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Old Cistern and Water Usage

My house in Indiana was built in about 1900 and has a cistern full of water in the backyard. It's accessible by a manhole cover and, as far as we can tell, hasn't been used in many years. We have two issues:

1. It's dangerous, as we have a toddler and the cover is not secure.

2. We'd like to use the water instead of just letting it sit there, but aren't sure how best to use it. We'd love to get some suggestions.

Thanks so much!

Re: Old Cistern and Water Usage

call a company that installs septic systems. They shouls be able to help with the lid problem. Use the water to water the lawn wash the car, make mud for the little one.A small sump pump should work fine for this. Is it a cistern or an old hand dug well? The hand dug well at our house (circa 1860) has a large, 300lb orso, flat stone on top.....the top is poured concrete. this setup seems to work, the woman that we bought the house from had 7 kids and none drowned

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