Water Storage Project

Jun 1st, 20121 Comment

Water storage is an important first step for preppers, especially in the desert.  The big question is how to store enough water for a family.  I’ve been considering my options and finally decided to add a 205 gallon tank to my supply.  Recycled syrup tanks from beverage bottlers are very popular and you can pick up a 275 gallon syrup tank for about $130 in Tucson.  My concern is that they are semi-transparent which means they are susceptible to algae growth.  I decided to go with a Bushman tank instead.  It is more expensive at $275, but it is an opaque green and fits nicely in an unused corner of my yard.  This tank is a 35 inch cylinder that stands 60 inches high, and it comes with a 16 inch screw on lid and both inlet and outlet fittings installed.  I also bought nine pavers to set it on and a hose spigot for the bottom outlet, for a total investment of $316, including tax.

This tank holds about 20 days worth of water for a family of four (1 1/2 gallons for drinking and 1 gallon for hygiene per person per day).  That’s admittedly tight rations, but is a whole lot better than dehydration!  We have the luxury of extending our supply by using our pool water for cleaning, giving us about 34 days of drinking water in the tank.  One issue that can’t be avoided is water temperature.  Unless you store your water inside your house, it is going to be exposed to temperature extremes.  In the summer, you can cool your drinking water in 2 liter soda bottles or the collapsible 5 gallon water jug from your camping supplies by tying a weight to it, and throwing it into your pool overnight (if you have one).  Even though our daytime temperatures are over a hundred here in Tucson, my pool temperature is still in the 70’s, so the drinking water will cool quite a bit.  If you don’t have a pool then just leave the bottles outside overnight.  Either way the water is going to be warmer than you are used to, but once you get thirsty enough you won’t care!  Tucson’s winters don’t normally get cold enough to worry about freezing this tank, however in colder climates you may want to add insulation or keep the tank in your garage.  Anyway, give some thought to how you can handle temperature extremes in your area before you buy a large freestanding water tank.

For the future, I am looking at a rain harvesting system that will hold in the neighborhood of 1500-2000 gallons.  This would provide free water for landscaping throughout the year and a considerable emergency drinking supply.  That is a much more costly endeavor however and will have to wait for another day.

Feel free to share your water storage solutions in the comments.

© 2012, mjshozda. All rights reserved.

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