Whilst staying at a cabin site, water storage is extremely important if you’re not fortunate enough to have a water well.
This is why I prefer to store large amounts of water, utilizing 275 gallon water tanks. These tanks are very useful and could end up saving your life in extreme conditions however they can be costly (Costing up to $500).
This can be an extreme inconvenience and unaffordable for many people like myself which is why I found the best place to buy 275 gallon water tanks for cheap.
Where do I purchase my water tanks?
The truth is, I buy my water tanks from Craigslist. Yes, craigslist is known for being dodgy and un-trust worthy but it really comes down to how you approach it and how you go about business. If you use Craigslist properly it’s just as safe as buying from a multi-million-dollar cooperation. When you search for “275 Gallon Water Tank” you’ll find that most of these tanks are being sold by companies rather than individuals, this makes it a lot safer.
The reason behind this is that many large companies buy massive quantities of liquid materials, which arrives in these water tanks. Once received, they’re only interested in the liquid material so they have no need for their water tanks and it’s not worth shipping the tanks back to be re-used. Therefore, companies sell water tanks for cheap, they simply get given them for free with their purchases and they have no further use for them.
One important thing to remember when purchasing used water tanks is to look for ones which have only been used for food grade products. This is because other liquids may be toxic and have contaminated the tanks and could potentially be harmful to your health. You can find out by asking the seller, however most will specify if the tank was not food grade.
How much do used water tanks cost?
I feel as though I’ve done enough research purchasing used water tanks from Craigslist to come up with a general idea of how much these costs. An average price for a 275 gallon water tank would be $50 – $75. However, the price of these tanks can vary depending on your location. Either way, you’ll end up getting a great deal considering these can cost $200-500 new.
If you’re having trouble trying to find used water tanks in your location then you should check back regularly for new items being put onto the market. Towns with a lot of industry will have more available tanks than small towns. Depending how badly you need a used water tank, you should prepare yourself to travel for one. If searching for a tank becomes too much of an inconvenience it may be worth just purchasing a new one for a lot more.
What should I know if I want to store drinking/potable water?
The main rule of thumb when purchasing a used water tank is to look for ones that have only been used for food grade products. This is because other liquids may be toxic and have contaminated the tanks and could potentially be harmful to your health. If the seller does not clearly state this then make sure that you ask what was transported inside the tank.
In order to pump water into your water tank you’ll need to purchase a hose to pump water to and from the tank. You’ll need a specialized hose for this task as you cannot use any regular garden hose. This is because garden hoses often contain lead which can lead to lead poisoning. I’d recommend this hose, It is safe and should be more than long enough. However, you can always purchase more than one and connect them together.
An alternative method would be running Pex or PVC tubes under the ground, connecting the water storage to a hose spout which you’ll place where you’d like to use the water. This is the tougher option as it requires a trench to be dug. The trench will have to be below what’s known as the ‘Frost Line Depth’. This is the depth in which groundwater in soil predicted to freeze.
How to keep stored water safe?
There are a couple of things you must keep in consideration in order to keep stored water safe to drink. This is important if you intend on keeping stored water for a long period of time. Water that is stored for a long time and not treated may become unsafe and algae may grow.
Firstly, you should ensure that no harmful chemicals are too close to the water storage. This includes chemicals such as kerosene and gasoline. This is because such chemicals release vapors which can be absorbed by the water tanks plastic.
Water storage must be kept away from any heat sources, especially the sun. This is because of how vulnerable plastic is too heat. Plastic will degrade and holes will be created which water can then leak out off. Also, the heat from the sun will encourage algae growth.
Why does my storage water taste strange?
If your water starts to taste strange or out of the normal then it may have been contaminated by bacteria. This is okay as it is possible to chemically treat your water to annihilate all present bacteria.
- Firstly, add a teaspoon of bleach to the water storage (Any normal unscented household bleach should work) for every gallon of water in your storage.
- Mix the bleach into the tank
- Allow the storage to stand for roughly 40 minutes
Doing this will kill the bacteria which makes your water taste odd. You should also do this regularly even if your water doesn’t taste strange. This process ensures that your water is safe and disinfected.
Note: Ensure that your bleach is 5.25% – 8% sodium hypochlorite.
Note: I’ve found this information using the University of Florida website.
How to get water pressure from a water tank?
You’ve managed to set-up a water storage however it only expels a small, slow trickle. This is an extremely annoying and none wants to wait five minutes for a cup of water or an hour for a washing bucket. In order for water to be released quicker, you’ll need to increase the water pressure of the storage container.
You could increase water pressure using a pressure tank however there are much easier and cheaper options. Placing your water storage at 100 ft of elevation will increase your water pressure significantly, similarly to the water pressure found in the city. 100 Feet of elevation results in an estimated psi of 40. So, in turn, 50 Feet of elevation results in an estimated psi of 20.
Note: Having a high-water pressure will result in you using up more water. Because of this you should ensure that you find a balance and do not make your water pressure too high. For tasks that you don’t need very much water for such as washing your hands may end up going overboard and using too much water.
Personally, I find that keeping my water tank around 50 feet above my site provides me with the best water flow. This is enough to complete tasks such as washing dishes and having showers and not too much for smaller tasks such as washing my hands and brushing my teeth.
How do I fill my water tank?
To reach the right water pressure, you would have had to keep your water tank up-hill from your camp. This isn’t a problem if the road leading to your site comes from above, as you’ll just have to transport a full tank which you’ll then siphon into the water storage tank.
This could have caused an inconvenience filling your tank if the road leading to your camp comes from below and you must figure out how to get your water up-hill. It’s almost impossible transporting a full water tank so don’t even think of it.
I’ve figured out a solution to this situation. The method involves purchasing multiple water tanks. One water tank will be located near the bottom of the site whilst another one will be situated around 100 feet up hill. The water which you use for washing, and not drinking will be pumped from the nearby water stream. I use a ½ HP submersible sump pump which I drop into the stream and attach to a hose which pumps water to the water tank below the site. When the tank is full, I can then drop the pump into it so that I can fill the next tank with it.
For this set-up you’ll need to consider what pump you’ll purchase. You could use a cheap plastic pump which may not be as effective and may only last for a few weeks, or you could get a higher quality iron pump. Some pumps are only capable of pumping water 15 feet up whilst some can reach heights of 50 feet. The amount of water that a pump can move also varies greatly depending on the tank.
My Recommendation: I’d highly recommend the AMT Pump 5811-99 Submersible Utility Pump
What do I do if my submersible pump doesn’t fit in my water tanks?
Note: To use a submersible pump, it will have to fit through the hole of your water tank. Sometimes if your pump is only slightly bigger than the hole, you can chip the sides so it can squeeze inside.
If your water tanks opening is far too small for the pump then you’ll have to use a non-submersible pump. I’ve tried a couple of these however I’ve found one that I’d recommend to everyone.
My Recommendation: I’d highly recommend the WAYNE PC4 1/2 HP Cast Iron Multi-Purpose Pump
Using a non-submersible pump, you’ll require a short hose which connects from the pump into the water.
My name is Eugene Thornhill. I'm an outdoor enthusiast who loves nothing more than being one with nature. I've lived in numerous outdoor homes and even constructed my own. Living off-grid is something I'm very familiar with, more so than living in the city. For many years I've dealt with the many problems of living off-grid. It's time to pass on my knowledge through Cabinguides.