Rivera Family Ranch

Level 3 – Spring Water Collection System Design & Implementation

Level 3 – Spring Water Collection System Design & Implementation

Location: Huasna Valley, CA

Project Scope: 7th Generation Design was invited by the Rivera family to perform as assessment of an exposed sand seam seep to determine the feasibility of collecting the water to use for potable and non-potable use cases. After delivering our report along with a best-case plan for tapping the seep, we were invited back to install the collection system.

The Spring Site: The spring is located high above the main points of use, and provides ample opportunity for providing cold, clean water to multiple residence sites on the property. The dominant feature of the spring site is an exposed layer of compacted sand that seeps water along its entire exposed length of ~45′. Prior to our arrival an excavator had been brought in and a deep track cut into the seep, which bifurcated the flow from the sand seam into two separate avenues. The spring is surrounded by mature oak woodland, giant sycamores and willows, and had a range of water-loving vegetation growing around the hydrated edges and in the deep, anaerobic muddy sections. The seep area itself has suffered significant amounts of wash out of the water-bearing sand layer, due to multiple digging efforts over the years in an attempt to identify point sources of water.

Collection site before installation began.

Work Performed

  • Spring / Seep Assessment
    • Identification of the water bearing layer
    • Flow-rate tests (measured ~ 2,700 gallons per day at the end of summer)
    • Measurements of active water-emitting area
    • Identification of collection point
  • Spring Collection System Design
    • Literature research
    • Custom-designed filter package and collection wall system.
    • Detailed labor and materials estimates, step-by-step installation workflow.
  • Installation – 3.5 day process consisting of…
    • Materials acquisition and preparation (pre-washing various sizes of filter package stone, cutting and bonding the collection wall, assembling collection piping).
    • Excavation of the collection site.
    • Installation of the collection wall, collection piping, filter package, and spring box.
    • Grading of pad for storage tank.
    • Excavation of a curtain drain above the spring site to direct surface flow around the fragile collection area.
    • Restoration of original landform as best possible.
FOREGROUND: Spring box from Carolina Water Tanks and diversion valves. BACKGROUND: Collection wall, collection piping and filter package.

The installation was challenging given the fragility of the native sand seam material and the ease with which it could wash out. Work was slow and heavy due to the very deep mud (thigh deep in places). However, the flow did stabilize and even increase slightly following installation of the collection wall and filter package. The final system was measured to be collecting ~ 2,300 gallons per day of cold, clear water that will be stored in a 2,500 gallon tank located ~200 feet away from the seep.

Collection Piping & Filter Package Illustrations

‘Tapping A Seep’ – Collection System Installation Video

Installation Gallery