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Does anyone have an underground water storage system? Answered

I have four 55 gallon plastic sealed top drums barried in the ground. They are meant to store water from my washer and rain water. I have a 3" inlet running in line to the four barrels. On the other side I put 3/4 inch PVC to an inch from the bottom of the barrel. The PVC is meant to get used something like a straw in your soda. I have the straws in line to the water pump. The problem I am having is that the pump requires to be primed to work. How can I keep it primed? It would be great if there was a valve that closed when the barrel was near empty. That way the pump would continue to pump the water from the other barrels and never loose its prime. Any ideas here????? Again, these are sealed toped barrels. I cannot open them to put a sump pump at the bottom, not to mention, a sump pump couldn't supply the pressure needed for my sprinklers. Thank you in advance for any advice! ! !



10 years ago

You could dig a hole for the pump and site it at the same level the barrels rest on - it still has to pump water the same height either way.

You could use check valves as frollard has suggested (probably best)

Or you can make an easy-prime system (see pic for idea)?



10 years ago

You definitely want a check valve to prevent the pump from emptying by gravity back into the barrels. The barrels have 4 'straws', one per barrel. Having a connection in series between the barrels at the base would allow them all to act as 1 reservoir. Hooking a closed straw that is primed between them would make them keep the same level - but it would need to keep its own prime for the siphon to work.

barrel pump.JPG