Report- was drilling hole at 20 deg

Interim report (2nd post, the 1st apparently didn't go thru)
My origonal plan was to have roof rain water fill the cistern, but there
was a problem. The north side of my roof is partially shaded by a big oak tree, and I have spent years experimenting with all types of gutter guards to keep the debris out of the gutter and thus out of the cistern. Meanwhile, I was filling the cistern with spring water and using it during power failures (as long as 4 days) and during the rare drouth. My spring was pretty reliable, flowing 50 gal/min during the normal dry season in the summer.
This changed several years back when we has a multi-year drough that actually caused the spring to stop for a month. The cistern carried me through, and I was able to rig up a temporary water source (puddle) from other nearby springs that flowed enough to let me refill the cistern in 24 hrs when needed even though the flow was too little (less than 2 gpm) for direct household use. This year I saw the drought coming to E. Tn even as the midwest was getting flooded. To really break the drough we need the wind patterns that brought Katrina, and we need winter rains to rebuild the water table - summer rains make the grass green but do not rebuild the water table. I made the decision that I would not be able to use the north roof for cistern water in the forseeable future.
So I started a 3-part plan. Part 1 was to separate the water from the north roof from the south roof water and pipe it into the cistern thru a crude bypass valve I fashoned from a 3 cross. This I finished (temporarily) with the drain piped crisscrossing under my porch. My house is built on a hillside, with the north corner porch almost at ground level and the south corner about 13 high. The cistern is located next to the porch, the top barely a foot below porch level, so the piping under the porch has very little slope.
Part 2 design is finished (thanks to RCM ideas) and I am accumulating parts. This phase will allow automatic filling of the cistern when we are away or sleeping. It is designed around an Austrailian idea of a ball floating up in a drainpipe and at the top it closes off a tee alowing the roof water to flow horizontally into the cistern. <http://www.rainharvesting.com.au/first_flush_water_diverters.asp In my case I made 2 changes; I found a nice cheap ($20) 3 valve (google Valterra Bladex) to put at the bottom of the downpipe to divert all the water when the cistern is full, and Im using a 4 section of 6 pipe to increase the captured volume to 5 gallons before the water is diverted into the cistern. A small calibrated leak will reset the system after the rain stops. I also will likely use a cross at the top instead of a tee so I can see inside and monitor how things are working.
I could have used either a 6 pipe (5 gal) or a 10 pipe (16 gal), I had both in my stockpipe. The 6 is a lot easier to work with. In looking at 3 to 6 couplings, it immediately became apparent the price was way too high and I also needed to be able to disassemble the apparatus for maintainance so Im going to put flanged ends on the pipes - Ill make the low pressure flanges myself since 6 flanges cost a kings ransom and are unnecessarily large for such low pressure (3 psi max).
The one part I lack is a floating ball, larger than 3 and smaller than 5. I could use a ballasted 2-liter bottle, but a ball would be more elegant and less likely to hang up. I have not yet found a toy ball of the right size, all ideas appreciated.
Part 3 involves the 40 deg flange this thread addresses. This cannot actually be done until the drough breaks and I can empty the cistern. The idea is to replace the crappy (sch 50) pipe I have going into the cistern with a more solid sch 40, and add an overflow pipe (1.5?). Right now the overflow is around the inlet pipe where the epoxy joint failed. I will also have to enlarge the hole in the SS cistern slightly and add another hole for the overflow. I want the flange so I can grip the inlet (& overflow) pipes so they dont wobble and break the joint and keep it light tight and bug proof. Ive expanded my ideas a lot from this RCM discussion, Im sure I can work something out when the time (and rain) comes.
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I have town water with outdoor use restrictions so I tried a cistern a few years ago to water some freshly seeded lawn. Like you oaks overhang the roof and fill the gutters with leaves and mud. Rather than trying to keep it out I made aluminum gutter hangers that don't block the top, and scoop the debris out from the ground with a Gutter Getter scoop on an extension pole. It's easy where the roof is one storey up and possible where it's two. I left off the caps on the end downspout tees so the muck can slide out.
The cistern was a 55 gallon drum sprayed with LPS-3 inside and lined with several big plastic bags, which leaked. With the LPS-3 and no air circulation the steel barely rusted.
The downspout dumped onto a piece of old bedsheet supported by hardware cloth. It was only meant to keep mosquitos out but the cloth and the moss that grew on it filtered the crud out of the water quite well. The water was clear and no sediment built up in the bag.
New England usually has more water than we need, our water problems are flooding and washed-out roads or removing minerals from well water. How do those of you in drier areas filter and treat cistern water to make it safe to drink?
Jim Wilkins
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Jim Wilkins wrote:

I grew up in central PA (out in the sticks) and we had nothing but cistern water (carried it in with a bucket) from the time I was 6 till I moved out at 20 and the parents were still there for another 20 yrs. (till I built a house for them with running water) and all we had was a charcoal filter on the spouting where it entered the cistern. Dad cleaned the filter a few times a year. Sveral times over the years we had to have a tank of water brought out from town. I can only remember 2 or three. The cistern was cleaned out (pumped out and washed down with bleach) every couple years. That was an intresting job. What do you mean SAFE? :-) ...lew...
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In article

Rain water here is safe to drink, we just divert the first few gallons that wash the bird crap off the roof. I don't filter or treat rain or cistern or spring water in any way and have never had a problem in 30 years.
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Yeah... a little cystoplasmosis never hurt anyone!
LLoyd
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Nick,
Find a pyrotechnics supply company (www.skylighter.com www.firefox- fx.com), and order a 4" plastic aerial shell casing.
They are round, styrene, equipped with a "hanger hook", and can be glued together (come in two halves) with model cement or PVC cement.
A 4" casing is 3.5" in diameter.
LLoyd
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"Lloyd E. Sponenburgh" <lloydspinsidemindspring.com> wrote:

$45 for 20 is a bit much when I only need one ;(
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BTW... you never did say why you couldn't use plumbing fittings to get that joint vertical.
LLoyd
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"Lloyd E. Sponenburgh" <lloydspinsidemindspring.com> wrote:

Height is critical, I have too little to work with. A 45 deg elbow would do EXCEPT it would raise the pipe over an inch and would mess up the slopes in my piping ;(
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One possibility:
http://www.gazingballoutlet.com/Stainless-Steel-Balls/30-1
Styrofoam balls are readily avaliable, but I think they'd need to be coated with something for use as a floating plug.
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Best suggestion yet and it floats; now I have to calculate how high it floats ;)
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I calculate the density at .87, meaning it barely floats. I'd like to get a density .5 or lower, meaning it strongly floats.
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Why does it have to be a sphere? Wouldn't a hemisphere or cone on a cylindrical float work, perhaps a section of smaller pipe with rounded end caps, or a plugged conical reducer? A longer float would have more buoyancy to seal the valve opening.
Jim Wilkins
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In article

A sphere rolls better and jams less. It would be simpler if it were just a 3" pipe. but I am flanging it up to 6" to increase the volume and I don't want an odd shaped float to hang up on the transition. Other than that, I've been looking at a 2-liter soda bottle thta might work id properly ballasted. I think a sphere is more foolproof if I can find one cheap and easy.
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