Choosing The Right Water Storage Tank
There are many reason for storing water and, depending on where you live, some reason may overshadow others. Home owners in California may need to store water for fire protection where folks in Georgia and North Carolina who are currently struggling through he worst drought on record, are looking for ways to store water delivered by trucks. Likewise, homeowners on the central coast of California are paying premium prices for water if they can get it. It's not unusual for a home on a small 50' x 75' lot in San Luis Obispo county to generate a bimonthly water bill of $500 or more. The high cost and limits of city water has led to an increase in the purchase of water tanks to hold both rain water and trucked-in water. Many throughout the country are choosing to rain water storage systems for economic reasons as well as environmental concerns. Still, others have found that they need fresh water storage after pouring thousands of dollars into well that produces very little or no usable water.
There are many other reasons why homeowners, ranchers and others choose to purchase a water storage tank including, fire protection, emergency water storage, water treatment, water reclamation, irrigation and livestock needs. Which tank is the right choice for you? Here is a little overview of the most common types of tanks available.
Liquid storage tanks are made from a number for different materials including:
Polyethylene water storage tanks
Wood tanks have been used for hundreds, maybe thousands of years for numerous uses ranging from bathing to beer and wine fermentation to water storage and more. These tanks can last a hundred years or more if tended properly. The most important issue with wood tanks is that the stay filled and the wood swelled. Many view wood tanks to be both beautiful and practical. However the initial cost of wood tank is high. They are generally shipped in pieces and should be assembled by trained coopers.
High volume steel tanks are generally used by industry for storing a variety liquids including water. The advantages of steel tanks is their strength, durability and potential huge capacities. The tanks can either be formed into a completed unit for shipping or designed to be assembled on site. These tanks are made of various types steel and can have many types of coatings. They become most cost effective in sizes exceeding 100,000 gallon. Steel tanks typically require large equipment and trained installers and cost of installation can be high.
Fiberglass tanks have many advantages. One is their strength-to-weight ratio allowing them to be placed practically anywhere. Another is their ability to be buried with out fear of failure over time due to rust or rotting. Although fiberglass is versatile and durable, it is also relatively expensive, ranging around $1.50/per gallon plus installation costs.
Concrete tanks can be pre-made, or made on site and can last 30 to 50 years or more. Concrete tanks are strong and can be above ground or buried. Some like the look of concrete, considering them to have an old look and can lend themselves to landscaping. However, due to their weight they typically need large machinery to set them and or qualified help to build them on site. Cost can be high. A 10,500 tank built on site starts at about $9,000.00.
Polyethylene water storage tanks are the most economical tanks for water storage up to around 50,000 gallons. Plastic potable water tanks are light weight, strong durable, easy to work with and easy to install. These tanks are rotationally molded, meaning that they have no seams to leak. They re impact resistant and can literally be rolled into place. They need no special bedding or foundation and are typically set on a bed of sand or pavement. Dark green and black poly tanks are specifically made for storing water only with their dark color inhibiting algae growth. These tanks have UV inhibitors added to the tanks' polyethylene giving them a typical lifetime 15 years or more.
Remember, when planning to install any large water storage tank, be sure to inquire about your local codes, permits and other requirements.
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