Thoughts and perspectives from the team.

Types of Water Storage Tanks

AUTHOR T Bailey, Inc.

PUBLISHED Dec 8, 2020

Are you trying to decide which type of water storage tank to install at your facility? While the wide variety of water tanks may be initially overwhelming, you can quickly determine the best tank for your situation by considering several factors: 

  • Application. What kind of water is your tank going to store? 
  • Capacity. How much water do you need to store? 
  • Budget. How much money are you willing to invest into your water storage tanks? 

With these questions in mind, continue reading to learn which water storage tank is ideal for your situation. 

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Different Types of Water Storage Tanks

The following water tanks are organized from most affordable to most durable. As with all products, the more you’re willing to invest in your storage tank, the more dependable and long-lasting the tank will be. 

1. Bladder Tanks

Also known as pillow tanks, these collapsable tanks are made out of durable fabric or rubber and can quickly be deployed in the field. Another advantage is that custom bladder tanks can be quickly produced to meet tight deadlines. 

Pillow tank capacity can range anywhere from 25 to 25,000 gallons. 

Bladder tanks can be used for any kind of temporary water storage, including rainwater, drinking water, non-potable water, and greywater. 

2. Folding Tanks

In a similar cost bracket to bladder tanks, folding tanks are another temporary and quick-to-setup water storage solution. These tanks generally range in capacity from 500 to 5,000 gallons. 

Also similar to bladder tanks, folding tanks can be used for any kind of short-term water storage, including industrial wastewater storage, water purification, drinking water storage, and pollution control. 

Because folding tanks are so easy to deploy, they are ideal for emergency water storage on rough terrain. 

3. Polyethylene Water Storage Tanks

Polyethylene water tanks are ideal for storing small volumes of potable drinking water. Capacity ranges from 25 to 20,000 gallons. Unlike folding and bladder tanks, polyethylene “plastic” tanks are long-term water storage tanks. 

These tanks are great for facilities that have limited budgets and need small-to-medium, potable water storage tanks. 

4. Above Ground Fiberglass Storage Tanks 

These long-lasting storage tanks range in capacity from 4,000 to 50,000 gallons. Fiberglass water tanks are ideal for companies that need a long-term storage solution but don’t have the budget for steel-welded water storage tanks. 

Fiberglass water tanks are ideal for storing caustic water. Applications include greywater, rainwater, drinking water, and any kind of non-potable water. 

One disadvantage of fiberglass water storage tanks is that they can become brittle and are prone to cracking if not maintained correctly. 

5. Corrugated Steel Tanks

Corrugated steel tanks are robust water storage solutions that can range in capacity from 500 to over 1-million gallons. These tanks are a good middle-ground between fiberglass and steel-welded storage tanks. 

Corrugated water storage tanks are typically field-erected and are used for fire protection, irrigation water storage, wastewater treatment, and potable water supply. 

6. Steel-Welded Standpipes 

Steel-welded standpipes and reservoirs (the following entry) are the two gold standards of water storage tanks. These imposing steel structures can be built to hold any capacity of water, constructed to any size, and are fabricated to truly stand the test of time. 

Standpipes are above-ground steel tanks that use gravity to create pressure for a water supply system. These industrial-quality water storage tanks have capacities ranging from thousands of gallons to millions of gallons, making them ideal for fire suppression systems and portable water storage tanks. 

If you are looking for a reliable and long-lasting water storage solution that requires minimal maintenance, then a steel-welded standpipe is likely the ideal water tank for your job site. Or, if you want a water storage tank with a lower profile, then a steel reservoir is an equally good choice — bringing us to the final entry on this list. 

7. Steel-Welded Water Storage Reservoirs

Steel water reservoirs are a premium storage solution. These tanks can range from shop-built reservoirs capable of holding thousands of gallons, up to massive field-erected reservoirs capable of holding tens of millions of gallons. 

Because reservoirs are fabricated from steel, they can be optimized to store any kind of water. 

Steel-welded reservoirs offer many advantages. They are robust, leak-free, and when positioned on high ground they provide an economical source of water pressure. An additional benefit of reservoirs is that their lower profile makes them easy to conceal. 

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How to Choose the Right Type of Water Storage Tank 

Now that you know which types of water storage tanks are available, you can make an educated decision about which tank to get. 

If you need a temporary water storage tank that is easy to set up and take down, then a bladder or folding tank is ideal for you. Or, if you only need to store a few thousand gallons of water, then consider ordering a polyethylene or corrugated steel tank. 

But if you need a high-quality water storage tank that will last for decades, then your best options are either a steel-welded standpipe or reservoir. 

To learn more about your steel-welded water tank options, contact T BAILEY INC. today.