Water Storage – We all have heard over the news that South Africa is in a drought. Upon hearing this sad news, we start to wonder what will become if we don’t have access to water anymore? Is there a way that we can prevent from using all the water up? Can we help the economy in any way possible?

The answer is yes, we can help. We can do this by storing water and making less use of the main water systems. In this article, we will be discussing what is water storage, how we can store water and why is it so important.

What is the term “water storage”?

Water storage is a common term referring to the storage of both potable water for consumption, and non-potable water that is used in the agriculture division. In the agricultural division, the water is stored for later use in natural water sources, like groundwater aquifers, soil water, natural wetlands, and small artificial ponds, tanks, and reservoirs behind major dams.

When you store water, it, unfortunately, invites a lot of potential issues, regardless of the water’s intended purpose. These issues include contamination through organic and inorganic means.

How can ponds and tanks help us with water storage?

Detention basins and water tanks can be defined as community-built and household water stores. These are filled by rainwater, groundwater infiltration or surface runoff. The tanks and ponds are usually opened, therefore it is exposed to high levels of evaporation.

These systems of water storage can be a great help to the farmers in helping them overcome the dry seasons. However, these systems can also promote vector-borne diseases such as malaria or schistosomiasis (a disease that is also known as snail fever or bilharzia.)

What are the common factors in contamination in water storage?

Roofing materials

In certain parts of the world, uncoated lead flashings are being used as roofing material. Researchers found that on-site water storage at these places of rainwater had more acidic in it, and contained elevated levels of heavy metals.

Hand washing

When water is stored in tanks for consumption, the use of hand-washing can become a factor if the tank lacks a proper faucet system. There is also a lack of education on the risks that are exposed when using hands to consume the water.

What are the common risks with water storage?

  • Fluorosis
  • Arsenic Poisoning
  • Bacteria and other organic contaminants

How can I decontaminate water that is stored?

In the event that your water which you have stored became contaminated, you don’t need to worry that you will need to replace the tank. Here are a few steps you should take to ensure your tank is back to storing conditions. It is recommended that your tanks that are in continuous use should be cleaned every five years. When it is used seasonally, then it should be cleaned annually.

Step 1: Clean

Drain the tank of any remaining fluid. Make sure to capture any hazardous fluid so that you could properly dispose of it. Then scrub the inside of your tank with detergent and hot water mixture.

Step 2: Disinfect

Fill the tank to a quarter full with clean water. Sprinkle 80grams of granular high strength calcium hypochlorite (HSCH) into the tank for every 1000 liters total capacity of the tank. Fill the tank then completely with clean water, close the lid and leave it to stand for 24 hours.

Step 3: Flush

After the chlorine solution has sat in your tank for 24 hours, flush out/empty your tank. Do not drain the tank into a septic system or adjacent surface water body! Continue to flush the water out until the wastewater is clear and you can not detect any chlorine odor.

Step 4: Test

Once your water storage tank has been thoroughly flushed the testing can begin. Test your tank and make sure it is free of any chlorine residual. Once you can not detect any chlorine residual, obtain operational & maintenance (O&M) total coliform bacteria water sample.

If the testresults are negative for bacteria, your drinking water is then considered to be safe to use and drink.

How long can I store water in a tank?

Water can be stored in a tank for months at a time. The water will still be safe  to use for various applications like:

  • Watering your garden
  • Washing your dishes
  • Taking a bath
  • Washing your laundry, etc.

However, if there is no water in your main water pipes and you need water to drink, you can use the water in your tank. You first need to boil it for over one minute (this is to ensure all the bacteria are killed). Let it cool of and then you can drink it.

Where can I find water storage tanks?

You have been convinced that storing water is the best option for your home, but where can you find affordable water storage tanks? Well, look no further!

Here at Aquadam, we have a wide variety of storage tanks for every use you can think of. If you are looking to buy a water storage tank just for domestic purposes, we recommend that you go for your Home Tank.

Why do we recommend our Home tank for water storage?

The strength of this steel tank ensures that it will not deteriorate over time under the harsh African nature elements. Additional corrosion protection of a polymer coating on the inside of the tank walls and base helps to prevent the growth of algae and bacteria. This tank can easily hold the large forces that are generated by tons of water, without even stretching or bulging.

Plastic or polyethylene water tanks are affected by ultraviolet light, thus breaking down over time and losing both its strength and color.

You can read more about water storage tanks in our blog


Here are also a few other articles on water storage: