Rain by Any Other Name

This morning there is light rain falling, a sky full of gray, and the prominent fragrance of wet, washed sage.  With 90% chance of rain in the forecast, ‘Desert Rain’ is aptly living up to the name.

The cistern ready and waiting for the concrete to arrive.


The anticipated concrete pour for the lid of the 35,000 gallon cistern has been bumped due to the weather forecast.  One must appreciate the irony that rain, is holding up the progress of the building of the cistern that will be most dependent on rain when it is completed.  The cistern will store the rainwater and snowmelt that will be collected through a system of gutters, screens, and filtration systems.  The water will be collected for domestic use, including drinking water. Water stored in the cistern will not be used for irrigation.

Supporting structure inside the cistern

Last week, Keith and his concrete crew were continuing to build the form, secure re-bar, and frame the support structure for the cistern lid. The concrete lid serves a dual purpose as the slab floor of the parking garage that will be built on top of the cistern.  The estimated 90,000 pounds of concrete in the 9” thick slab will not contain a mixture of fly ash.  The concrete formula for the foundations of the other structures at Desert Rain contains 40% fly ash.  Fly ash is a bi-product of the coal industry that would normally be waste.  According to Jim Fagan, the General Contractor for Desert Rain, concrete that contains fly ash is ‘compressively stronger’  but slightly more brittle than regular concrete. This caused some concern about potential cracking in the heavily engineered cistern.

Support posts placed to hold the 90,000 pound concrete lid as it cures.

The pump truck is now scheduled to arrive on site this Wednesday at 7:30am.

Re-bar placed and tied

Wednesday’s forecast: 60 degrees, partly sunny, slight westerly winds – a good day to pour; concrete that is, not rain.



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