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Water Storage Tanks – We all know about the water problem in South Africa. But what frustrates us the most, is that when we want to wash laundry, the dishes or even flush the toilet… there is no water!! Luckily for us, there was some genius people in the past that came up with the idea of having a container that can store any liquid. That plan alone has improved our lives in so many ways. But before we come to the point of how it changed our lives for the better, let us first go back to the basics.

What are water storage tanks?

Water storage tanks are containers that are used for storing water. The water storage tanks main purpose is to provide a storage of water for many uses, like:

  • drinking water,
  • irrigation agriculture,
  • fire suppression,
  • agricultural farming (both for the plants and livestock),
  • chemical manufacturing
  • food preparation,
  • and many other uses not mentioned.
water storage tanks

Did you know that various materials are used in the making of the tanks? The materials used are:

  • Plastic (Polyethylene, Polypropylene)
  • Fiberglass
  • Concrete
  • Stone
  • Steel (welded or bolted, carbon, or stainless).

Did you know that not only can you store clean water at your own home, but countries can use water storage tanks to store an enormous amount of water? They can use these tanks to provide the community with clean water.

Where did the use of water storage tanks actually start?

Well, throughout the long history of the past, water storage tanks of different materials were used. Wood, ceramic and stone tanks were being used as water tanks. These containers were naturally occurring, and some man-made. A few of these tanks are actually still in services in today’s time.

The Indus Valley Civilization (3000 – 1500 BC) made use of granaries and water tanks. The Medieval castles needed water tanks for the defenders to withstand a siege. A wooden water tank that was found at Año Nuevo State Reserve (in California) was restored to functionality after it has been found overgrown with Ivy. The tank had been built in 1884.

water tanks
https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=23043

Do we get different types of water tanks?

There are different types of water tanks used in everyday life. These types include the following:

Chemical contact tank

This tank is of FDA and NSF polyethylene construction. It allows for retention time for chemical treatment chemicals to “contact” (chemically treat) with product water.

Groundwater tank

This tank is made of lined carbon steel. It may receive water from a water well or from surface water, thus allowing a large amount of water to be placed in its inventory and used during peak demand cycles.

Elevated water tank

This tank is also known as a water tower. It will create a pressure at the ground-level outlet of 1 kPa per 10.2cm, or 1 psi per 2.31 feet of elevation. This means that a tank that is elevated to 20 meters creates about 200 kPa. A tank that is elevated to 70 feet creates about 30 psi of discharge pressure. This tank is sufficient for most domestic and industrial requirements.

Vertical cylindrical dome top tanks

These tanks may hold from 200 liters or fifty gallons to several million gallons of water.

Horizontal cylindrical tanks

The tanks are typically used for transportation because their low-profile creates a low center of gravity helping to maintain equilibrium for the transport vehicle, trailer or truck.

Hydro-pneumatic tank

The tank is typically a horizontal pressurized storage tank. By pressurizing this reservoir of water, it creates a surge free delivery of stored water into the distribution system.

Glass-reinforced plastic (GRP)

These tanks or vessels are used to store liquids underground.

water storage tanks

Why is design so important?

The designing of a water tank is crucial. The design must be so that the tank or container should not harm the water that is stored. Did you know that water is susceptible to a number of ambient negative influences?

These influences include the following:

  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • Algae
  • Changes in pH
  • Accumulation of minerals
  • Accumulated gas

Contamination can, unfortunately, exist due to a variety of origins including piping, tank construction materials, animals and bird feces, mineral and gas intrusion. The design of the tank should be correct so that it works to address and mitigate these negative effects. And this is why the design of the tank is so important. It is also imperative that all water tanks should be cleaned annually to prevent the delivery of algae, bacteria, and viruses to people and animals.

What is the worst that can happen when your water tank is contaminated?

So, you have not been cleaning your water tank as you should have and now it is contaminated. Wondering what the worst things are that can happen? Well, if you dare drink or use the contaminated water, you can be sure to get either one of the following:

  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Diarrhea (be sure to be near a toilet when this one strikes)
  • Nausea
  • Intestinal or stomach cramping
  • Intestinal or stomach aches and pains
  • Dehydration
  • And the worst one of them all… Death.

Keep in mind that when drinking contaminated water, just because no signs or symptoms are experienced, it does not mean that there are no potential long term effects.

What are the different types of materials in which water tanks are available?

Now that we know most of what we need to about water tanks, it is time we look a little to the rainwater tanks (which are the most common tanks used for domestic applications. Rainwater tanks are commonly available in five different materials. These materials include the following:

  • Plastic
  • Sheet steel (Aquaplate Colorbond or galvanized)
  • Stainless steel
  • Concrete
  • Fiberglass
rainwater systems

And now the big question, How can a water tank improve my everyday life?

Well, for starters, if you install a rainwater harvesting tank at your home, you will not only save on your water usage from local municipalities, but also on your water bill. And let’s be honest, when we have the opportunity to save money, would we not take it?

Rainwater harvested into your tank can be used for your daily house chores, like washing the laundry and doing the dishes. You can be sure that when the municipality water is cut off due to pipe leaks etc., you will still have water so the guests can flush the toilet. You can be saved from that embarrassing moment.