Learn About 12 Types of Water Storage Tanks

Learn About 12 Types of Water Storage Tanks
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Learn About 12 Types of Water Storage Tanks

If you’ve never had to buy or work with one yourself, you may think that a tank is just a tank, right? How different could they be? Water storage tanks come in many different shapes, sizes, and materials and are made for varying uses. Some are made to hold water for firefighting while others are made to store potable water for livestock and people. If you're in the market for a water storage tank, it's important to understand the different types available and how they are used to choose the most optimal one for yourself.

Below, we outline the 12 most common types of water storage tanks so that you may feel less intimidated and more empowered when it comes to your own water storage.

Understanding the Basics of Water Storage Tanks

Consider these three factors first when making your selection:

  1. Application: What type of water will you store in your tank?
  2. Capacity: How much water do you need to store?
  3. Budget: How much are you willing to spend?

Once you’ve determined the application for your tank, the capacity and the budget, you can decide more easily on more specific factors, like what material your tank should be made of. Water tanks are usually made of plastic, fiberglass, steel or composite material, and those intended to be used outside will need to be constructed of material with UV protection. And if you’re storing drinking water, the tank must meet ANSI/NSF 61 specifications in order to ensure it’s safe to ingest. If you need to transport the water, you need to consider the weight your vehicle will need to handle, which will determine the capacity of your tank. The final consideration is, of course, cost. Let's look at our available options at Tank Depot:

1. Plastic Vertical Water Tanks

Plastic vertical water storage tanks are used for multiple purposes, including:

  • Above-ground cisterns for storing residential safe drinking water
  • Rainwater harvesting
  • Long-term water storage
  • Emergency potable water storage
  • Fire protection water tanks
  • Farm irrigation

Plastic vertical tanks are tinted to reduce sun and heat exposure, therefore, reducing algae growth inside the tank. It also makes them more attractive and lets them blend in with your landscape. They are UV-stabilized for long-term outdoor usage and are extremely durable. Our plastic vertical tanks are available in sizes from 20 gallons to 15,500 gallons and range in price from $160.00 to $24,290.00. They comply with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulation 21CFR 177.1520 (1) 3.1 & 3.2 for storage of potable water so they’re safe for private or commercial uses.

2. Emergency Water Tanks

Emergency water tanks are used for domestic drinking water, ranging from 100 to 500 gallons. They're blue, which is the standard color for tap water, and so they’re easy to tell apart from non-potable water storage tanks. They have a female threaded input and a female threaded output so they’re easily used and refilled. The emergency water storage tanks are UV stabilized, so they can be utilized both indoors and outdoors, and they’re free of upkeep. They start at $437.00 and go up to $1,081.00 each.

3. Underground Water Tanks and Cisterns

Linear polyethylene is used to make our underground water tanks, which are completely welded and have a seamless design. Our below-ground cisterns, like our septic tanks, feature the same rugged, ribbed style seen in our sewer systems. Cisterns from NORWESCO are certified according to ANSI/NSF 61, which establishes minimum health/safety requirements for safe potable water storage.

The 300 and 550-gallon ball-shaped tanks are safe to be left in the ground when empty. A molded-in elevated pump stand is built into the bottom of each tank. To avoid "floating," ribbed tanks (600 gallons and larger) must be maintained 1/4 full at all times, so unlike the ball tanks they can’t be left empty. They are lightweight for ease of transportation and have locking tops to keep the content safe.

  • Ideal for campgrounds, resorts, vacation homes, and construction sites
  • Can be purchased in sizes from 250 to 20,000 gallons
  • Priced between $630.00 and $61,139.00

4. Flat Bottom Utility Tanks

The portable flat-bottom all-purpose tank is quite versatile and is ideal for washing, transporting water, storing drinkable water, watering tanks, concession trailers and more. These tanks are built with both residential and commercial needs in mind.

  • UV stabilized for outdoor use
  • Excellent impact resistance
  • Suitable for potable water
  • Available in 5 - 1,000 gallon capacities and priced from $63.00 to $2,263.99

5. Bladder Pillow Tanks

Bladder pillow tanks solve the problem of storing large quantities of water without having a tall visible water tank. This can be important if you want to maintain a view, design or store water under your home or RV and don't want to dig a hole to hold the tank. They are available for potable water, gray water, and chemical-resistant liquids.

Potable Water Bladder Tanks

  • 25 to 20,000 gallons
  • Priced from $317.00 to $9383.82

Gray Water Bladder Tanks

  • 25 to 5,000 gallons
  • Priced from $318.00 to $3,026.47

Chemical-Resistant Bladder Tanks

  • 25 to 5,000 gallons
  • Priced from $317.00 to $3,906.00

6. Plastic Horizontal Storage Tanks

When transportable containment is required for non-D.O.T. regulated indoor or outdoor water storage applications, fixed-in-place horizontal tanks are ideal. Tie-down band locators and molded-in legs are included on the tanks to support them and indicate gallons. 

Medium-density polyethylene or high-density polyethylene is used to make tanks that can hold liquids of up to 1.7 specific gravity and have translucent walls for easy level viewing. Gallon indicators are present on the tank's surface. Available from 15 to 6,025 gallons and priced between $108.00 and $20,181.00.

7. Plastic Pickup Truck Tanks

This is a complete collection of tanks designed to fit both full-size American-made and "mini" pickup trucks. They're made from linear polyethylene and are transparent which allows you to check the content level. Multiple sizes are available, starting at 50 gallons and going up to 350 gallons, with prices ranging from $216.99 to $672.00. They’re UV-protected to prevent algae growth and eliminate maintenance.

Pick Up Tank

8. Caged IBC Totes

Water storage and transportation are the most frequent uses of caged IBC totes, which are shipping and handling containers that store and transport various products in addition to water. They're built in such a way that they take up the least amount of room possible while still storing the greatest volume of liquid. Tank Depot sells a wide range of IBC water tanks, including the 275-gallon Caged IBC Tote and the 330-gallon IBC Tote, both of which have many applications in several sectors. Prices range from $303.00 to $902.00.

IBC Totes Stacked

9. Slimline Water Tanks

Most slimline doorway water tanks are upright tanks with a restricted width that may pass through a door or nestle in tight spaces. Also known as water closet tanks, these reservoirs remain erect when full, and have a unique shape that allows them to stand independently without support. Available in capacities from 130 gallons to 1,000 gallons and priced between $1,037.00 and $2,297.00. They are an excellent solution to provide water storage in older buildings where remodeling a door opening is not an option.

Slimline Water Tank

10. Fiberglass Tanks

Tanks made of fiberglass are extremely versatile as they’re ideal for rainwater harvesting, water storage, fire protection, oil field storage, liquid fertilizer, water treatment, irrigation, water storage, and various other purposes. Our fiberglass tank line includes tanks with capacities ranging from 1,000 gallons to 50,000 gallons. Fiberglass tanks are cost-effective and customizable to match your project.

Fiberglass Tank

Uses for Above-Ground Tanks

  • Agriculture
  • Food & Beverage
  • Industrial Chemicals
  • Energy & Utilities
  • Water & Wastewater
  • Air Pollution Control
  • Fire Suppression / NFPA 22

Uses for Below-Ground Tanks

  • Water & Septic
  • Motor Oil
  • Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF)
  • Fire Suppression / NFPA 22
  • Rainwater Collection

Due to their durability, these types of tanks are priced individually, since they are generally made for custom situations.

11. Low Profile and Doorway Tanks

This selection of tanks provides more options for water storage in hard-to-access locations. Wherever space is at a premium, tanks with low profiles and those that will fit through doorways are particularly helpful. Low-profile and doorway tanks are available from 250 to 2400 gallons and are priced at $713.00 to $4,720.00.

12. Steel Water Tanks

Rainwater harvesting, water storage, fire protection, water treatment, irrigation, and water storage are just a few uses for our corrugated steel tanks. Our container capacity extends from 780 gallons to 1 million gallons, and they’re available in 5 categories. These tanks are quoted on a custom basis.

Tank Depot Has the Best Selection and Lowest Prices

When it comes to water storage, there are so many types of tanks to consider that it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Tank Depot has a wide range of tanks for all types of water storage applications and is happy to help you find the best one for your setting and usage plans. Browse our selection of tanks and find the perfect one for your needs– we guarantee you won’t beat our prices! Contact us today for more information.

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