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Do-It-Yourself Water Storage
Do you need to store large volumes of water in order to have a dependable drinking water supply? Would you like to have some potable water stored up for when the electricity goes off, or for whatever reason your water supply might be interrupted? Would you like to have a good size pipe from a good sized, full tank of water in case of fire? Yes, in emergencies, you can still have a gravity fed reserve water supply. Now, all of the above, and more, is possible without breaking the bank.
The author of this 32 page booklet, has a spring, some 30 feet below the level of his home, from which he gets his water supply. But when there are heavy rains, the water gets too turbid to use. Therefore, a large volume, water tank was devised and constructed on a site some 90 feet in elevation above his home site. It is filled by an electric pump when the water is nice and clear and thus there is a constant supply of gravity-fed, potable water.
Advantages of a large Water Tank over a small one.
- Extra supply for emergencies—
- Natural calamities with loss of electricity.
- Larger body of water is less likely to freeze.
- Costs less per gallon of storage capacity.
One of the most important aspects of this homemade water tank is that it cost only one-fourth to one-third the cost of the most economical factory made tanks of equal capacity. The direct cost for the materials for this 8,000 gallon water tank was only about $1,500. This is a little less than 19 cents cost for materials per gallon of storage capacity. Compare this with a recent quote for a factory made 8,500 gallon capacity tank of polyethylene for $4,788. This calculates to a cost for materials of 56 cents per gallon of storage capacity. The delivery would have added another $1,850 for a total cost of $6,638 or 78 cents per gallon of storage capacity. One does not have to have many years of education to see the great difference in expense of the two approaches.
The materials used in the Appalachian Water Tank System are low-tech and installable by the average handyman. Only some of the steps require a helper.
This do-it-yourself potable water tank system has, basically, all of the major advantages of much more expensive tanks, and some which others do not have.
The advantages are:
- The water is in direct contact only with non-leaching (does not give off chemicals) material approved for potable-water—homemade liner from polyethylene.
- The water chamber material is impervious, not allowing outside chemicals or pollutants to pass through to the water.
- Light is excluded from the water chamber thus preventing growth of algae.
- The water chamber is sealed against the entrance of hibernating or exploring insects, lizards, mice squirrels, etc.
- Fabrication materials are all relatively small and lightweight, and can be more readily transported to sites difficult to access—even by footpath.
- Most of the assembly can be done by one person. Only a few steps require a helper.
- Out-of-pocket costs are greatly decreased.
- Tank is flexible and thus less susceptible to damage from freezing or from accidental contact with tractors, mowers, etc.
- As used, the materials should last indefinitely. If ever needed, the cost to repair and/or replace a component should remain low compared to most other tank systems.
- The tank wall requires no time-consuming, skilled assembly of expensive, tight-fitting wood components.
- Applicable to common tank sizes, up to 8,000 gallons plus. The larger the tank the greater the advantages over factory made tanks.
Though of low technological origin, the materials used in this tank system come from diverse areas of application. Some of the materials are modified and adapted to innovative uses for which they were not primarily designed but in which they function well. This Appalachian Water Tank System may well be worthy of recognition and wide usage for its low cost and excellent function.
Multiple Uses of the Appalachian Water Tank System
The materials and methods of construction used in this Appalachian Water Tank System can be also used, with minor modifications, in a wide variety of products such as:
- Cisterns or Rain Barrels in water conservation, for the collection and storage of rainwater for use in the home and/or garden, landscape and for emergency water for fire fighting.
- Uncovered Water Tanks for reception and storage of non-potable water for irrigation, livestock, and/or emergency fire fighting use from windmills, water rams, and pumps of all types.
- Swimming Pools and Hot Tubs to improve one’s leisure life.
- Planter Tubs for landscaping uses to improve the esthetics and value of your property.
- Storage Tank Wraps to improve the esthetic appearance of round tanks of all uses. It gives the wood-tank appearance to steel, plastic, and concrete tanks.
The Step-by-Step Construction and Resource Manual contains the following:
- The materials used in this system.
- Sources for the materials
- Formulas for calculating the gallons stored in tanks of a certain size, as well as how to estimate the amount of water use, and location of, and water pressure from, a tank.
- A step-by-step description of the modification of certain of the materials needed for their specific use in this water tank system.
- Construction of tools that are very helpful in the construction, operation, and maintenance of your tank and distribution lines.
- A step-by step description of the construction and assembly of the tank site, base, plumbing, wall, sealed water compartment, and protective roof. It includes multiple, four color photographs and pictorial illustrations.
Potential Problem That Can Be Avoided
Wooden water tanks, generally, do not require much maintenance and therefore, in many instances are not examined very frequently. Because of this, there is a potential problem for them, as well as all wooden structures, from certain insect pests. Any wood in contact with the soil, in most tank construction systems, will be either pressure treated, or of a type of wood not appealing to termites. There is another pest, however, which occasionally may be a problem.
There are seven varieties of Carpenter Bees in the United States. Certain varieties of these can, over time, cause significant damage to wood structures. Here in East Tennessee, we occasionally see a large variety, the size and appearance similar to a bumble bee. These make holes nearly 1/2 inch in diameter, with tunnels of varying lengths, in the wood to make a nesting site. I have had several holes from these in a porch beam, and I found one even in a 1 x 1 inch garden stake! One or two of these may not be a serious problem, but the females tend to return year after year to the same nest hole, and with time, other females make their nests near by. Thus serious damage can result.
Males may buzz threateningly but they cannot sting. The smaller females can sting, but they rarely do. If found, an aerosol insecticide can be sprayed into each hole. After a few days, if there is no further bee activity, the holes can be filled deeply with putty or caulking to discourage future use. Bare wood is the most susceptible. A coat of paint or varnish helps to deter the bees. They will be most readily detected in the Spring and Early Summer when they are setting up their nests. It would be well to inspect your wood water tank, and all other wood structures, especially during this time of year, for any infestation of these Carpenter Bees.
We can survive many days without eating, but only a few a days without water. As the earth’s population continues to increase and pollution becomes more serious, a good source of clean water is becoming more and more important.
But even more important than physical water for our survival is the daily drinking of the “Water of Life.” Jesus Christ said; “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink,” and “whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 7:37 and 4:14) Water is absolutely essential for our temporal life, and the Living Water of Life from Heaven is just as essential for eternal life.
The author of this website has tasted of the Lord of the Holy Scriptures—the Bible—and found that He is good. A daily study of Jesus Christ and His messages to modern man provides one peace, love, security, and a meaning to life not found anywhere else. All other searches ultimately lead to “broken cisterns” and “wells without water.” (Jeremiah 2:13 and 2 Peter 2:17) One of the best sources for assistance in personally getting to know Jesus Christ and His plan for your life, as well as understanding Bible Prophecy, is at:
1481 Reagan Valley Road
Tellico Plains, TN 37385