As populations grow and climate change leads to uncertain weather patterns, large water tanks are becoming an increasingly important tool for ensuring a reliable supply of precious resources. These massive containers help communities bridge the gap between supply and demand for clean water.
What Defines a Large Water Tank?
There is no universally agreed upon threshold for considering a tank to be “large,” but generally they tend to be over 50,000 litres in capacity. These jumbo tanks come in a variety of shapes like horizontal cylinders, standpipes, prestressed concrete, and more depending on the intended application. The largest tanks in the world can hold millions of litres.
Key Benefits of Large Water Tanks
Reliability – Large water tanks provide a buffer against intermittent disruptions in supply, like droughts or pipe breaks. Even a short lapse in delivery from treatment plants can be bridged by the reserve supply sitting in these reservoirs.
Peak load handling – Water demand fluctuates over hours and seasons, with mornings and summers typically experiencing spikes. By having capacity on hand to meet peak demand flows, large tanks prevent pressure loss.
Emergency preparedness – No community wants to face a health crisis caused by a lack of clean, potable water. Keeping abundant reserves allows residents to continue washing, cooking, and flushing even if there are shocks to infrastructure like natural disasters.
Cost savings – Treatment plants would need oversized capacities if they had to directly meet intermittent peak demands. Large storage effectively shifts when water is used, saving millions in unnecessary capital projects.
Siting Considerations for Water Tanks
When planning large water tank projects, there are a number of key factors that determine ideal locations:
Elevation – Sufficient height is needed to allow gravity-fed water distribution without pumping. Hills and multi-column designs provide this hydraulic head pressure.
Pipelines – New reservoirs should tie into existing piping networks, without needing huge lengths of supply line construction. Available land parcels must consider connectivity.
Geology – Engineers assess ground stability and the ability of concrete foundations to withstand immense weights when full. Areas prone to earthquakes require seismic analysis too.
Accessibility – Service vehicles must be able to easily access reservoirs for routine maintenance, inspections, cleaning and water quality sampling activities over their lifespan.
Environment – Proximity to wetlands, protected species, or other sensitive receptors should be avoided. Sites must meet zoning allowances and pass environmental reviews as well.
By carefully weighing all these factors, municipalities can plan out the best sites to erect the large water tanks that help keep the community on tap. Proper design supports growth for decades while avoiding costly shortcuts that could compromise public health and clean water access. Taking a long view ensures we have adequate reserves in place come rain or shine.