Rain Water Cistern of 100.000L

tinos ecolodge cistern start to finish

The cistern is the central part of our fresh water management, it stores the winter rainfall that is collected trough out all hard surfaces like roofs, verandas and stairs that we created through out the building process. This area ads up to 281 sq m with an average 380 mm of annual perception (rainfall) the water that will be collected is around 100.000 L (100m3). This amount of water can provide all needs of the Ecolodge trough out the 4 dry Summer months.

In August the excavation started(pic.1) and we extracted about 30% of the stones we used for our buildings. After leveling the ground the wood shuttering for the concrete was put up(pic.2). Concrete was poured in September and the Greek magicians managed to make floor and walling in one run(pic.3-4). Iron reinforcement was put in place for the roof that also is making up the veranda of the one house(pic.4-6). Cleaning out all the mud, irons and water in the dark was a hell of a job. Finalizing the veranda (roof) surface with the power trowel and color worked out fine(pic.7-9). Finalizing the inner part of the cistern took us quite some time because all loose parts like wood, mud and nails had to be removed before the water impregnation could start. We used a cement based sealing slurry for drinking water quality, in 3 passes(pic.10-11).

At the moment water level is continuously raising with 50cm in 22.Feb.20


  • Сialis ,

    I love it when people come together and share views. Great site,
    continue the good work!

    • Francois ,

      This is very impressive that you could design such a water collection system using roofs stairs, verrandas.
      Do you use the cistern as your sole water source? I am quite interested in the system but I read a lot that cistern water might be a bit contaminated because it’s in contact with all kind of substances before going down to the cistern.
      If you use if for drinking, can you explain how you proceed?
      I’m sure it will help a lot of people.
      Keep up the good job!

      • Tinos Eco Lodge ,

        Hi Francois,
        we are using the rainwater according to greek law only for irrigation and non potable use, like toilet flushing. You are right that there are possible sources of contamination like bird feaces or animals like lizards, bugs etc. that could get trapped in the piping network. A first flush converter helps with this issues, meaning that you divert the first incoming water to the ground and after a certain amount of water, now more or less clean from debris you start filling the cistern. If you search for first flush diverters you will find more info on the web.
        Chlorination in form of dissolving tablets is another way to maintain a low amount of water organism in the cistern. Water filtering at the point of use with a combination of particle, active carbon and ceramic filters, is another possibility to improve water quality. Generally you have to look into bacterial and viral load for possible contamination that could cause water borne diseases. The other aspect is what kind of industry is around you that could cause pollution of rainwater with for example heavy metals. Generally it is good to get a lab analysis of you’re water in order to address possible issues with the right filtration method.
        But keep in mind that you have to see what the regulations in you’re country are for rainwater usage and quality.
        best regards

        • Francois ,

          Hi Nico,
          Yes I have heard and read about flush diverters which is a brilliant and cheap idea.
          If you conform to the greek law does that mean that you cannot use the cistern water to drink, cook, wash dishes and take shower? Does that mean that you got connected to the nearby villages water network?
          Obviously the Rainwater in Tinos must be pretty clean so I assumed that given the lack of pollution and the design of your cistern you could get drinking quality water.
          I think writing an article about it in winter when you get a bit less busy would be a brilliant idea :)
          Again, thanks a lot for sharing all that information and inspiring people.

          • Tinos Eco Lodge ,

            Hi Francois,
            yes we are also connected to the water network, because we can not take the responsibility of not complying to the Greek directives of drinking water quality. We are addressing some of this issues with in the Horizon 2020 research project Hydrousa (wwww.hydrousa.org).
            I will try to write a more extended article on rain water catchment and water quality at some point (winter is a good idea ;-)).
            Thanks for the kind words and youre intrest, good feedback keeps us also motivated!

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