I thought I’d add a few things we’re continuing to learn about the cistern project:

– The concrete guys should have used a vibrating device that is commonly used when pouring concrete walls for our cistern when it was poured. They tried going around with a hammer tapping the walls to help the concrete settle, but in some places it didn’t work; and with “misses” when using the sealer, there are leaks. And so I’m having to pump water back and forth between the two sides of the cistern to empty one side at a time so as to patch it. Sadly, as indicated in our Storing Rain Update post, we have more water than will be held by just one side. We’re hoping to offload some of it to people here in the community who need it, and the rest we’ll attempt to get to our pond.

– Even with the “kickers” in place, cross braces, and the forms nailed together, the weight of the concrete still was pushing outward to the point of even breaking the form studs across the long way (I believe they were 2x6s, and they were breaking across the 6″ (5 1/2″) side). For information to the people pouring the concrete, there needs to be extra bracing across the entire siding of the structure and especially at the joints.

– I should have painted the inside of the plywood used for the siding of the cistern’s cover with mold-resistant paint before putting it up because, unlike the treated wood used for the framing of the structure (at least so far from what I can tell), mold was indeed growing on it. I tried spraying it with bleach water, but that wasn’t enough; and so I went back with pure bleach, and that seemed to do the trick. After, I had to get into the cistern to do the painting, which required I bring in a folding chair to stand on while painting. While it’s probably not ideal that I have to swim around in our water, I did get to cool off, and it did allow me to kill a black widow that had made its home in there. 🙂

— David