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A water storage tank does exactly what it says on the tin – it is a tank that stores water. There is a whole range of different shapes, sizes, and uses, that can be used in a range of different ways. From water butts to rainwater harvesting systems, to baffled water tanks, to above ground tanks and below ground tanks, in an array of different sizes, it is important to find the right one that suits your needs.
What does a water tank do?
Water tanks can be used for storing water for many different uses. These uses can range from emergency fire suppression, irrigation, to providing drinking water and taps for washing. They provide a system whereby water can be captured from a source (such as the rain, a well, or mains water), stored, and therefore supplied on demand – in a similar way to a reservoir.
Without a water tank, the water supply could fluctuate according to demand.
Another purpose of the water tank is to ensure that water pressure is kept up. The water tank will usually force the water out (usually using air pressure, a pump, or gravity) making sure that it flows properly through the system and for its use.
What size water tanks are available?
Water tanks of a range of sizes are available, depending on what you are using them for. Some smaller water tanks can be used for personal, domestic use – measuring upwards of about 140 litres. Larger water tanks can hold massive amounts of water – commonly up to about 30,000 litres of water, but sometimes more.
Choosing the right size storage tank depends on how much water you will be needing and when.
How do you install a water storage tank?
The principles of installing a water storage tank are very simple – you connect it to the source of the water, and then to the destination of the water. However, the intricacies related to their installation, depend on the kind of tank that is being installed, where the water is coming from, and what it is being used for.
In general terms, to install a water storage tank, you should:
- Prepare a base or foundation – the tank needs to be laid on a solid, flat, and relatively smooth base – whether it is an overground or below ground tank. Of course, if you are looking to install a below ground tank, you will need to excavate a hole that is larger than the size of the tank.
- Install an overflow pipe – this allows any excess water to flow out of the tank if need be. Some tanks have this already installed, or others may need to have one fitted.
- Connect to the water source – depending on the type of tank that is being installed, this can be more, or less complicated.
- Install filters - you will need to consider how the water will get into the tank in terms of pumps and pressure, as well as any filters required. If you are rainwater harvesting for irrigation, for example, a simple filter to remove debris is needed, but if you are installing a tank for drinking water, you will need a more complex filter system.
- Pressure – depending on the tank that is being installed and its mechanisms, you should also think about the pressure in the tank and how the water will leave it at the right pressure. You might only want to rely on gravity, consider an air pressure system, or pumps, for example.
- Connect to the output pipes – depending on where you are sending the water to, you should then connect the water storage tank to the output.
Although the process is a relatively simple one, it is important that you get it right. If you have any doubts, contact a plumber or installer who can help you.
Above ground and underground water tanks
Below and above ground tanks both do the same job, but they are positioned differently. They each have their pros and cons and choosing between the two depends on your unique circumstances:
Above ground tanks – Are stored above the ground, are cheap and easy to install and maintain – as well as spot if there is a problem. However, they take up space that you might wish to use for something else and are more susceptible to extreme weather, vandalism, and other damage.
Below ground tanks – Are stored under the ground, are well protected from cold or hot weather, vandalism, and other damage. They are also better protected from fluctuations in temperature, however, they are a lot trickier to install and maintain – especially as there are no ways to visually spot any damage.