Water storage is vital to survival in many parts of the world; not everyone can turn on a faucet and have water trickle from the tap. More Americans choose to live off the grid and live more self-sufficiently and therefore also need to capture and store water. People have many choices in how to successfully accomplish that endeavor, from polyethylene rain collection barrels to stainless steel water storage tanks.
Choices of Materials
A variety of materials are used for water storage tanks, including plastic, polyethylene, polypropylene, fiberglass, concrete, steel and stainless steel.
Plastic and polyethylene tanks are some of the least expensive options for water collection and storage. However, they are made from petroleum, for which some people have concerns, including crude extraction and the use of various chemicals to complete the manufacturing process. These types of tanks are widely used and are resistant to rust and corrosion, and though often long lasting, the tanks also take a long time to degrade in a landfill.
Fiberglass tanks are lightweight; however, they allow more sunlight into the tank, which often results in algae growth. This type of tank is also prone to cracking.
Galvanized steel tanks are widely used and generally the least expensive type of water storage tanks. However, they are prone to releasing other elements, such as lead, into the water, and they often last only about five or six years due to weak points in construction.
Stainless steel tanks, which are becoming common, are considered long lasting and environmentally friendly. They also don't give off a "plastic" taste like tanks made from polyethylene and don't degrade in sunlight. They also have few, if any, weak construction points. Bacteria, fungi and algae growth are common in the other types of water storage tanks but not so in stainless steel tanks. The primary disadvantage may be cost as compared with the plastic and fiberglass types of water storage tanks.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Stainless Steel Tanks
Stainless steel water storage tanks provide a variety of advantages, including strength, stability, durability and cleanliness. Stainless steel tanks are considered to be more portable, more maintenance free and easier to install than other tank types. They are also considered the most healthy type of tank, not only due to the type of material they are made from but also because they can be cleaned more thoroughly. Metal tanks, such as stainless steel, are more costly; however, they are becoming favorites for water storage use around the world.
Collecting and Storing Water
Water collection and storage is a way of life for people in many parts of the world, including the Outback of Australia and in India. Americans, too, are learning the value of collecting and storing water, especially after years of drought in many regions of the country. Collecting and storing rainwater and snow melt and then applying that moisture to flower and vegetable gardens helps cut the water utility, thereby saving money.
Water storage tanks come in a variety of sizes and shapes, including those used under decks and porches. They range in size from 100 gallons to thousands of gallons. When deciding upon a water storage solution, research the various options, styles and considerations. Varied methods and materials are used for rain collection and water storage, and, depending upon your needs, resources and concerns, you should find the right option for you and your family.
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