Blog    |    What To Consider When Purchasing Plastic Water Storage Tanks

Purchasing plastic storage tanksMuch like deciding on a place to have dinner or picking a karaoke song, choosing a plastic water storage tank is no easy-task. There’s just so much to consider. You have a countless range of dimensions, gallons, specific gravity (tank rating), colors, as well as others factors to consider. With some of these behemoths come in 500-20,000 gallon sizes, you don’t want to end up with the wrong tank and having to use it or return it.

It’s important to fully understand the basics of what you should look for in a storage tank for your application.

Shapes & Sizes

The shape and size of your potential tank is based solely on your application. Buying a vertical tank when you need a closet tank is like buying a Prius when you meant to get a dump truck – they may both technically be vehicles, but they serve entirely different purposes. Here’s a brief rundown of the most popular tanks so you can make sure you buy the right tank for you needs.

  • Water Closet Tank
    These tanks are very versatile for either residential or commercial applications. Two main benefits about the water closet tanks are they are primarily used as an emergency water source, are extremely portable and can fit through 29’ doorway.
  • Vertical Tank
    These are the most standard types of plastic water storage tanks available for stationary use, with a wide array of sizes; which increase by width and height.
  • Underground Cistern Storage Tank
    These are specifically designed for underground use only. If placed above ground, it can cause deformation and experience possible failure. It would be more cost-effective to utilize an above ground tank, like a vertical storage tank, to use.
  • Bladder or Pillow Tanks
    These are collapsible storage tanks which provide an affordable freight option that feature a low-profile tank for use under decks and crawl spaces verses heavier taller tanks that cost more to ship. They also can be used for chemical storage and fuel storage.
  • Water Trough
    Water Troughs or Stock Tanks are a narrow open-top container that is primarily designed as a water trough for animals/ livestock to drink out of, but can be used as a secondary containment tank.
  • Pick Up Truck Water Tank & Caddy
    These are storage tanks that fit within a truck bed; primarily used for transporting fresh water and often used by mobile detailers, pest control, and other companies for transporting liquids.

UV Protection

Storing inside, outside, or underground? If the sun is going to be beating down on your water storage tank, you will want to consider if you need UV protection. The sunlight may seem harmless, but it can severely weather plastic water storage tanks, as well as build algae within the tank. As it gets weathered, it gets more brittle, and is it gets more brittle… well, let’s just say it wont be so good at storing water any more. Just because you may enjoy getting a nice tan in the summer doesn’t mean your tank will feel the same way. Double check that your tank has UV protection and take extra precautions to protect it from direct light, if possible.

Number of Gallons

A plastic water storage tank can range from being 50 gallons all the way up to 20,000 gallons; and everything in-between. This will take some planning on your part and water consumption rate. Whether you’re overly ambitious getting a large tank or banking on conservative guestimation with a smaller tank, you’re going to have a big problem on your hands. Not sure what size is right for you? Talk to a pro. Explain to us what you’re trying to accomplish and we’ll help you figure the exact number of gallons you need.

BPA or not to BPA

Make sure to get a water storage tank that doesn’t use Bisphenol A (BPA). BPA is an industrial chemical that has been used to make certain plastics and resins since the 1960s. It’s typically used in containers that store food and beverages. Some studies have shown that BPA can seep into food and water but in low amounts. The FDA did studies that show BPA is safe in very low levels that occur in some foods.

Color Me Rad!

Plastic water storage tanks come in a wide variety of colors. For some applications, this is a feature, while for others it’s simply just for aesthetics. Some common colors are green, black, beige, and white. There is also blackout tanks to prevent sunlight from penetrating to the water and growing algae. On the opposite side, there are transparent tanks to either see the content inside or promote algae growth; if that’s your game.

Gravity Weight

Specific Gravity, or SPG, is a rating of the tank and is measured based on the amount of weight per gallon the tank can support.  It is important to know and understand the weight per gallon of the liquid you are storing.

Feel like you’re ready to make the leap and get your water tank? We can help. Check out GoToTanks’ wide selection of plastic water storage tanks today.


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