Are you prepared for South Africa’s driest year on record with a water tank installed in your yard? If you’re constantly peering through the top or knocking to check the water level, you might want to consider this tip. Reader Martin Loewenstein shares his clever water level monitoring tip.
Due to water scarcity, many people are installing drinking water and rainwater tanks. The problem with these is that the only way to check how much the water tank is holding at any one time involves climbing up and lifting the lid.
I have a very simple but effective solution. Go to your local yachting shop and get a pulley with mountings. Secure the pulley to the top of the tank and drill a 2 mm hole in the top of tank. Using nylon cord, punch a hole into the lid of a plastic bottle (honey size), tie a big knot inside the lid and half-fill the bottle with water. On the outside, secure the cord to a sinker, making sure the sinker is not too heavy for the float. This way, one can tell the level of the water at a glance. As the water level recedes, the sinker rises up to the top of the tank. (A toilet cistern can also be used as the float, with some ballast inside.)
Martin Loewenstein, Durban
This tip was originally posted in the June issue of Popular Mechanics magazine.