How you design, build and use your water storage tanks contributes to increasing the lifespan of the tank, as well as ensuring water stored is safe for your required use. There are many aspects to this, not the least of which is the material the tank is made of, local and national regulations and the environment in which it will be kept, among other factors. The following article highlights the important aspects to consider when sourcing industrial water storage tanks.
Storage tank design is continuously changing to accommodate building regulations and changing consumer needs. The first thing when choosing materials is to go for strong materials that can withstand abnormal stress, such as from earthquakes and hurricanes. Most tanks today are made of rust-treated steel (welded and bolted types), concrete and fibreglass.
When using steel tanks, it's important to ensure that water stored in these tanks have no chemicals – not even chlorine for treatment. Over time, these chemicals interact with the rust coatings and contaminate water. Usually, bolts that interact with stored water are sheathed in water-safe rubber or plastic that will outlast the lifespan of the tank. Chlorinated water should not be stored in steel tanks, even galvanised steel, which begins to corrode after some years. When chlorinated water is unavoidable, strong and solid coatings should be used, and the tank should be regularly inspected to ensure the integrity of the coating.
Fibreglass is becoming more common because it is lightweight and watertight, and it needs no internal inspection, resurfacing or cleaning (easier maintenance). Steel and concrete tanks can last generations, provided the coatings are maintained to prevent water contamination and corrosion.
Solvent coatings were popular in past years, but these have been continuously abandoned in favour of fully solid coatings, which have been successfully applied in other industries like shipbuilding. Solid coats also last longer, particularly if you're storing chlorinated water that wears down coatings faster.
Steel storage tanks often have interior glass, polyurethane or epoxy coatings, and these must be inspected regularly to ensure that they remain intact. In colder weather, bear in mind that ice formation can interfere with the integrity of a coat. This can be prevented by ensuring water is continuously 'turned over' (either used-up and refilled or just agitated and circulated in the tank) so that it's not still long enough to form ice. Alternatively, fitting temperature monitoring systems can ensure water stays above freezing point, but it will be more expensive.
Depending on where a tank is mounted, what it's made of and how it is stored, tanks will have different challenges that must be monitored to prevent water contamination. For instance, roof vents or hatch lids should have screens to prevent entry of debris or even birds and small animals. Holes drilled in the tank to allow installation of supply and removal lines should be sealed properly.
For more information about the best water tanks for your needs, contact a local manufacturer or supplier.