Sunday, January 9, 2011

Water Storage Test Tank

I’m working on constructing a sub-surface water storage tank from manufactured concrete block. This is at my property in the woods outside Alfred, NY in the Allegheny foothills.

These block were produced on a Columbia 3-at-a-time machine, from a steel mold which I fabricated to produce these triangular block. There are two types of block, one creates a pentagon, the other a hexagon, as described here. This assembles into a “soccer ball” type geometry, or a truncated icosahedron.

This is being done in frozen ground in the middle of winter, so it’s a bit of a challenge. I used a fiberglass shell to help create a guiding surface (the ‘bowl’ you see in these pictures). This is not necessary, but just made this job easier.

This particular tank will be a “plunging pool” for a sauna which I’m building: to jump into and cool off when you get out of the sauna. It will be a complete sphere, with a hole in the top. Once it’s finished, there will be a "wishing-well" type structure on the top. The tank is around 3,000 gallons. It will be filled with rainwater collected from the roof and gutter system of the sauna.

There is a PVC pipe with rope inside it, which goes down to the bottom center of the sphere. The rope will be used to pull electrical wire through the pipe. There will be an underwater electric light at the bottom center of the sphere, which I’m hoping will provide a cool “fishbowl” effect as you jump in. This will be powered by solar panels.
This is a crude prototype using an early simple version of this block. Subsequent designs use the interlocking features, which I’ve termed dimp and simp, as described earlier in this blog.

I’ll continue to post updates as this project moves along.

To see the tank completed, please look here.