A Simple Guide to Water Storage Tanks

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A water storage tank holds clean water from reverse osmosis or other filtration systems until you can use it. Pressurized storage tanks expel water on demand, while atmospheric tanks require a booster pump to supply pressure. Water storage tanks are available in various sizes, designs and specifications and can be used for residential, commercial, and large-scale industrial or municipal enterprises.

What is a water storage tank?

A water storage tank collects and stores water for later, timely use. When you turn on the kitchen faucet, water flows from the tank to the faucet, providing fresh water when needed. Reverse osmosis systems work slowly, purifying water drop by drop. A reverse osmosis storage tank ensures access to this water whenever you need it, without waiting for the system to laboriously fill your glass. Many wells are low-pressure and low-recovery and are responsible for supplying pressurized water to an entire home or business. A well-pressure tank ensures that you can immediately access pressurised water when you turn on the shower or flush the toilet. They also help extend the life of the good pump by protecting it from short cycling.   

Water storage tanks from Storage Tank Manufacturers in India come in all shapes, sizes and configurations and are used for various purposes in the water treatment industry. Water storage tanks are an integral part of many domestic water systems, from a small 5-gallon reverse osmosis tank stored neatly under the sink to an imposing 120-gallon well pressure tank. Large outdoor atmospheric tanks can store thousands of gallons of rainwater and well water or be used for fire suppression. These tanks are often equipped with UV inhibitors, which prevent sunlight from facilitating the growth of algae and bacteria inside the tank. Thermal expansion tanks prevent water heaters with a closed water supply from leaking and bursting.

How does a water storage tank work?

A water storage tank holds clean water from your reverse osmosis system until a demand for water is initiated in the home or business. Water is pumped into the tank from the water source, such as a well or reverse osmosis system, and the reservoir accumulates water until it is full. When you need access to water, whether filling your glass with crystal clear water, taking a bath or irrigating a field, the storage tank gives you instant access to water.

Water storage tanks are typically pressure tanks or atmospheric tanks. Point-of-use applications like reverse osmosis storage tanks typically use pressure tanks. Outdoor applications or large-scale municipal water storage operations typically use atmospheric tanks.

How do pressure tanks work?

Pressure tanks use compressed air to create water pressure within the tank. A pressure tank is constructed with an air chamber or bladder and comes with a pressure pre-charge. As the tank fills with water, the weight of the water begins to compress the air. As the air continues to compress, the pressure inside the reservoir increases. When the reservoir reaches a certain internal pressure, it signals the power supply to ceasesupply.

When you turn on a kitchen faucet, the air pressure pushes the water out of the reservoir, propelling the pressurized water through the pipes to the sink. When the water leaves the reservoir, the air begins to expand again, reducing the pressure in the reservoir and sending a signal to the water source to resume supply. If the pressure reservoir is being used to store well water, the reservoir will send a signal to the good pump to restart. If the storage tank is collecting reverse osmosis water, the reduction in pressure will signal the reverse osmosis system to restart production. These are hydro-pneumatic tanks because they use the combined force of water and air to generate pressure inside a tank.  

How do atmospheric tanks work?

Atmospheric tanks do not contain air bladders or diaphragms to pressurize the water in their tanks. Instead, atmospheric tanks hold water at ambient pressure. The ambient pressure is simply the pre-existing pressure corresponding to the location of the tank (typically about 0.5 psi), and no pressure is exerted on the water in the tank. Atmospheric tanks can also be used to hold liquids such as crude oil, and some are capable of holding chemicals and acids. For example, subway tanks at gas stations hold gasoline at atmospheric pressure.

To draw water from an atmospheric storage tank, you will need a water booster pump to draw water from the tank and deliver it throughout the house. Since the water in these tanks is not pressurized, you will need the help of a pump or gravity to pull it out of the tank and circulate it through the pipes. UV-stabilized atmospheric tanks are commonly used in outdoor applications, such as rainwater harvesting, or for agricultural purposes, such as fertilizer storage. They can also be used for water distribution, wastewater transport or commercial chemical storage. Atmospheric tanks are typically much larger than pressure tanks, holding thousands of gallons at a time. The ambient pressure and UV inhibitors in atmospheric tanks also make them more resistant to weathering, even in adverse conditions.

Why do water storage tanks rise?

Atmospheric water storage tanks are elevated to help them generate water pressure. If a water storage tank is elevated high enough, gravity alone can trigger water pressure identical to large water booster pumps. For example, community water towers operate on this principle. Water is pumped to the water tower and held until demand is initiated. When you turn on the tap, the water tower can supply your home with water at high pressure because of its elevation. Water towers are typically about 165 feet high. For every foot the water descends, it acquires a pressure of 0.43 psi, which means the water reaches the showerhead and kitchen faucet at a pressure of between 50 and 100 psi.

What are water storage tanks used for?

Water storage tanks are used in various applications where water storage is necessary for quick access to water. Household water storage, commercial food and beverage preparation, agriculture and irrigation, firefighting, and industrial manufacturing use water storage tanks to expedite water supply. The size and specifications of the tank will vary depending on the application for which it is used and the daily water demand of the household or business.

Posted 02 Mar 2023

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