In-ground water tanks offer a world of convenience. They are useful if you have limited yard space because they are strong enough to fit beneath the driveway without being crushed. You don’t have to worry about parking on top of the tank’s location. They are constructed using concrete or reinforced plastic so that they can withstand the car’s weight.
The other advantage they offer is you don’t have to worry about aesthetics. When you place a tank in a visible location, you have to blend it with the rest of your yard decor, and that presents additional design challenges. Installing it underground will save you both space and stress. You might worry that you can’t easily access the tank though.
Since it’s inside the soil and topped with steel or concrete, especially if it’s placed under your parking spot, you may wonder how you’ll reach it when you need to clean it or fetch water. Underground tanks are fitted with powerful pumps as part of their installation. These pumps allow water to be distributed wherever you need it.
You can also align your rain gutters so that they collect run-off from the roofs and drains and feed it into the tank, providing emergency supplies. Many such tanks have detention and retention features to separate relatively clean rainwater from potentially soiled drain water. These two piping systems work together to prevent overflows that could lead to flooding.
Maintaining your underground water storage isn’t something you can do on your own because you have no way to get to it. Fortunately, professional tank maintainers are easily available to do it for you. Many tank installation companies have in-house maintenance staffers who can visit your site and keep your tank working well.
Your tank will need to be inspected on a regular basis to make sure the water is clean and that there are no leaks. The tank needs to be empty before inspection, so that your maintenance team can check all the walls and floors.
This inspection can be done using robotic machines in case the tank is inaccessible by human crew members, or if it’s not possible to empty it. Not all tanks can be robotically checked since the robot needs 24 inches of room to get into the tank.
During and after each inspection, the maintenance crew should make detailed notes and clear records. This information can be crucial in case you get a different staffer on your next maintenance visit. The records are a legal requirement for most underground tanks. They will also remind you when to schedule your next tank servicing.
A good maintenance company develops a simple record system that is easy to read, understand, and analyse. Unnecessary complexity makes life harder for everyone, including you, the tank owner. These records keep track of water levels to detect leaks, water quality to discover contaminants, and water distribution to spot pipe blockages.
Leaks in your underground tank can sometimes be diagnosed by other symptoms. If the water pressure changes, or if there is suddenly rust in your tank, it’s likely that the water is seeping out somewhere. In addition to checking for leaks, inspectors must check for structural damage, since this can collapse the tank.
Since the tank is underground, it’s susceptible to tectonic shifts, so all tanks need emergency inspection after natural disasters. These include earthquakes, tremors, hurricanes, tsunamis, blizzards, or tornadoes. Once potential damage has been identified, the crew has to list the repairs in order of priority and make plans to carry them out.
Structural repairs come first, followed by leaks, which can lead to biological contamination and possible infection. This is risky because waterborne infections are rapid. They can quickly become pandemic due to the number of people who use your water, and the people that subsequently come into contact with initial carriers.
Regular tank servicing goes beyond inspection and repair. The tank will also be cleaned to get rid of sludge, sediments, and other forms of dirt. It will then be disinfected before being refilled with water. If the inspection is robotic, the water can be treated to get rid of micro-organic contamination. However, if the robot finds any leaks or damage, the tank will have to be emptied before it can be restored to pristine condition.