For quite some time I have been very interested in building some sort of water storage system. Unfortunately for us, space is the key factor. The only space where we want to store water is in the garage or outside. Here in Utah, with the freezing weather, outside isn’t the ideal option.
I looked into making my own system of interconnected 55 gallon drums, but the space they would take up for the quantity of water stored was really not a solid enough solution for me.
Recently, my wife and I were shopping around at our local Emergency Essentials store when I ca
me across these specialty water storage tanks by a local Utah company called Water Prepared. The tanks hold 160 gallons each, and are capable of being stacked and inter-connected.
I read through the features, and was immediately sold.
- High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) #2 Food Grade Plastic Construction
- BPA Free and FDA Approved for long-term storage of safe, potable water.
- Completely seamless – rotational molding
- Strong Quality Assurance, every tank pressure-tested and manually inspected.
- Walls of tanks are at minimum, 1/4″ thick — significantly thicker than 55 gallon drums.
- 29″ wide, capable of fitting through a standard household door.
- UV-15 rated (15,000 direct sunlight hours or ~30 years of UV protectant)
- Rated from 140 degrees all the way down to -40 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Best of all: Made in the USA
After I had made up my mind, I found a clerk to get the price. I won’t lie, I didn’t like it, at all! Retail price is $360, which immediately made 55 gallon drums seem like a viable option again.
I went home and started doing the math and weighing out the pros and cons. I was surprised to find that for two of the Water Prepared tanks worth of water, I would need six 55 gallon drums. I would then have to buy PVC, hose, and lumber to make a decent storage system. After doing the math and investigating cheap barrels, I found that I would be at $400 pretty quickly, AND with lower quality tanks taking up significantly more of our valuable space.
I then considered upkeep. Water storage should be rotated (although the frequency varies depending on who you talk to) but it’s frequent enough, that rotating six 55 gallon drums really did not sound appealing at all.
This is something you really MUST consider. Your time is worth something too, and if rotating your water becomes a chore, it might not get done as often as it should.
With the Water Prepared tanks, each tank has two spigots. One for draining, and one perfect height for a five gallon bucket. This means, when it comes time to rotate the water, I can open the valve and let her rip, or I can fill a few buckets, and wash our cars and RV, making use of our precious resources!
Finally, a couple weeks ago, Water Prepared was going to have a booth at a local “Home Show.” I decided to go down there, meet the guys, and maybe pick up a tank or two. When I got there, I found they were doing a promotional sale on the tanks at $40 off, so I bit the bullet and snatched up two of them. At only 42 pounds, I was able to load them in my truck easily and get on my way.
I decided to go with one blue and one white tank. Although the blue is more suited for outdoor use since the blue helps block the light that bacteria and algae like, I wanted a white one for the top because it is easier to see the water level through.
I brought them home, and got started setting them up. I found that I was completely finished in just under 25 minutes. Wow!
Here is what they look like when you first get them home, notice the replaceable bulkhead connectors, and the venting top cap.
Setting them up is a breeze. First, you’ll put the rubber washers in the bulkheads. They’re the same diameter as your standard garden hose washer, but these are custom made to ensure they use the highest quality food grade materials. That’s pretty impressive. Not even cutting corners on the small stuff!
The next step is simple: Put some teflon tape around the threads of the included 1/4 turn spigots, and thread them into the bulkhead connectors, being careful not to cross thread.
All that’s left to do is stack them and fill them. There are tons of ways that you can fill them, but I figured if I was going to be rotating the water from time to time, it would be nice to use my closest source, as opposed to a garden hose bib outside and 60 feet of hose.
You can head to your closest home improvement store and pick up a quick-disconnect adapter that replaces the aerator on your sink, like this one:
The other piece of the puzzle is the quick disconnect sleeve, and whatever assorted fittings you need to connect up your hose in the direction you want, such as this:
When you slide the two together, it makes an easy, secure connection that is quick to disconnect and put away (hence the name):
At this point, I set the white tank on top of the blue tank, connected the other end of my hose to the bottom spigot, one tank at a time, and filled them up just above the middle spigot.
I leak tested overnight before topping them off the rest of the way.
Here is the finished product:
And there you have it, two 160 gallon tanks, for a total of 320 gallons, or approximately 3 months worth of water for my family of three! I am thoroughly impressed with these tanks, and the guys at Water Prepared are top notch folks who don’t cut corners.
If you’re remotely interested in water storage, and you dont have the space, or time to build an inferior system out of the 55 gallon drums, head on over to Water Prepared’s website and give them a try! I can’t recommend them enough! There’s also an article on how to build your own canned food storage rack.