The Evolution of Water Storage Tanks

Brief History of Water Tanks

The Harappan civilization being one of the most ancient civilizations of the world boasts of ‘The Great Bath’ at the archaeological site of Mohen-Jo Daro. The Great Bath is considered to be the oldest water tank in the world. A water tank is a container used for storing large quantities of water, to be later utilized for drinking, irrigation, fire suppression, food preparation, sanitation or for industrial purposes.

The essential need for water tanks was to shield potable water from negative influences in the environment; such as bacteria, viruses, algae or accumulation of heavy salts that could contaminate the water and be detrimental to the health of the populace. Waterborne plagues and diseases such as cholera were rampant in medieval times. Throughout centuries, materials like wood, stone and ceramic were used in the construction of water tanks. The most popular of them being cisterns, these ranged from simple clay pots to large underground structures that were carved out into the earth, lined with large stones, and waterproofed using lime plaster to keep it from leaking. These cisterns could supply singular households or even entire towns (depending on its structural scale), ensuring adequate water supply vis-à-vis water security for the civilization. 

Types of Modern Day Water Tanks

As manufacturing technology advanced and new raw materials like plastic polymers were discovered, the general design of the water tank evolved and its capabilities improved.                  Giving rise to the modern-day Plastic Water Tank which is more durable, functional and secure.
The most common modern-day water tanks are as follows: 

  1. Overhead Plastic Water Tank
    These water tanks can hold large volumes of water (up to ten-thousand litres) and are placed on rooftops or other elevated platforms to create more water pressure. Helping discharge the water with sufficient pressure to distribute to the whole property. These water tanks are built to withstand extreme environments and temperatures.
  2. Loft Water Tank
    These tanks are generally installed within residential homes owing to their lightweight rectangular design, which makes them easy to transport and accommodate. These loft water tanks can hold up to an astounding 500 litres of water.
  3. Underground Water Tank
    These tanks are used for underground storage of potable drinking water, wastewater or the purpose of rainwater harvesting. They may receive water from a boring well or collect surface water making it possible to store large volumes (up to 5000 litres of capacity) hidden from sight. Furthermore, these underground water tanks are made from virgin raw material that makes the tank non-porous and does not allow water to get contaminated. 

Choosing the Right Water Tank for Your Household

Purchasing the right water tank will be a long term investment in the health and lifestyle of your family. Thus while buying a water tank you should consider the following:

  1. Capacity, Average water usage in a household is 135 litres a day, multiply this to the number of members in your household, the resulting digit will be your family’s daily water consumption, It’ll be prudent to buy a water tank that stores more than the total volume used.
  2. You should ideally buy a tank that has been moulded as a ‘one-piece’, this will ensure wall thickness and durability of the water tank. It should also be equipped with bottom outlets, ventilation ports and an inspection hatch while being completely sealed.
  3. It is advised that you inquire about the material of the tank’s construction, ensuring that it is well insulated and non-reactive towards changes in pH level of the water (that is bound to fluctuate in the domestic water supply).
  4. Tanks coated with an antibacterial inner layer can safeguard the water against microbes. Additionally, a UV protection layer should also be installed to prevent the tank from degradation.
  5. Always choose a tank with a threaded lid to make certain that it is well-protected from animals and birds. The lid will also ensure no dirt enters the tank and infects the water in it.

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