Getting the Most out of a Home and Garden

Some Commonly Asked Questions About Using a Water Storage Tank on Private Property

If you're considering your first purchase of a water storage tank, you want to ensure you choose the right one and use it properly, so that you preserve the life of the tank and protect the water you're storing. Note a few commonly asked questions about water storage tanks and these can help you use yours as it was designed.

1. Can you store anything in a water tank?

Note that water storage tanks usually have a color that works as a designation for what can be stored in the tank, or it will be classified in some way to show if it can be used for storage of oils, hazardous liquids, or water. Never assume that you can purchase a water storage tank and then one day decide to store heating oil in the tank or use it as a septic tank, as it may not be meant to withstand the chemicals of these other substances and may then degrade. When shopping for a water tank, be sure you only store water in the tank; if you want to change its use, consult with the manufacturer about whether or not this can be done, if it would then require a special liner, and the like. 

2. Is there any difference between an above ground and in-ground tank?

Don't assume that you can buy just a water tank and then store it where you want, without considering if it was made for above ground versus in-ground storage. Tanks stored above ground may need special liners or coating to protect them from the UV rays of the sun, whereas tanks meant for in-ground storage may have thicker, stronger walls so they can withstand the pressure of surrounding soil. Choose your tank according to your planned storage and never assume that tanks are automatically interchangeable.

3. Does a tank need to be cleaned before use?

Most water storage tanks are already cleaned and ready for use, although you might ask the contractor who installs the tank or the manufacturer from where you purchase the tank. They may recommend that you clean it out with a simple bleach or vinegar or other such solution, or note that the tank should be rinsed to get it free of dust and debris. However, you may also be using a type of filter attached to you tank to clean the water inside before it's used, and you may not need to actually clean the tank itself of this debris before it's used. Your manufacturer can note the filter attached and if this will suffice for a clean tank.