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Water Supply in the Provinces


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The house in Biliran is under construction with good progress. We built a simple house on the property in 2013 for the family after Yolanda so we are aware that the water situation is less than ideal. The property is near the end of the line for the city water supply and there are times during heavier usage that the pressure drops to zero. Now we are building a two story house and need to do something. Here are the options as I see them.

A 1,000 litre or so stainless steel tank on level control that will fill up with city water when the pressure is good. Add a pump and a pressure tank taking suction on the SS tank and supplying good and constant water pressure. If the tank is sized properly and is able to be topped off every night this would be the cheapest method.

A deep well is what is preferred by the family but they are living in a house with indoor plumbing for the first time and know nothing of pumps. The neighbor has a deep well but it is only 40' deep, which is a deep well in name only. The neighbor has a jet pump which I don't care for. They are not efficient and you have to deal with a pump on the surface. I'm a big fan of submersible pumps but they don't seem to be popular in the Philippines. Has anyone dealt with this issue? 

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27 minutes ago, Moon Dog said:

1,000 litre or so stainless steel tank on level control that will fill up with city water when the pressure is good.

That worked well for me when I was in Biliran.  Mine wasn't even stainless steel.  It was just a concrete tank with a waterproof finish.  Cheap, easy to build, and as you said it filled up when the pressure was good and lasted for 3 days of no water.  I cannot remember how many liters it held but the dimensions were aproximately 2 meters by 2 meters and about a meter and a half deep.

Edit.  I just realized you are building a 2 storey so that may not be ideal for you.  My tank was slightly uphill from the one storey house so the lowest part of the tank was at about the height of the ceiling inside the house.  I never minded the water pressure.  It was enough to make a hot water heater operate but only just.

Edited by Dave Hounddriver
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11 minutes ago, Dave Hounddriver said:

  I cannot remember how many liters it held but the dimensions were aproximately 2 meters by 2 meters and about a meter and a half deep.

2 x 2 x 1.5 x 1000 = 6000ltr

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41 minutes ago, Moon Dog said:

Has anyone dealt with this issue? 

I dealt with small water supply aboard a yacht for many years... My wife and I used about 5 gallons per day - almost all for dish washing, cooking and drinking. And we were super careful about water use.

This will all depend on your usage... How many people? How many daily showers? 1,000 liters sounds like a lot, but is really only about 250 gallons... Forget about washing machine or long showers.

Aboard the yacht, showers were brief using a solar shower rinse following the cleaning part in the ocean. Laundry was done by hand using a bucket. Toilet was ocean water flushed.

And a question: are you certain about there always being enough water available from the system, even at night?

If it were me, I would strongly consider drilling a well and using that water, at least, for toilets and maybe laundry. Use the tap water for drinking and cooking?

Water is the future crisis, so plan accordingly. Perhaps you can also incorporate rain water catchment for  toilet and washing? It sounds like, one way or another, you will be relying on at least one pump. Consider buying marine water pumps that regulate the flow and minimize pump activation... Make sure to have some sort of backup - like a tank on the roof - so you have water when the power goes out too...

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17 hours ago, BrettGC said:

2 x 2 x 1.5 x 1000 = 6000ltr

Thank you.  That would be correct if the outside measurements were the same as the inside measurments but the walls were about 9 inches thick or so with all the mortar.  Still good enough for our purposes though

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On 8/2/2020 at 9:47 PM, Moon Dog said:

 

On 8/2/2020 at 10:39 PM, Tommy T. said:

 

Thanks everyone for the excellent responses. After talking it over with my wife I think I will go with a drilled well. She  told me that when they draw water from the municipal water line sediment settles to the bottom of the container and on rare occasions there may be a small fish spilling out of the pipe. I'm told the water comes from a nearby waterfall basin.

Focusing on a drilled well has opened a new can of worms. I spoke with a Biliran well driller yesterday. He estimated P200K to drill a 21 meter well, install a jet pump and connect electric and piping. A pressure tank was not included which had me scratching my head. Without a pressure tank the pump would start every time you opened a valve, like in a RV. I want a pressure tank to reduce the start cycles of the pump but he didn't think that was important. He also estimated a 120 liter bladder tank would cost P50K. Back in 2014 I bought a smaller bladder tank in Naval that was not expensive and you can buy them all day long on Lazada for P7k - P10K.

I really wanted a submersible pump. Jet pumps are pretty much obsolete in the US but the preferred pump in the Philippines? Including rental properties I now have a total of 4 submersible pumps that have been pumping water for 25 years or longer with no failures except for the occasional pressure switch. The guy said he would have to order a submersible pump from China and it would be very costly and take 3 months to arrive but I see plenty of 1 hp submersible pumps on Lazada for P10K - P15K, ready to ship, with free delivery. Welcome to the Philippines. I'm looking for another well driller.

 

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44 minutes ago, Moon Dog said:

He estimated P200K to drill a 21 meter well, install a jet pump and connect electric and piping.

That seems really high for a not very deep well. I believe I'd shop around.  Submersible pumps are available in Luzon.

I talked to a well driller about a year ago near where I used to live in Quezon Province. They went down about 40 meters to get good water flow. The cost for the completed well including cement sealing the pipe but not including pump was about 100,000. They installed a submersible pump later but I didn't get back to ask them about the price. Yes, you need a pressure tank.

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4 hours ago, Moon Dog said:

After talking it over with my wife I think I will go with a drilled well.

Perhaps talking it over with people who have done that on Biliran would be more helpful.  Just a personal opinion from seeing it done and the complications thereof.  If it was easy and/or worth it then everyone would be doing it.  For some reason the water from most wells there is not potable.  

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You should have a pressure tank and my advise would be to pay extra and get a bladder tank which will offer more supply in a much smaller size.:tiphat:

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