Large Capacity Water Storage Tanks, Selection & Usage Guide
WATER STORAGE TANKS, LARGE - CONTENTS: Large water storage tanks: how to provide extra water storage for a building. Using large water storage tanks to handle low-flow wells or a limited water-supply source. Large water storage tanks, extra water storage cisterns
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Large water storage tanks: why & when should you install extra water storage capacity at your building? What does the presence of a large water storage tank tell us about the flow rate or yield of a private well?
This article describes the use of extra or large water tanks to store additional water at properties with intermittent or limited water supply from a low-flow-rate well or intermittent municipal water supply.
Large Water Storage Tanks, Why They Are Used, What They Imply about Well Recovery Rate or Well Yield
The large indoor water storage tank shown at page top was contributed by reader Craig Revill and was found in a home that was 80-100 years old. We calculated the water tank volume at about 450 gallons.
What does it mean if you see a huge water storage tank at a property?
Can we use additional water storage tanks to overcome a well that has a very slow recovery rate or a poor well flow rate? Yes we can, with some warnings.
[Click to enlarge any image]
At left we illustrate a huge liquid storage tank observed in Dutchess County, New York. This tank was used for apple juice storage: New York's Hudson Vall
Very large water storage tanks, such as the one whose end is visible in the two photographs below are from two different properties, and are likely to
indicate that the flow rate of the well serving the property is very slow, even inadequate by contemporary standards.
We've found these old steel tanks at older properties in the Northeastern U.S. in situations where the well flow rate, the
rate in gallons per minute at which the well can give water over a sustained period, to be very low, perhaps around
one gallon per minute or less.
Very low well flow or well water delivery rates in the 2.5 gpm range or below, simply
can't keep up with the rate of water usage in a building during normal occupancy.
Large water tanks may indicate that the well flow rate can't keep up with demand
Worse, if we have only a typical water tank installed, say a 30 or 40-gallon unit, that tank is designed
to smooth the flow of delivery of water to the building as the pump is turned on and off.
A small water
tank is not sized to actually store a reservoir of water for the building. So if our well flow rate is
very low, the building will simply run out of water and occupants will have to wait, perhaps hours, for
the pump to re-fill the water tank.
Multiple smaller water tanks may also mean that the well flow rate is poor
A more modern solution to poor well flow rate is to install a cascade of two or more individual water pressure tanks in order to provide a larger volume of water stored at a property.
A low flow rate well and pump may rely on "recovery" overnight or over many hours
So a common solution for a low-flow-rate well is the installation of a very large water reservoir.
At older properties the single water tank may have been 1000 gallons or even more.
With a large water
tank or multiple water tanks installed to provide this water storage reservoir, the well flow rate can be terrible but the
building occupants won't see its effect since they're working off of the water storage tank.
At a low-flow-rate well installation the pump will be designed to run at a slow pumping rate
so that the well water flow-rate can keep up with the pump as the pump sends water to the water
The building occupants use water out of the tank and the tank and well and pump recover their water slowly, perhaps overnight.
Low flow rate wells or slow recovery rate wells at modern properties use a cascade of water tanks
At newer properties this same approach may be taken to "solve" a low-flow well but instead of a
single huge steel tank such as the one in this photograph, the plumber will install a series or cascade
of from two to perhaps four or five smaller water storage tanks of perhaps 50 gallons each. If you
are looking at a property and see that it has five new shiny blue and pretty big water tanks
lined up in the basement you can guess that the well is marginal in its delivery capacity.
Low flow rate slow recovery rate wells have a questionable future life expectancy
A final warning about low-flow rate wells: because in many areas water is flowing into the well
through cracks in rock below the surface, and because we're starting with an already low recovery
rate well, the future ability of the well to give water at all must be questioned. If local water
is heavy in minerals, for example, the minerals tend to clog up those rock cracks over time,
gradually reducing the water flow-rate into the well still further, until eventually it just stops working.
So a very large water storage capacity at a property is an indicator of both a low-flow-rate
well (poor well recovery rate means the same thing), and an indicator that the future usability of the well at all must be questioned. We explain how people determine the necessary water tank size and volume
at WATER TANK SIZE & VOLUME .
OPEN WATER TANKS - gravity fed water systems or pump-up rooftop systems with and without pressure-boosting pumps and water tanks
Still More Water Storage Capacity: Rooftop Water Tanks or Free-standing Water Storage Tanks at Ground Level offer increased water storage to mask the effects of an intermittent or slow-recovery water source.
Rooftop water tanks in urban areas such as New York City may be used to supply water at high pressure to the
Water is pumped to the rooftop tank from its municipal source, then
redistributed at good pressure to the points of use in the building below.
When passing through
New York City, look at rooftops and you'll often see these tanks still in use. This sketch shows how
a rooftop tank might be constructed, though this particular sketch has the tank next to a well.
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trouble installing the gate valve on the water tank
(June 3, 2014) louis said:
Dear Sir--I have a 5ooo gal water storage tank on a hill next to my house....used for irrigation. It has been in operation over 20 years with no problems. Two weeks ago, the water output began to diminish and now there is no flow at all. There are two faucet outlets in the pipeline line down the hillside and a final faucet at my house. There is no water flow at any of the faucets which means any blockage is probably at or near the gate valve outlet of the tank. The outlet piping is 2 1/2 to 3 inch pipe out of the tank and into the ground.
I assume that thereafter the piping is reduced to 1/2 inch - but have not dug it up to look - if the assumption herein are correct, my question is- .how does one screw the gate valve out of the line to be able to clean out any blockage? after the tank is empty of course.
or does some one have to actually climb into the tank?
Normally you would not have to enter a tank to remove a valve that serves as an outlet control. It would be installed from outside the tank, into a tapping.
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Water Storage: Tanks, Cisterns, Aquifers, and Ponds for Domestic Supply, Fire and Emergency Use--Includes How to Make Ferrocement Water Tanks, Art Ludwig, Oasis Design (May 30, 2005), ISBN-10: 0964343363, ISBN-13: 978-0964343368, Quoting: A do-it-yourself guide to designing, building, and maintaining water tanks, cisterns and ponds, and sustainably managing groundwater storage. It will help you with your independent water system, fire protection, and disaster preparedness, at low cost and using principles of ecological design. Includes building instructions for several styles of ferro cement water tanks.
Thanks to aerospace engineer Herman Vogel, July 2010,
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Smart Tank, Installation Instructions, Flexcon Industries, 300 Pond St., Randolph MA 02368, www.flexconind.com, Tel: 800-527-0030 - web search 07/24/2010, original source: http://www.flexconind.com/pdf/st_install.pdf [Copy on file as /water/Smart_Tank_Flexcon.pdf ] -
Typical Shallow Well One Line Jet Pump Installation, Grove Electric, G&G Electric & Plumbing, 1900 NE 78th St., Suite 101, Vancouver WA 98665 www.grovelectric.com - web search -7/15/2010 original source: http://www.groverelectric.com/howto/38_Typical%20Jet%20Pump%20Installation.pdf, [Copy on file as /water/Jet_Pump_Grove_Elect_Jet_Pumps_1.pdf ] -
Typical Deep Well Two Line Jet Pump Installation, Grove Electric, G&G Electric & Plumbing, 1900 NE 78th St., Suite 101, Vancouver WA 98665 www.grovelectric.com - web search -7/15/2010 original source: http://www.groverelectric.com/howto/38_Typical%20Jet%20Pump%20Installation.pdf, [Copy on file as /water/Jet_Pump_Grove_Elect.pdf ] - Cooperative Extension, School of Forest Resources, web search 07/24/2010, original source: http://pubs.cas.psu.edu/FreePubs/pdfs/XH0002.pdf
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