Some people may not know what off-the-grid or off-grid means, so here it is --- The term off-the-grid or off-grid refers to living in a self-sufficient manner without reliance on one or more public utilities.

Off-grid living is no longer a one room log cabin in the woods. It's energy independency. You don't have to rely on utility companies, you create your own power. Today, there are more than 180,000 off-grid homes in the US.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Water Storage…

1:06 pm - 50 degrees outside - calm with an increase in clouds...

The need for water storage has been around forever.  A water tank provides for the storage of drinking water, irrigation agriculture, fire suppression as well as many other possible solutions.  Most often water tanks store water for human consumption.

In the US, estimates vary, but each person uses about 80-100 gallons of water per day.  Which means, the average family of four can use anywhere from 320 to 400 gallons of water per day.  This is where the water storage tank comes into play.  Our water storage tank system will allow a large volume of water to be placed into inventory or storage and during peak demand times we will be less likely to run low or out of water as the tank is constantly be replenished by the well.

We have a well with a pump (our water source), that pumps water up into the cold-water storage tanks that are buried up on a hill that is higher in elevation than our house.  The water that is stored there will then be pumped to the house when needed.

A cold-water storage tank is simply a tank designed to hold water at the current temperature and pressure in the atmosphere.  This water is generally used to feed cold water to the home or to the hot water heater and the taps in the home.  The reason for putting the tanks higher than the house is to have a constant feed of water.  If the pump at the water storage tanks should happen to fail, we would still have some water coming to the house from gravity.  The pump at the tanks is just to give added water pressure.

We are custom building our own water storage tank system.  We went and picked up two, used food grade, 275 gallon IBC Totes.  Being used food-grade totes, they previously held potato starch and have since gone thru a triple wash and are ready for us to use.  We eventually would like to have 8 of these, which will give us 2,200 gallons of stored water.

The two IBC Totes we just picked up.
IBC stands for Intermediate Bulk Container.  IBC Totes are large tanks, which are used to store and transport fluids and other bulk materials.  IBC Totes are composed of 3 primary components – the plastic container bottle, the galvanized steel tubular cage, and the container’s galvanized steel pallet.  Measurements are approximately 45-1/2” tall x 39-1/2” wide x 47-1/2” deep and they weigh approximately 125lbs empty.  They have a 6” screw on cap center top; 2” NPT male connector with cap, controlled by a lever actuated butterfly valve.  These are excellent for potable water storage containers, hydroponics reservoirs, rain catchment tanks, etc.

To Be Continued (once everything is in)…

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