Water Quality From Tanks

Discussion in 'Designing, building, making and powering your life' started by DirtyDave, Sep 22, 2007.

  1. DirtyDave

    DirtyDave Junior Member

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    Water is a major concern of mine, I've heard that you shouldn't drink from a Poly Tank, where i live the consumer main must be plastic because the water stinks of plastic and is undrinkable, I'm renting at present, and the rain water tanks are over flowing and there is something that has got into them that has also made the water horrid, I'm building soon and looking at my options,,
    I've red that corrugated steal tanks are the best of a bad bunch, plastic uses more fossil fuel than making a steal tank, concrete uses more steal that a corrugated tank and the porous walls can breed bacteria if not lined properly,,,
    does anyone have any conclusive answers on the situation,
    I was thinking of having a small stainless tank that over flowed into a much larger cheaper material tank, And could maintain that stainless tank for drinking only,,,
    Water can be your best friend or worst enemy..
     
  2. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    g'day dave,

    probably depends on the quality of material used to make the tank, some tanbks come from an asian couintry i would have doubts about the durability let alone qulaity to supply good drinking water.

    we bought our tank from a rural maker these people use high qulaity ingredients and nearly all of their tanks are for storing drinking water, we have never detected any odour or taste in the water, and even now that is still the case as to us the town water tastes revolting and will be even more less desirable when they start pumping recycled sewer water into the dams.

    len
     
  3. SueinWA

    SueinWA Junior Member

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    I am currently reading a book called Water Storage: Tanks, Cisterns, Aquifers, and Ponds by Art Ludwig (2005).

    Briefly, his advice:
    "HDPE #2 (High-density polyethylene) is the preferred plastic for water tanks. It can impart a plastic taste to the water, but it is rarely noticeable in large tanks, and keeping the tank shaded will reduce this effect."

    "You can turn a cheapo plastic tank into a first-class, high-performance, lifetime tank by combining it with masonry. This overcomes many of the shortcomings of both materials... If you combine a plastic tank with ferrocement or stone masonry, there's nothign to corrode, and the thick plastic tank won't puncture or tear... Masonry outside provides complete shade and sunscreen, extending the life of the tank to approximately forever. The masonry can be dry-laid rock or stucco over chicken wire. The bigger the tank, the harder the retrofit gets."

    Sue
     
  4. Nick Ritar

    Nick Ritar Junior Member

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    My folks have nearly 100,000 litres of rainwater storage on their place mostly in plastic tanks. The water storage at their farm has evolved over 150 years of depending on rain as the only source of drinking water with the nearest town water nearly an hours drive away.

    I have never detected anything but a beautiful clean taste from their taps.

    I am looking at purchasing 2 x 22000 litre tanks in the next few months and am trying to decide between plastic and steel. But my choice will mainly be based on what I can find second hand / recycled. I don't really mind if it's plastic, steel, concrete or made from bubble gum (in fact it may end up a combination of the above ;)

    RE Plastic vs steel - All the new corrugated steel tanks that i have seen lately are lined with plastic anyway.

    I don't think the metals that dissolve from zinc plated steel tanks or the god knows what that come from concrete tanks are much better for you than the plastics.

    A rain water tank is a glorious living thing, (yes there is an ecosystem in that tank) and the biology will line the inside of the tank and partially buffer any nasties that the tank material gives off.

    As for energy I have heard that the plastic tanks have much lower embodied energy than steel. It takes a hell of a lot of energy to make that much zinc plated steel, and incrementally more to transport it. Plastic manufacturing is done at much lower temperatures than steel.

    As far as chemicals released, as long as the tank has been made by a reputable manufacturer you should be fine. Whatever you choose you will have a cleaner, safer, tastier, more environmentally friendly water supply than the mains.

    Happy tank hunting.

    PS: I think almost all of the large tanks tanks are made in Australia, they are very big and would be horrendously expensive to import.
     
  5. pjac

    pjac New Member

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    Definitely go for a concrete water tank. The lime in the concrete will naturally pull the dirt that comes in with the water, down to the bottom of the tank - making your water crystal clear. Concrete will also keep your water cool.
     
  6. Dianella

    Dianella Guest

    The main problem with water tanks is often that you aren't just getting the main material.

    For example, an aquaplate tank is not just steel, but has a very thin PVC lining - food grade, but still PVC. Some people don't want that in contact with anything they ingest regularly. In addition, because the tank is made up of a series of rolled corrugated steel sections, these are joined (usually with screws or rivets) and the joins have to be sealed. The constituents in the sealant are usually pretty nasty - you can get Materials Safety Data Sheets for the sealant on the web if you can find out what it is.

    The biggest problem is that the sealant needs to "cure" - which means that it needs to finish giving off some gases - commonly a suspected carcinogen (think it is called 2-butanone oxime) - and form a hard skin that separates its consitutents from the water. Make sure that the manufacturer tells you what the curing time is.

    Check also whether it is recommended to flush out the tank before use. Mostly they won't tell you unless you ask.
    And - don't let tanks with PVC lining or sealant get hot - that means, not over 70 deg C. And if it has been affected by a bushfire - even just the heat from a bushfire - get it replaced.

    Steel tanks will sometimes react with a concrete slab; I'm told this is an issue with aquaplate tanks. Ask for an ormonoid sheet to put down under the tank - reputable suppliers will offer you one as part of the deal.

    Poly tanks - well, think about why they are flexible. Plastics are made flexible by plasticisers, which are one form or another of phthalate - this is a pseuso-estrogen (one of the endocrine disrupters). The more flexible the plastic, the more phthalates it contains. In addition, polyeurethane contains a few other nasties. Check it out on the web. If this doesn't put you off poly tanks, check out the Bushfire CRC website for their tests on different tank types. Their finding was that poly tanks can burn when exposed to a minor grassfire, and they concluded that these tanks should be regarded as flammable, and should not be sited within 30 metres of anything flammable, including another poly tank.

    If I had to use a poly tank it would be a light coloured one (less absorbed heat) and would be under a shade cloth and surrounded by at least a metre of gravel or concrete.

    Even stainless steel tanks (which are usually only slightly more expensive than poly tanks) have sealants, so you need to check out what type of sealant is used.

    Concrete tanks have virtually no water quality issues (they may have a "cement" taste for a while, but so far as I know there are no health risks associated with this), but are prone to cracking. However a good concrete tank will not crack, or will develop only hairline cracks that self seal through deposition of carbonates from the concrete. They are generally more expensive, but on a dollar per gallon basis are about the same as stainless steel. But don't let them pour it if the temp is over 25 deg C, or the cement may not cure properly.

    Hope this helps.
     
  7. pjac

    pjac New Member

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    Good sum-up Dianella!

    My husband has built concrete tanks for 20 years and would not recommend any other way to store drinking water. By the time he stopped building concrete tanks. there were many fantastic products on the market to help if the tank did get some cracks - even a product that could be applied with the tank full of water.

    At the time he stopped - approx. 10 years ago - tin, steel and fibreglass tanks were often more expensive than the concrete tanks. Go figure!

    Another thing to think of when considering purchasing steel and/or tin tanks, the water liners need replacing every 10 years or so, the plastic will melt in times of bush fires, and a bullet will make a hole in your tin/steel tank. No such problems with a concrete tank.

    We have now had two 20,000 gallon (92,000 litres) tanks built at our property in Baldivis WA. Never tasted any concrete in the water - and make a pan of soup with this fresh, clean/clear water!!!! Never tasted a better pan of soup.!!!

    :tongue8:
     
  8. loner

    loner Junior Member

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    I've always wondered what those 5 mm leach type things are in the rainwater ? They taste alright, larvae of some soughts, anyone know ?


    Sorry to hi jack the thread, but I didn't think it would warrant another topic.
     
  9. PDB

    PDB Junior Member

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    Sounds like Mosquito larvae. Can't say I've tasted it, but what ever float's your boat :)
     
  10. Jana

    Jana Junior Member

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    This is not about tanks, but about filters...you could rig up a homemade filter system by running your water through a tube of diatomaceous earth and/or zeolite. I also saw a filter made from fired clay with coffee grounds in it...in firing the coffee grounds are burnt out leaving a porous filter plug which you can use with some sort of funnel/catchment system...this is ideal for disaster area relief as it takes most of the bacteria out of the water. In fact you could probably make such a clay filter to fit into a brita filter jug.
     
  11. Soleil.Lunar

    Soleil.Lunar Junior Member

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    We have a concrete tank.
    Works for me and tastes better than town water any day. Most of the time, we are just happy to have any water at all.
    If you want high quality water I suggest filtering your water before use.
     
  12. Jana

    Jana Junior Member

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    Here is a rain catchment system using colvert pipes...rather cool.
    Also this guy shows old florescent light bulb tubes used to make a solar water heating array. You could probably use aold florescent tubes to build water filter systems containing zeolite and diatomaceous earth.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gzNitOR_Eo
     
  13. jay182009

    jay182009 New Member

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    Re: Water Quality From Tanks

    Using the water rain from tanks are not qualified but we can absorbed it by filtering method so that the water are good to drink from it and it might to enjoy drinking..

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