Open top storage tanks often prove a cost-effective and simple solution to storing and transferring large amounts of liquids such as water. An open top storage tank is any type of large capacity tank that is meant to hold liquid while lacking a fully attached lid or other covering.
Open top water tanks are typically aimed at customers looking to be able to lower items into the tank for cleaning or testing under water, although they can be built to hold volumes of up to around 15,000 litres. Larger amounts of water will probably require sturdier, permanently fixed storage solutions.
In contrast to other water storage tanks their use is much more flexible, as they can be incorporated easily into most systems. Most are rectangular appearance, with a supporting Rim running along the top edge. Larger models look like small swimming pools and may have supports running around them at varying heights.
The tanks are, however, more vulnerable to contamination and freezing due to their uncovered and uninsulated state. Smaller tanks may also be knocked over easily due to their light weight construction materials when empty. Users of these storage tanks may also require additional equipment or planning to transfer liquids out for use in pressured devices such as sprinklers and hosepipes. Some tanks can be supplied with loose lids as a compromise between permanent installation and portability.
Typical uses of an open water tank include being used as Dip Tanks, wastewater collection tanks, Bunds, temporary storage for swimming pool water, short-term fish holding pens, and as gathering components within larger, more complex rainwater collection systems.
For the rapid use of water within manufacturing, landscape gardening, or agriculture in tasks such as spraying or cooling, open top tanks can also prove an excellent alternative to a mains water supply. This is particularly so if the extremely quick release of stored water is required.
Most open tanks are best suited to the storage of water for relatively short periods. However, they can easily be adapted to long-term use. Open tops are used frequently for permanent storage in agriculture and eco-friendly initiatives. Lidded tanks might be used as rainwater storage in rainy climates. In a sterile environment they can even be used to hold drinking or bathing water. Some industries also make use of modified open top tanks for other liquids and chemicals.
Open top water tanks come in two main varieties. Within these types there are a vast range of colours, volumes, and designs available from various manufacturers. Prices start at around £120 for smaller plastic tanks. An average mid-range tank will usually cost a few hundred pounds.
Open top plastic tanks are the most commonly available and widely used. Plastic tanks are often constructed from moulded polyethylene, giving the units a solid, equally thick wall. Other composite plastic materials such as MDPE may also be used (particularly with ‘vertical’ designs) to strengthen the unit.
GRP tanks are sturdier still, but typically slightly more expensive. GRP stands for Glass Fibre Reinforced Plastic. This is a composite material more typically found in large, industrial and professional quality massive volume storage tanks. While GRP open tops are somewhat miniaturised in comparison to their close relatives the increased strength provided alongside increased corrosion and discolouring resistance adds value and lifespan.
The drawbacks are that fewer GRP shapes and colours are available. The tanks are often more expensive than plastic composite tanks, which is due to the price of the material used, but these tanks can be made to specific sizes. At smaller sizes such as 100-300 litres expect to pay at least two times as much for GRP. GRP construction is comparatively affordable if you are looking to buy a larger capacity open tank (i.e. 600 litres or more).
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