project was done in a third world country, the concrete mixture is the way the locals do it here. In more developed countries, concrete is bought pre-mixed, but here it is different. Of course, in more developed countries you probably wouldn't need this tower. :)
Ingredients of Concrete
Three loads of sand in a small wheelbarrow.
One sack of cement.
A couple of buckets of gravel.
Water to desired consistency.
Step 3: Footing
More real pictures coming up.
Step 4: Steel for Footing
The base has a 1/2 inch steel rods tied together by wire to make a large steel mesh. Eight 1/2 inch pieces of steel are also formed into six inch square columns to place inside the concrete columns. They are tied into the steel mesh in the base. The upright steel columns are also tied together be 3/8 inch pieces of steel. You can see what I mean in the pictures.
Step 5: Pouring the Base
Step 6: Forming the Columns
Step 7: Pouring the Columns
Step 8: Frame Top Platform
Wood cut to the appropriate length form the square columns. The top is left open so that the concrete can be poured in. For the space between the columns which is the bottom of the platform, wood planks or plywood needs to be cut to the right size. Around the edge, wood needs to be nailed so that the concrete can be poured in. Make sure everything is level and strait with the columns and the base.
Step 9: Add Steel to Top Platform
Sadly I didn't take any pictures of this step so you will have to think a little more on this step.
Step 10: Final Pour!
Once poured wait another week or so for everything to dry.
Step 11: Finish It All Off!
It is good to wait about a week or two for the tower to fully cure and dry before filling up the tanks with water.
Step 12: Finished!!
A great accomplishment using only one power tool!
Now you know how to do it.
Vote for me in the concrete contest if you think of it. I would love to have a concrete mixer.
P.S. Sorry for bad grammar. I am not much of a writer.