Water tanks, liquid storage containers, municipal, potable water storage constitutes most applications for water tanks. Other water tank applications include Agriculture; livestock, irrigation, hydroponics, fertilizer and herbicide mixtures. Industrial: fire suppression, chemical manufacturing, food production and preparation. Pharmaceuticals and medical: kidney dialysis, drug manufacturing.
Water tank materials of construction include: Stainless steel, polyethylene plastic, fiberglass, concrete, carbon steel (coated).
The FDA, NSF, ASTM and AWWA all provide relevant information and suggestions on how to specify both the design and materials used in the manufacture of water tanks:
The Design and Specifications for your water tank application begins with an assessment of needs, the design of the tank will come from the roots of this design philosophy:
1. Economics will dictate certain reservations in your design, typically your water tank budget will control both the tanks volume and materials of construction.
2. What will the water be used for? This consideration will allow you to focus on the required materials of construction, i.e.. FDA, AWWA, ASTM & NSF approved materials (stainless steel and approved plastics, polyethylene tanks) for water having a final destination for human consumption. All other materials for all other applications, concrete, galvanized steel, uncoated steel, clay etc.
3. Water tank volume will dictate to some extent materials of construction, Polyethylene plastic tank farms, with each tank up to 15,000 gallons in capacity, produce low cost economic solutions as installation and are both quick and low cost to accomplish. Individual Fiberglass tank up 50,000 gallons provide another low cost solution, but freight is extreme. 50,000 gallons water tanks and above are usually field erected from bolt together materials or field constructed (welded) and FDA - NSF coated carbon steel.
4. Elevations and geology will impact design, and costs of installation. Civil engineering will establish the viability of the geology that the water tank will be placed on and this will dictate site preparation and cost. In addition also the choice of materials of construction will be impacted by the whether the tank is located indoors, outdoors, above ground or underground.
4. The Range of temperature in the area of installation will also dictate the choice of tank design, where water will be subject to freezing and the length of time these conditions will be prevalent has a great impact on design considerations..
5. Pumps, elevated water towers, geologically elevated water tanks or combinations there of, will dictate the pressure at which your water tank is able pressurize the delivered water supply. Water towers allow for great volumes to be under constant pressure to the delivery mechanism (hydro-pneumatic tank) distribution system. The same is true for geologically elevated ground storage tanks ( where a ground storage tank is elevated on a hill above the distribution system. Pumps on the other hand will deliver water from your ground storage tank to a hydro-pneumatic tank and on to the distribution system.
6. How is the water to be delivered to the water tank, will dictate the design of your pump requirements, whether you pump from your water well directly into a ground storage tank on from a Water Treatment plant to a ground storage tank and into a water tower or other elevated tank.
7. Geological and meteorological considerations for Earthquake and high Wind potentials will need to be included into your design considerations as the survival of water distribution system will be of paramount importance. Your budget considerations must include the survival of your Water tanks as the potential for seismic and high wind events is established..
A. Water towers are some of the most expensive water tanks in use today, the provide for a large volume of water, 200,000 gallons and upward. The water in this tank is under a constant pressure at grade at the rate of ( 1 psig ) per 2.34 feet of elevation. At 150 feet of elevation the water will be under 64 psig at grade or into the distribution system.
B. Horizontal cylindrical tanks maybe used for esthetic considerations (keeping the tank out of sight) or typically transportation of water or other liquids; horizontal water tanks create a low-profile transportable liquid storage container / tank, this low profile creates a low center of gravity helping to maintain equilibrium for the transport vehicle, trailer or truck.
C. Vertical cylindrical dome top tanks may hold from fifty gallons to several million gallons, this is the most economical water tank configuration.
D. Hydro-pneumatic water tanks are typically horizontal pressurized storage tanks. Pressurizing this reservoir of water creates a surge free delivery of stored water into the distribution system. The input to this water tank will be accomplished by either pump or elevated water storage tank, ( water tower ).
E. Custom configurations include rectangular cube shaped tanks, cone bottom and special shapes for specific design requirements. There may be difficult access as in high rise office buildings, either in the basements, on the roof or inside upper floor mechanical rooms.
A properly designed Water tank will provide for the long term storage of water without producing a negative impact on the water being stored. As water is susceptible to a number of negative influences, bacteria, viruses, algae, changes in pH, and accumulation of minerals. Consideration should be given to create a water storage tank that does nothing to accelerate or promote these negatives to your water.
Articles and specifications for Water Tank applications and design considerations: American Water Works Association The AWWA is a reservoir of water tank knowledge; the association provides specifications for a variety of water storage tank applications as well as design. The AWWA's site provides scientific resources with which the reader will be able to develop an informed perspective on which to make decisions regarding their water tank requirements.
NSF International writes standards, inspects and confirms that manufactured products that come into contact with air, food, consumer goods and water are suitable for human consumption.
The Food and Drug Administration approves materials for use in storing water and food materials. Consult the Code of Federal Register for more details on water tanks.
Space flight simulator use elaborate water tanks for the simulation of weightlessness. Water tanks fabricated to resemble space craft interiors are suspended in large swimming pool like environments, giving astronauts the feeling approximating zero gravity.
The Airline industry uses elaborate water tanks to simulate emergency water landings and the performance of aircraft upon entry to the water.
Architecture Dampening of upper flower high rise building movement by using a highly placed volume water tank, the volume of water creates an isolation of the inertia movement opposite to the building movement, slowing the building's movement and thus the perception of movement.
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