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Water storage containers

yojimbo2's picture

I am very keen on harvesting rain water, but have not been able to located an attractive above ground container that does not cost thousands of dollars. I am thinking of building my own out of galvanized corrugated roofing material.

I was thinking of running the panels vertically, overlapping and polyurethane caulking the joints, and creating a round container about 8' high. In addition to using screws on the joints, I would use cable to wrap around the container.

What has me hung up is the bottom and the top. I am unable to fabricate a metal round bottom, so I thought I would pour a concrete pad, just slightly larger than the cylinder, and then set the bottomless tank into the concrete while it was still wet. That way the bottom of the sides would sink into the concrete. I could then line the bottom of the tank with a water proof membrane, take that a little up the sides, and also cover all the joints.

Has anyone pulled off something like this?

(post #157774, reply #1 of 29)

No, but you might want to check with an agriculture supply dealer, or Tractor Supply Company. Whoever sells sprayer parts to farmers in your locale. There are sprayer tanks in just about any size and configuration you want. You could easily build an enclosure from metal, or whatever you like.

These tanks are usually bright yellow and treated to be UV resistant. So the enclosure would tone it down.

Greg

(post #157774, reply #2 of 29)

If you don't want to shell the $ for a large tank, how about multiple small ones?


Plastic rain barrels can be had for around $70, and have a bung top and bottom, I believe, so they'd be easy to tandem up..


Build a simple shed type enclosure around it.....


A thought.


Bing


 

(post #157774, reply #3 of 29)

simple shed type enclosure around it


good for you, now you gots da idear!


 


BTW, just read a while ago that in Colorado it is ILLEGAL to collect rainwater, seems it all belongs to the state, you need to have a 'rights' permit to collect your own rainwater off your own roof, supposed to let it run down the street or soak in so the state can allocate it - no joke. 


 

(post #157774, reply #4 of 29)

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/29/us/29rain.html


I found this link in Google, so I imagine it's not protected.  It came up for me.


"Just 75 miles west of here, in Utah, collecting rainwater from the roof is still illegal unless the roof owner also owns water rights on the ground; the same rigid rules, with a few local exceptions, also apply in Washington State."


Just a part of the article - appears you, too, suffer from the condition...


 


Edited 8/19/2009 11:16 am by peteshlagor

(post #157774, reply #21 of 29)

I applied for water rights immediately after I bought what property I own.  Grant here is typically a couple of acre feet a year for domestic use. 


Here in western WA, water is nearly umlimited, it's in Eastern WA where the conditions drove the water rights laws.


2 absolutely good things about the WA constitution that have never yet been repealed though the legislature has put it to votes a few times:


a. INDIVIDUAL right to arms


B. NO state income tax.


God bless the WA state constitution.   

(post #157774, reply #5 of 29)

and pay a fee for that run off to be collected....


covers snow melt too....


 


Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming


WOW!!! What a Ride!



Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!


 



"Some days it's just not worth chewing through the restraints"
"Some days it's just not worth chewing through the restraints"

(post #157774, reply #7 of 29)

IOW the state has pretty much decided that it IS god.

How long until they start regulating how much of their air you can breathe, and tax you on both that, and how much CO2 you are breathing out ?

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.You are always welcome at Quittintime

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It's a small world. Until you have to walk home...

(post #157774, reply #11 of 29)

Of course, that's just Utah, one of them flaming liberal states.


As I stood before the gates I realized that I never want to be as certain about anything as were the people who built this place. --Rabbi Sheila Peltz, on her visit to Auschwitz


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

(post #157774, reply #29 of 29)

The water laws in our state are a joke. But a lot of the states have old antiquated water laws.


We've been fighting developers trying to steal our river The Poudre river for a while now.


They want to turn it into a ditch so they can make $$$$ off land and houses.


Here's an article that is pro. I guess Ft Morgan wants to sell out to developers.


http://www.fortmorgantimes.com/ci_13193076


"There are three kinds of men: The one that learns by reading, the few who learn by observation and the rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."
Will Rogers


Edited 8/27/2009 2:32 pm by popawheelie

______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ There are three kinds of men: The one that learns by reading, the few who learn by observation and the rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. Will Rogers

(post #157774, reply #6 of 29)

Try your local car wash. Soap etc. comes in heavy duty 55 gal plastic drums. Around here I can buy them for 5$ each or 3 for 10$.

(post #157774, reply #9 of 29)

I use 55 gallon plastic barrels, myself. (Of course, I use them for drinking water, which I haul from town.)

It's a fairly simple matter to plumb your own fittings into the bottoms or sides of them. I built a rack for the first two, and now they gravity feed, from the plumbing I installed in the bottoms of those, to the house pump. Which keeps that pump, primed. I fill those two from the others which are merely storage.

I prefer to get the barrels from the food industry.

My last three barrels all contained soy sauce.

I put a half gallon of bleach in each of them, filled them all the way up, with water... And let them set for two weeks.

I have never smelled or tasted soy sauce, from them, since.

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.You are always welcome at Quittintime

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It's a small world. Until you have to walk home...

(post #157774, reply #8 of 29)

Get yourself one of these


image 1331174154-0


http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/csw/for/1331174154.html


and pretty it up any way you choose.

(post #157774, reply #10 of 29)

Man, I would love to have a few of those.

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.You are always welcome at Quittintime

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It's a small world. Until you have to walk home...

(post #157774, reply #13 of 29)

Luka,

I get those from a paper mill. I just gave one away for a bud to use for rain water collection. Check with somebody who works for a paper mill.

The wire racks make good garbage can holders.

KK

(post #157774, reply #16 of 29)

Thank KK.

Nearest paper mill that I know of is in Tacoma.

I'll cast about and see if I can find a connection, somehow.

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.You are always welcome at Quittintime

.

It's a small world. Until you have to walk home...

(post #157774, reply #12 of 29)

Well, let me recommend googling "pressure table" or "water column table" from this note how the pressures work with height.


Which will affect just how good your panel-to-panel sealant has to adhere (and be continuous and unfailing).


Note, too, concrete is not inherently waterproof.  It's hugely water-resistant, but with about 400 cubic feet (8x8 tank) of water you have around 3000 gallons of water to deal with.  Pools are plastered; ag tanks get a spray sealant, so a couple inches of corrugated panel in the wet slab pour just might not be enough.  Oh, and fresh water is 62#/cf, so that's 24000#, 12 tons to carry on that slab.  Which is only 52 sf, for a dainty 462#/sf of just the water.


Now, one thing you could look into are larger soaking tubs.  These use wooden staves and precut bottom and a band or two to hold things together.  Snorkel tubs has a nice line of them, IIRC, including one about 8' diameter and 4' tall.  They also make a fitted cover, too.


Now, there is another issue, one which really recommends the "use more smaller" others have posted.  Your "enemy" is free surface area.  the more free surface there is, the more bad things can happen.  Mosquito breeding just one; gnats and other biting and annoying pests are another.  But, algae, molds, fungi, bacterial collonies and the like (legionares breeds on still, shaded, broad water surfaces).  All of which makes for complications is using rainwater in only "grey water" use situations.


This is why I much preferred to use collapsable bladders down around Austin for this application.  They'd go in under decks, porches, lanai, what have you.  But, they collapse until full, eliminating the surface area.  Now, i used to have a supplier, too--don't anymore.  There's an outfit in CA, and some overseas vendors, but they are not cheap.


Occupational hazard of my occupation not being around (sorry Bubba)
I may not be able to help you Occupational hazard of my occupation not being around (sorry Bubba)

(post #157774, reply #14 of 29)

I did what others have suggested- bought some 250 gallon pallet tanks for $50 each and built a 'shed' for them out of salvaged materials.  Here it is during construction:



And the finished enclosure:



In the background you can see the 55 gallon 'collector' tank positioned under the gutter (actually there are 4 of them around the perimeter of the building, which I bought for $15 each).  These gravity feed to the larger tanks in the shed.  1000 gallons of water storage for a few hundred bucks, and it works great for our irrigation needs.


A single, larger tank would be easier to install but they are way too expensive for most people.


I did see a recent episode of Renovation Nation in which the builder used a section of galvanized culvert set in wet concrete for a collection tank...looked nice and could be done without too much expense.


Shawn

Shawn

(post #157774, reply #15 of 29)

This looks totally awesome. Nice job. Will probably go in this direction.

(post #157774, reply #17 of 29)

On an episode of "Dirty Jobs", they showed a crew of guys in NYC building round rooftop wooden tanks for sprinkler supplies. Completely made of wood, the base had a channel routed into it to accept the (I think) 2x6 T&G vertical sides. They used some type of circular silo rods to keep it from blowing out.

The tanks would leak like a sieve for a few days, then as the wood swelled they'd tighten up.

But I think if it were me I'd check with a farm equipment place like Tractor Supply.

(post #157774, reply #18 of 29)

Yeah, I don't know what they charge for sprayer tanks, but they come in all sizes from about 50 gallons to maybe 1000. Probably not "legal" for drinking water, but reasonably chemical resistant, and not too bad UV-wise. Generally shaped as a vertical cylinder, though the larger ones have flats on the side to clear wheels on a trailer.

Years ago you probably could have made a nice tank from a taken-apart concrete silo (concrete staves with steel bands holding everything together), but those have pretty well disappeared from the landscape.


As I stood before the gates I realized that I never want to be as certain about anything as were the people who built this place. --Rabbi Sheila Peltz, on her visit to Auschwitz


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

(post #157774, reply #25 of 29)

Some 40 years ago when I worked designing fire sprinkler systems, most of the water storage tanks on the tops of buildings were wood. Many of them appeared to be quite old but seemed to old water with minimal leaks. I don't know what wood they used but would guess they were all heart redwood as this was in San Francisco.

Before that, I worked briefly helping make maraschino cherries where they used large concrete vats that were lined with some type of wax for waterproofing. (I have never eaten a maraschino cherry since I saw what they pulled out of those uncovered large vats along with the cherries...)

(post #157774, reply #19 of 29)

I do believe in a FHB, there was such a cistern, like you described in one of the articles.  The house I believe was on Bainbridge Island I think.


Let me look through my collection and see what I can find.


 


I think I can say, and say with pride that we have some legislatures that bring higher prices than any in the world. - Mark Twain

 

I think I can say, and say with pride that we have some legislatures that bring higher prices than any in the world. - Mark Twain

(post #157774, reply #20 of 29)

Hi,
For a container like the one you are talking about making, but with less work and less chance of leaks, think about one of the galvanized metal road culverts. People tip these up vertically, and embed them in a concrete base. It makes a very nice looking water container. They come in a great variety of diameters.

More sources on rain collection containers here:
http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/Water/Water.htm

It seems like the big plastic AG containers would be a pretty cheap way to go if the look is OK. You would want a dark color (or paint) to discourage algae growth.

Gary

(post #157774, reply #22 of 29)

Okay, I found the article in FHB.  2007 Spring/Summer Houses Edition.  Page 96-99.  


They used a galvanized steel drainage culvert on end as their cistern.  Galvanized corrugated sheet metal for roofs won't have the strength you need to hold the amount of water you desire.


You may want to contact the Architect, Christopher Stafford Architects of Port Townsend, WA for additional information.


I still remember another article somewhere about a cistern that was tied in with the house.  I'll keep looking, but hopefully this will give you some ideas.


 


I think I can say, and say with pride that we have some legislatures that bring higher prices than any in the world. - Mark Twain

 

I think I can say, and say with pride that we have some legislatures that bring higher prices than any in the world. - Mark Twain

(post #157774, reply #23 of 29)

Thanks so much for your effort. At this point I think the simplest thing would be to enclose whatever I can get.

(post #157774, reply #24 of 29)

I think that would be wise -- reduce UV damage to the containers, reduce algae growth, reduce crud getting into the tanks, and probably better looking.


As I stood before the gates I realized that I never want to be as certain about anything as were the people who built this place. --Rabbi Sheila Peltz, on her visit to Auschwitz


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

(post #157774, reply #26 of 29)

I have a 1300 gallon "tank" in my basement. I used some of the foundation walls, some 2x8 framing and a EPDM pond liner, which cost about $130.

(post #157774, reply #27 of 29)

It depends on how much water you want to store and what the intended use is. 


Simpliest, least expensive for 10,000/gal and up is a round, vinyl liner above-ground swimming pool.   I installed quite a few of them, many years ago, so I can answer any questions you may have. 


It is possible to cover them, using a large floating ball and a tarp, fastened to stakes with bungee cords.  Keeps the leaves and insects out.  Keeping the liner in shade adds many years to its useful life. 


Another type of tank is round plastic, in sizes up to 1000gal, if memory serves.  They're usually sold retail through Ag businesses. 


I bought a 500gal and a 250gal some years ago, wholesale.  The trick to getting a good price on them is to find a manufacturer within a driveable distance because the shipping costs are large.


Edited 8/24/2009 7:22 pm by Hudson Valley Carpenter

(post #157774, reply #28 of 29)

I'd put an ad in Craig's List for old hot tubs and use those.

 


Jon Blakemore

RappahannockINC.com

Fredericksburg, VA

 

Jon Blakemore

RappahannockINC.com

Fredericksburg, VA