Any salesperson worth their salt will try to upsell you with accessories to the products they are pushing. You might think, “What kind of accessories can you possibly get for a water tank?” However, many options can be added on to a simple container built to hold water, and sometimes they are not automatically added into the initial purchase. How can you be sure you have everything you need without coming home with a lot of extras that you will never use?
The first thing you need to do is answer this question:
What is the primary function of your storage tank?
This answer may be different for everyone. Some people buy water tanks to keep emergency drinking water available. Others buy them to help save money on water for household chores. Some use smaller, portable tanks for pressure washing (personally and professionally). A growing number of people are using water storage tanks as reservoirs for watering indoor and outdoor gardens. Which of these purposes fits your need the closest?
One of the most common uses of home water storage tanks is emergency drinking water tanks. While it is technically possible to refill water bottles or milk jugs, these soft plastics will leach toxic chemicals into the water over time. (If you ever wondered how bottled water could have an expiration date… now you know.) For these tanks, it is vital that they are made of non-leaching plastics and that they are U/V resistant, because light, especially sunlight, causes the leaching process to begin even faster than normal degradation.
What other kinds of accessories should you look at when buying a water storage tank for emergency drinking water? The first accessory you will need is an emergency drinking water supply test kit. You can purchase these for under $20. One of these kits tests for bacteria ( including E,coli), pesticides, nitrates, nitrites, lead, chlorine, pH, and hardness. These tests are set all to EPA sensitivity standards, and they provide you with contact information if your water is outside those safety limits. These tests are not reusable, but you only need to test once per year unless there are exceptional circumstances that give you cause for concern.
The second thing you will need is emergency drinking water tablets. Each tablet can 1 liter (quart) of water. They require up to four hours in an area away from sunlight to purify your water from any contaminants, making it suitable for drinking. They are effective against many viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms when you use them by their simple directions. If you have a larger tank or have a continual supply of outside water filling your tank, you may want to purchase these purification tablets in bulk.
If you have a standalone tank that you merely fill by hand as emergency water storage, then you will want to look at water storage tank lids. This will keep out any “uninvited guests” such as insects or small animals from going for a drink or swim. You may also want to invest in a water tank with a valve and nozzle at the bottom for easy access when you need the water.
If your tank is opaque, you may want a water storage tank level indicator to help you know how full the tank is and when it needs to be refilled. These are especially helpful with larger tanks than you cannot directly look in the top and see the water level for yourself.
Water storage tanks used to hold water for household chores share some similarities to emergency drinking water tanks. They are often more substantial, and they need to be refilled more often than emergency drinking water tanks unless you are only using them for emergencies. This means, they typically require a bit more plumbing accessories.
If you are collecting rainwater for these tanks, you will need some plumbing that gets the water from your gutters (or wherever you are receiving it) to your tank. There are special gutter accessories built just for this purpose, and you can use any type of water pipe to transport the water from your roof to your tank, provided it is something that will not freeze and crack in the colder months. This is one of those situations where the initial setup cost will be expensive, but you will be able to rest assured that you will almost always have water available on hand without having to pay for public water for your household cleaning needs.
For household, non-drinking water purposes, you may not need a lid for your tank (if your tank even has an open top) so much as you will require a water storage tank with a float valve. This float valve will prevent your tank from overfilling, in the case of a monsoon. Heavy rains may give you enough concern for flooding basements. You do not want to deal with a leaking water tank at the same time. Similarly, a float valve could be used to shut off the access to the water if the tank is getting too low to help keep your appliances like washing machines from running dry. A water storage tank level indicator would also be helpful for a water tank used for household chores.
Additionally, you will need to look at water storage tanks with pumps so that this water can be transported out of the tank and into your sinks, showers, washing machines, and dishwashers as you desire.
Pressure washing may not sound like a job for a water storage tank, but if you have enough area that needs to be washed, an appropriately sized tank can make a big difference. These are especially useful for professional outdoor cleaners and those, like farmers, who have lots of dirt on large buildings. Some of the better tanks for these situations are large mobile tanks that can be fitted to trucks, allowing you to maneuver around to reach the places that need cleaning the most. These tanks are specially made and will probably come with all the necessary accessories either in the total package or as immediate suggestions by the retailer/manufacturer.
A growing number of people are using water storage tanks to irrigate their gardens. From hobbyists to professionals, outdoor gardening is always a risk when you only rely on rain to water your plants. Some weeks the rain comes, and some weeks it does not. It is often predictable (although not always), but it is never controllable. To compensate for the days without rain, many gardeners invest in large water storage tanks that they use to water their gardens during dry spells.
Two main types of gardens use water tanks for irrigation: Indoor and Outdoor Gardens.
Indoor gardens require unique lamps to simulate sunlight and help plants grow. These lights often put out significant heat that can dry out your plants, so keeping them watered regularly is an absolute necessity. Indoor gardeners usually add nutrients to the water they give their plants, so water storage tank lids are helpful to provide them with access to adding and testing the levels of those nutrients in the water. The also often use water storage tank pumps and a water storage tank level indicator, connected to an electric timer, to water their plants automatically on a regular basis. Depending on the type of indoor garden, having these accessories may be an absolute necessity for the survival of the plants.
Outdoor gardeners use water storage tanks for irrigation as well, and some professional gardeners may even have a similar setup with water storage tank pumps and a water storage tank level indicator, just like indoor gardeners. Most outdoor gardening hobbyists, however, will use a simpler system, much more like an emergency drinking water tank without purification tablets and with water storage tank pumps to let the water out when the plants have gone without rain.
Supplying water for both water storage tanks for irrigation may require plumbing from the gutters, just like the water tanks used for household chores. This will ensure a consistent supply of water to be collected to water your garden. A water storage tank with float valve may be an excellent idea for this task as well.
The world of water tank storage is growing with advances in technology as well as the economic, environmental, and recreational needs of all people. As people find they are less able to trust in public services, especially during times of emergency, there is a growing desire for self-sufficiency. Some people even take this to the extreme and become “survivalists.” The majority of people are just looking to create a smaller dent in the natural resources around them and their own personal financial resources. Whether you are preparing for emergencies, trying to conserve resources, pursuing a hobby, or just looking to save a little money on your water bill, there are a water storage tank and all the necessary accessories for you.