How to connect a ground spring into a water tank

Written by paul young
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How to connect a ground spring into a water tank
Natural ground springs can develop into water sources. (water spring image by Seneka from

Groundwater springs are areas where groundwater emerges from openings in rock. You can tap into these springs and use them as a viable water source for a household or farm if you development them properly. The key components of developing a groundwater spring are building a rock reservoir to capture the water as it comes out of the ground and connecting the water to a water tank, also known as a spring box.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Gravel
  • Concrete or plastic for collecting wall
  • PVC pipe, 4-inch
  • 2 perforated 4-inch PVC collector tile, 4-to-6-foot pieces
  • Shovel
  • Four-inch PVC Y
  • Mortar
  • PVC Glue

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  1. 1

    Dig test holes with a shovel uphill from where the spring is surfacing to discover a point where the water is approximately 3 feet underground. This will be the location for the four-inch PVC collection tile.

  2. 2

    Dig a 2-foot wide trench at the water point determined by the test holes. Dig the trenches 6 inches below the water level and extended 4 to 6 feet past the area where the water is surfacing. Dig the trench in a Y formation.

  3. 3

    Cover the bottom of the trench with a layer of gravel with shovel for tile placement.

  4. 4

    Place two sections of 4-inch perforated collection tile into gravelled trench along with the 4-inch PVC Y. Place the PVC Y in the centre of trench.

  5. 5

    Attach collector tiles on each side of the Y using PVC glue.

  6. 6

    Build a cut-off wall of concrete or plastic 4 inches thick and 4 feet high right below the spring. The wall should be constructed with a 4-inch hole to accommodate the collection tile and the PVC pipe to carry the water into the water tank.

  7. 7

    Attach a PVC pipe that will feed the water tank to the Y through the opening in the wall using PVC glue. The PVC pipe should be buried to a depth suitable for the winter season of the region and should be sloped down at an angle toward the water tank to provide gravity feed.

  8. 8

    Cover the collection tile with gravel using shovel and place building paper on gravel and top off with soil.

  9. 9

    Attach the lower end of the PVC pipe feeding into the water tank, using mortar to seal the pipe into the concrete water tank.

Tips and warnings

  • Instead of using a shovel, a Bobcat, backhoe or ditch witch can save hard labour. A ditch above the spring can divert undesirable run-off from reaching the spring.
  • Fence around the spring to avoid contamination from people and animals. Avoid heavy traffic over the upper part of the spring to prevent compacting that could hinder water flow.

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