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As long as the same size is chosen, multiple plastic tanks can be used to increase storage capacity by placing the tanks side by side.
Check out Norwesco , a storage tank manufacturer to see what sizes and dimensions are available. Oakville Pump Service stocks and installs these storage tanks, please contact us for pricing on tanks and installation.
Cement tanks are also a good option but must be installed by a qualified contractor to ensure they do not develop cracks or have other failures.
Cement tanks are commonly available in 5, and 10, gallon configurations and, while fire resistant, cost significantly more than their plastic cousins. Steel tanks are yet another option and are often chosen for their aesthetic value when the only location for the storage tank is in highly visible location. They can be customized as to height and diameter.
Custom linings or coatings can be applied to minimize corrosion-the biggest drawback that metal tanks face. Some of the dimensions offered by the different suppliers in the market are:. Polyethylene cold water storage tanks are good options to consider as they can hold bulk quantities of water going to up to 50, gallons. Their popularity comes from their durability, lightweight features and easy installation they can be installed on a bed of sand or a pavement.
Manufactured by glass-reinforced plastic technology, polyethylene tanks come in many shapes as well. The two-part polyethylene tanks are reservoirs that provide the best water storage solutions to farms and businesses. Access to these tanks is restricted to a standard doorway and they can be quickly and easily assembled. The two-part polyethylene water storage tanks are available in various sizes and it could range from liters to liters depending on the model. The external dimension of some of the units is as follows:.
The polyethylene sectional water tanks are containers that are manufactured from glass reinforced plastic panels. Once these requirements have been evaluated and prioritised, you then select the best size, shape and material for your application. Weigh up which aspects of the tank are the highest priority and make the choice based on that.
Regardless of where you locate your tank, a sound foundation is required for above-ground tanks. A common method of site preparation is to fit a border into the soil slightly larger than the tank, level it and finish it off with sand. This makes for a self-levelling base for the tank, distributing the load quite evenly, but it may not be adequate if the underlying soil has variable density or any voids.
Sand can also be washed away over time and compromise stability; for example, if tank inlet screens are not kept clean, overflow from the inlet can wash sand away from the base. Unstable ground can result in a tank tilting over time, especially with taller, narrower tanks. Unless your soil is very stable, tall, narrow tanks need something more solid and stable, such as a concrete slab, or fastening to another structure.
The five most common rainwater tank materials are plastic, sheet steel Aquaplate Colorbond or galvanised , stainless steel, concrete and fibreglass. If you highly value aesthetics, then your choice of tank will depend on your personal preference and how the tank should integrate into the site.
If it needs to blend in, then a Colorbond or poly tank may well be your first choice as they come in a huge range of colours and styles. If you wish to make a statement, stainless steel tanks look quite stylish, especially if the home is also clad in a similar material.
The material used in the tank will determine both how suitable it is for a particular site and how easy the tank is to repair. Coastal zones are the most destructive to all structures and a rainwater tank in these areas needs to be resistant to saltwater spray. All tank materials are suitable for coastal zones, provided the tank is installed and maintained correctly, but there are some precautions you should take if your system is likely to receive the occasional spray of saltwater.
For example, objects leaning against galvanised tanks can hold saltwater against the galvanising, causing accelerated corrosion, so keep debris away from the tank. Plastic, fibreglass, undamaged Colorbond and grade stainless steel tanks are pretty much immune to salt water.
Tanks are large obstacles and they often suffer damage from vehicles, trailers, ladders, falling branches and other large objects found in the average yard. Even children throwing rocks can cause enough damage to penetrate protective coatings on steel tanks, though this sort of damage is easily fixed if caught early. Any tank that has a separate flexible rubber or plastic liner will only need repairing if the liner itself is damaged, which is less likely to happen as the liner can flex away from any penetrating objects.
They are relatively immune to damage from salty water, so if your tank is regularly topped up from a bore or dam, then a plastic tank might be the best solution. Plastic tanks can also take light impacts due to their ability to spring back into shape, although heavier impacts, or impacts from sharp objects, may crack or puncture them.
Poly tanks are generally repairable by any plastic fabricator with the right equipment; most manufacturers will provide a repair service for their tanks.
Most poly tanks will slowly degrade over time with exposure to the sun, despite having UV inhibitors added to the plastic. Because the plastic is being used to hold water, there are limits to how much UV inhibitor and other chemicals can be added, so eventually the tanks will suffer some degradation. Poly tanks pose an interesting problem at end of life: if they have degraded to a point where they can no longer hold water, the plastic will have reached a point where it can only be recycled into a limited range of other products.
Given the size and mass of a large tank, this is not a good result. Plastic tanks have more embodied energy than you might think. The actual volume of material in them is a great deal more than for a metal tank because they have much thicker walls. And, of course, they are predominantly made from petroleum. The issues that apply to polyethylene also apply to polypropylene. Some plastic bladder tanks use PVC bladders. Plasticised PVC is considered unsafe in many countries due to the potential hazard of the plasticisers, which can possibly leach into the water.
If you intend to drink the water from a bladder tank, make sure the bladder is rated as a potable water bladder. If you are only using the water on the garden then this will be less of an issue, but if you are growing food with the water, the potable water rating is still needed. Unless the water is of good quality and regularly turned over, the water may stagnate. Aquaplate is a specialised form of Colorbond sheet and consists of thin sheet steel with a Colorbond colour coating on the outside and a waterproof coating on the inside to provide corrosion resistance.
Galvanised tanks are similar except the steel is coated both sides with zinc to prevent corrosion. Aquaplate tanks are very robust and durable and should last at least 25 years although they could last up to 40 years or more , provided the coating is not damaged during the tank manufacturing process and seams are correctly formed and sealed.
Galvanised tanks will also have a long life, provided the water is not too corrosive—they are probably not ideal to use for bore water unless a water neutraliser such as limestone is added to the tank occasionally. Any attempt to weld galvanised or Aquaplate tanks will compromise the anti-corrosion coating.
If welded, the damaged coating must be replaced with either a galvanising coating or a waterproof sealant. Galvanised tanks can be soldered with a suitable lead-free solder. Galvanised and Aquaplate tanks will generally be quite corroded by the time they start to spring leaks, so they may not be easy to dispose of.
Whether a scrap metal dealer will want a tank that is a large percentage iron and zinc oxide is debatable, and at the very least you may have to pay them to take it. Colorbond tanks have plastic coatings, and while these will eventually break down into various chemicals, they will become microplastics in the interim.
The amount of toxicity per tank is small, but it is still there. Stainless steel tanks are known for their durability and strength. They are generally small modular tanks for urban use, but large stainless steel tanks are also available. These are made from corrugated stainless steel that looks much like corrugated iron, just shinier.
While stainless steel tanks can be more expensive than other types, they have a number of advantages. Stainless steel tanks are probably the simplest to repair. A stainless steel fabricator can weld small holes and patch larger ones with new stainless steel. The repairs generally need no additional treatment, as the corrosion resistance is in the steel itself, not a coating.
They can also be repaired with waterproof sealants. Stainless steel has quite a high embodied energy, but having a long lifespan and being fully recyclable offsets that to some degree. Many concrete tanks are sited underground and are unlikely to sustain damage, but if an above-ground tank is damaged it may be difficult to repair effectively, depending on the level of damage.
Concrete tanks are fairly benign disposal-wise, but they do represent quite a large volume of materials. Some companies can recycle concrete but it is not a service available everywhere. Moving an old and disintegrating tank is often a job for heavy machinery, so the cost of removal may be considerable.
Concrete also has a high embodied energy compared to other tank materials, due to the manufacturing process of cement the binder in concrete and the large volume of material compared to steel or plastic tanks, which are much thinner. Fibreglass tanks are robust, quite impact resistant and relatively easy to repair for a skilled fibreglass worker. However, fibreglass tanks are generally not recyclable, and being a composite material will most likely end up as landfill.
Fibreglass tanks contain quite a lot of polyester resin and small amounts of some rather nasty substances, such as the catalyst used to make the resin set. This will all be released as the tanks break down in landfill. This also means that, for a fibreglass tank to be potable water rated, it must have a liner of some sort, usually a flexible liner similar to that used in some concrete tanks, or a food-grade internal coating.
This standard specifies requirements for the suitability of products in contact with drinking water, with regard to their effect on the quality of water. These products include all items such as pipes, fittings, components, and materials used in coating, protection, lining, jointing, sealing and lubrication applications in the water supply and plumbing industry.
There are a number of devices that are part of a good rainwater collection system and help ensure the best quality of the water that enters the tank.
Between downpours, the average roof collects contaminants such as bird and other animal droppings, pollution from vehicles, stoves and heaters, and roof coatings and sealants, as well as larger materials such as leaves and twigs from trees. All of these wash down into your tank with the first flow of rainwater—unless you have diversion devices fitted. The first stage of a diversion system works to divert larger debris like leaves and possum poo.
Products include leaf guards, which are fitted to the full length of your house gutters, and leaf diverters often called rain heads , which fit in the downpipes. Leaf guards may not work effectively for very long as they can get clogged, although some gutters are designed to exclude leaves. Leaf diverters and rain heads fit to the downpipes, usually just below the gutters, and are a better option. They are simple angled screens that deflect leaves and debris often down to sizes of just a couple of millimetres, thus diverting almost all macro solids , while allowing water to pass through to the downpipe.
They often come as part of the tank package, but if not, they really are a must as leaves can quickly block downpipes. Some rain heads are designed to fit to the tank rather than in the downpipes. The Rain Guardian www. Once the larger material has been diverted, the next stage of filtration is done using first-flush diverters. These divert the initial flow of water from the roof to the stormwater drain, thus preventing most micro-contaminants from entering your tank.
First-flush diverters can work in a couple of different ways, but usually involve a diversion pipe or tank of the appropriate volume, which fills up with the first rain from the roof. There is usually a floating ball inside the diversion pipe, which floats up, sealing off the pipe once full, causing water to then flow to the tank instead. The water in the diversion pipe drains out slowly through a small orifice or tap, so that the diversion pipe is emptied, ready for the next rainfall.
This type of diverter can clog easily if rain heads are not used to remove larger debris, so the two should be used together. When sizing first-flush devices, you should aim to divert the first millimetre of rainfall.
One millimetre of rainfall on one square metre of roof produces one litre of water, so this makes it easy to calculate first-flush diversion volumes. For example, a downpipe that is servicing a roof area of 50 square metres should have a first-flush device that diverts the first 50 litres or so of rainfall.
Some first-flush diverters include a leaf screen and other functions, simplifying installation. Some tank manufacturers, such as Rapidplas, even make add-on first-flush systems designed to integrate with their tanks. One mistake often made with wet system installation where water remains in the collection pipes is including a grossly undersized first-flush diverter at the tank.
The diverter rapidly fills up with water from the in-ground pipes and riser, rather than with contaminated water from the roof, which then still ends up in the tank. For wet systems, first-flush units should be installed near the downpipes, and if wet system contamination is a concern, another diverter at the tank can be used to flush the stagnant water from the pipes away from the tank.
Alternatively, a single first-flush unit at the tank should be sized to divert both the first millimetre of water from the entire roof collection area, as well as the stagnant water in the pipes.
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