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Cement Cistern Workshop

[Jul 22-23]

Learn how to design and build a cement water tank from start to finish.

Date: July 22nd and 23rd Time: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Location: Sustainable Technology House – Mendocino College Ukiah Campus, 1000 Hensley Creek Road, Ukiah

Please join us for this 2-day workshop to finish the ferrous cement water tank at the Sustainable Technology (SST) House and learn to harvest, design for, and use rainwater. Set yourself up for success and prepare for next winter’s rains, a single storm can fill your tank.

This weekend-long workshop will engage participants in learning how to design and install a rainwater catchment system. Come ready to get dirty with hands-on training as you help build a 900-gallon cistern to be connected to the existing rainwater catchment system at the Mendocino College Sustainable Technology House.

Led by experienced tank builders Anna Birkas and Peter Field, the course will take you through the steps of connecting a cistern to an existing catchment system, designing and installing the plumbing to catch the roof water, and applying ferrous cement to the inside of the cistern that is currently under construction.

As part of the Mendocino Jumpstart Integrated Water Plan at Mendocino College, these classes offer opportunities to learn advanced skills in the growing field of water conservation, and provide support to further develop water resources curricula at the College.

The Sustainable Technology (SST) Program at Mendocino College, directed by Jen Riddell, provides hands on training in construction, plumbing and electrical, with a special view towards the sustainable link to the community, economy, and environment. The rainwater tank and catchment system will be connected to the SST House and will provide water to flush the toilet.

Water conservation enthusiasts, builders, landscapers, farmers, facilities managers or homeowners can follow the Jumpstart Project at the Mendocino County RCD webpage ( for updates and future class offerings. Future workshops will include subjects such as xeric landscaping, plumbing (including legal greywater systems), stormwater infiltration, and irrigation efficiency.

If you are interested in gaining advanced skills in plumbing and water systems, consider taking the plumbing class this spring and learn the details around building legal greywater and rainwater catchment systems.

Pre-registration is required. 707.462.3664 ext. 104

Funding for the workshops comes from the California Department of Water Resources - Proposition 84. For more information visit the Mendocino County Resource Conservation District drought website at

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