Using a spring, uphill, at a distance

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Using a spring, uphill, at a distance

Post by derajer » Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:02 am

My BOL has a natural spring, but it is probably 800 meters away from the house and pretty far downhill. I haven't measured its output, but it's not particularly fast. What are my options for making of use of this spring? I have read about hydraulic rams, but I wondered if anyone else had any ideas.

Measuring the GPM output is simple enough, but how would you measure PSI? Is there an equation for getting PSI from GPM? I doubt there is enough pressure to push the water all the way uphill.
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Re: Using a spring, uphill, at a distance

Post by Blast » Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:23 am

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Re: Using a spring, uphill, at a distance

Post by Istvan56 » Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:29 am

Another option is a wind powered pump up to a water tank or cistern that gravity feeds into your BIL. There is a link over on our wiki page on wind power for a source. :wink:

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Re: Using a spring, uphill, at a distance

Post by derajer » Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:36 am

Wind is a bad option, this is in a valley with lots of trees in a part of my state that is not know for its wind.

Solar is an option, but I hate to use electricity if there are other options.
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Re: Using a spring, uphill, at a distance

Post by Broken1 » Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:51 am

If you are thinking pressure like stopping up the spring and putting a hose on it, I doubt anything good would come of that. It's coming out there because it is the path of least resistance. Increase the resistance and it will just find a new path. That doesn't mean that you don't have a ton of options available to you but we need more information. First and foremost is the spring on your property? How much higher is the house than the stream? Has this been surveyed or is it your gut feeling? What is the GPM? Once it has left the spring where does it go? If it makes a stream how much does the water drop from beginning to end while it is on your property?

Pics and diagrams would be nice. :)
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Re: Using a spring, uphill, at a distance

Post by derajer » Tue Apr 14, 2009 12:47 pm

I have only just started thinking about this and I won't be at my BOL again for another two weeks so I do not know how many GPM it is outputting. The spring is already coming out of a pipe and pouring into an open cattle trough. The overflow just runs into the creek down the hill. I have not surveyed the distance, but my range finder puts it at about 800 meters. I have no idea what the height is from the spring to the house, maybe 100ft. The spring is on "my" property.
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Re: Using a spring, uphill, at a distance

Post by LowKey » Tue Apr 14, 2009 1:03 pm

With the little information you can provide right now, I'd say your two best possible options are the hydraulic ram (which will only pump about 10% of the available flow), or a slow solar well pump.
In either case, you will need a water tank...neither one will supply water on demand sufficient to your needs.

Rough idea, put a water tank large enough to hold water for 1 weeks needs above your home's elevation. Pump the water there for storage. This will allow you to supply the house with gravity flow "pressurized" water. You might want to look into sand type pool filters while your at it to pre-filter the houses water supply.
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Re: Using a spring, uphill, at a distance

Post by phreeloader » Tue Apr 14, 2009 2:56 pm

LowKey wrote: In either case, you will need a water tank...neither one will supply water on demand sufficient to your needs.

what he said


but another couple of options you may want to explore for getting the water to your tank is "Spiral tube waterwheels" if you have high enough flow

or for savonius wind turbines .... you can slap one togeather pretty quick from a 55 gallon drum and other scrap pretty cheap, that way you could at least give it a shot with a minimal investment

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Re: Using a spring, uphill, at a distance

Post by derajer » Tue Apr 14, 2009 3:29 pm

I am unable to provide many measurements at this time, but I do know that the pipe that is tapping the spring is a 1/2" copper pipe that isn't exactly supplying a high-pressure spray. Any good formulas for calculating maximum/minimum flows provided from a given diameter pipe?
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Re: Using a spring, uphill, at a distance

Post by LowKey » Tue Apr 14, 2009 4:21 pm

If it's not pushing the water out with a lot of pressure, you limitation isn't the pipe...it's the flow rate of the spring.

Get a 1 gallon container. Start filling it from the pipe and time it. Then do the math to get GPM

It's starting to sound more like the slow solar pump would be your best option.
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Re: Using a spring, uphill, at a distance

Post by Broken1 » Wed Apr 15, 2009 7:10 am

LowKey wrote:If it's not pushing the water out with a lot of pressure, you limitation isn't the pipe...it's the flow rate of the spring.

Get a 1 gallon container. Start filling it from the pipe and time it. Then do the math to get GPM

It's starting to sound more like the slow solar pump would be your best option.
+1 if all our your flow is coming out a 1/2" pipe, unless it is jetting like 10 feet out of it, your water powered water pumping options are nil. I'm only barely familiar with the hydraulic ram concept, but by my understanding it would need more volume and pressure than what you have to work with. If one were built to operate in this scenario, the water pumped might take a week to recover from taking a shower...
LowKey wrote:Rough idea, put a water tank large enough to hold water for 1 weeks needs above your home's elevation. Pump the water there for storage. This will allow you to supply the house with gravity flow "pressurized" water. You might want to look into sand type pool filters while your at it to pre-filter the houses water supply.
+1 Regardless of how you get water up there, a cistern or some variant is going to be key.

ETA: since gravity makes the spring water flow down hill is it possible that there actually is water above your house and you just haven't discovered it or gotten to it yet? It may very well be buried deep, but it may not be. Might be worth exploring...
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Re: Using a spring, uphill, at a distance

Post by thelight » Wed Apr 15, 2009 11:02 am

I think you'll need a collector at your spring source, like a pond. Once the pond is at a certain height, you can use a ram pump to push the water into a cistern above your house. Rams need a certain amount of flow and I don't think you'll get it from what you're describing.

+1 to checking for the source and/or drilling. If you drill, you can always use a mechanical backup pump (to a solar pump perhaps?) to fill your cistern.
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Re: Using a spring, uphill, at a distance

Post by Shadowsbane » Wed Apr 15, 2009 4:45 pm

Are you even sure it isn't a seasonal spring?
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Re: Using a spring, uphill, at a distance

Post by derajer » Thu Apr 16, 2009 11:21 am

The farm, and thus the spring, has been in my family for 10+ years and it has never stopped flowing.
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Re: Using a spring, uphill, at a distance

Post by LowKey » Thu Apr 16, 2009 11:34 am

Derajer,
If you can post the flow rate you are getting now we will have a better idea of how to make this workable for you.
The fact that someone in the past went to the effort of improving the spring tells me this is usable....but until I know how much it's producing I can't give you much solid advice.(hint :D )
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Re: Using a spring, uphill, at a distance

Post by derajer » Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:34 pm

I completely understand, but as I said I won't be back at the BOL until Apr 25 for my bi-weekly BOL visit. I will measure the GPM output at that time, anything else I should measure?
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Re: Using a spring, uphill, at a distance

Post by Broken1 » Sat Apr 18, 2009 8:03 am

derajer wrote:I will measure the GPM output at that time, anything else I should measure?
Actually, yes. i have an odd request. I have been thinking about your situation quite a bit. If you take two or three lengths of garden hose and an adapter to go from 1/2" pipe to garden hose thread. I think if you route the spring into the hose and then keep raising the end of the hose you'll have a sort of level. See here: http://factsfacts.com/MyHomeRepair/WaterLevel.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

When the end of the hose stops having water coming out then you've reached the height of the source, or a branch up stream from your outlet. I'm not sure how a water body with a source will differ from a static water body. I suspect it will perform better. The theory is that a body of water seeks a level surface even through a conduit. If you can get the end of the hose above or even close to level with the house you're golden. You'll either know the height of the source, or that you can get it to the house which is your real goal. Don't worry about flow volume. Even a trickle means the source is above your current height. Preferably you'd want to see the level drop into the hose when you lift it above a certain point and then rise back to the mouth as you lower it. That will tell you whether drilling is even worth looking into. It will also open up some other options depending on the results.
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Re: Using a spring, uphill, at a distance

Post by LowKey » Sat Apr 18, 2009 1:20 pm

derajer wrote:I completely understand, but as I said I won't be back at the BOL until Apr 25 for my bi-weekly BOL visit. I will measure the GPM output at that time, anything else I should measure?
Measure the difference in elevation between the spring and the top floor of your home.
Also, please tell me what type of terrain your house is on.
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