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1 Feb 2015
What is a well cistern? This is a question asked by buyers when they move to Sequim, Washington. A well cistern is a large storage tank for a private well, usually 1,000 gallons. Of course, if the home you are buying is on a public water system or a community well system, you will not have a well cistern. But if you have a private well serving your home in a rural area like Sequim or Port Angeles, you may need a well cistern. A well cistern is simply a water storage tank, and many are concrete.
Why would you need a well cistern? You need a way to store water if your private well does not produce enough water flow. A well that produces 8 or 12 gallons per minute produces more than a family of 5 will use, and some wells in the Sequim area produce 18 to 30 gallons per minute. But if your well only produces 1 to 3 gallons per minute, you will probably need a well cistern. With a 1,000 gallon water tank you will have plenty of water for a family, because before you could use the full 1,000 gallons, it will be filling up while you use it. The pump in your well will pump water into the cistern while you use the water from the cistern.
I would guess that less than 2% of all private wells in the Sequim area have a well cistern, so they are not common, but if you find the ideal home in a great location, it is possible that the well does not produce enough water, and the home will require a well cistern. How do people who have well cisterns feel about them? They seem to have no serious issues with them. But some buyers have said they prefer a well that produces more water than they need without a well cistern. The Sequim water tables are not dropping, and have not for decades, but it is possible that a low producing well could produce less in the future. It hasn’t happened, and it hasn’t been a concern. But now you can answer the question, “What is a well cistern?
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