In the drought-prone Los Angeles area, owning a water storage tank ensures you’ll have water available whenever you need it. If you’ve never stored water, you might be wondering “Exactly how does a water storage tank work, anyway?” Knowing the answer will help you choose the right tank for your needs.
Water Tank Basics
A water storage tank is a container for holding water to be used later for drinking, sanitation, irrigation or fire protection. Typically made of polyethylene plastic or steel, water tanks range in size from 20 gallons to more than 10,000 gallons. Most often, these are round tanks meant to be placed in an open area outdoors above ground, but you can also find underground tanks and tanks in specialty shapes designed to fit between walls, under decks or in other tight spaces.
How Water Tanks Work
How your tank will do its job depends on how you plan to collect and use the water you’ll store. To install the tank, you’ll need to pour a reinforced concrete slab at least 3 inches thick and with a diameter 24 inches larger than the tank. The tank will sit on this slab. If you plan to use your tank for rainwater collection, the tank will need an overflow tube and fill tubes on the roof. Because collected rainwater can contain bird droppings and other contaminants, you’ll need to filter the water before drinking it.
You can also fill your tank from your well or the municipal water supply. For this, you’ll need a pump and a specially made drinking water hose. If the water is untreated, you may want to treat it with chlorine. A water hauling service is another way to have your tank filled. A water delivery truck will come to your home and fill your tank for you. In this case, you’ll still need a pump to draw water from the tank.
If you find yourself asking “How does a water storage tank work for my situation?” a professional plumber can fill you in on the details.