Water supply can be a concern for those that camp outdoors. Sometimes, campers choose to use continuous water from a nearby well. But in case you do not have a well due to staying off the grid, what can you do?
Once you get access to water, storing it for later use is the wise thing to do. 275-gallon water tanks are perfect for the storage of water for later use. But buying one from Amazon can cost you $280 and $85 for shipping.
The best budget-friendly option would be to buy used water tanks. You can buy them from places like Craigslist and also other local classifieds.
Read on to find out more about where you can find budget-friendly 275-gallon water tanks.
Who Are The Sellers Of Water Tanks On Craigslist?
Before buying these water tanks on Craigslist, it is important to know who are the people who sell them.
If you are purchasing a water tank from an individual, remember to meet them in a secure and safe place. Perhaps you can make the transaction in a public parking space.
But most probably, when you type in Craigslist for 275-gallon water tanks, you will mostly find companies selling them. This is good as it will be safe.
Companies that sell large water tanks are those that have bought something in them from suppliers. They might have bought some liquid materials in the water tanks. The suppliers ship them to the company in caged totes.
The companies will then drain the material, and instead of shipping them back, they will sell them locally. Companies have received substances such as wood glue and syrup in these containers.
If you plan to use these tanks to store drinking water, you need to take some precautions. You need to ensure only food-grade substances were transported in these tanks. Otherwise, it can be hazardous to your health and safety.
To ensure your safety, you need to ask the seller before you confirm your purchase.
What Is The Cost Of These Used Water Tanks?
The price of used 275-gallon water tanks varies from city to city. In Idaho, the cost is approximately $50. For water tanks that had only food-grade substances in them, it would be around $75.
Depending on the location, the price can even go up to $135. The total price is $200 plus the shipping fee for an unused water tank. Therefore, the price wouldn’t be much higher than $135 for used water tanks.
Customers like to get a good discount while buying used items. The same goes for used water tanks.
The availability of these used water tanks differs in various locations. If you cannot currently find one, it is recommended to try searching again. You can try searching for one in a town a few towns further away.
In this case, sometimes the expense adds up to too much, and it is a hassle to get it transported to you. If the cost adds up to around $200, you might as well choose to purchase a new one.
How To Get A Good Water Pressure From These Water Tanks?
Nobody likes water to come out slowly in the form of a trickle. It takes a long time to fill a bucket like that and is frustrating while taking a shower. So how does one get good water pressure without the help of a pressure tank and a huge pump?
The solution to this is to place the water tank at a height greater than you, especially if in the hills.
A rule to follow is that a change of elevation of 100 ft will provide you a water pressure like that in the city. A drop of 100-ft for water is equal to 43.3 psi at the water outlet. If you remove the friction in the pipe or host, you receive 30 to 35 psi only.
That gives a great water flow. The formula of the water pressure to the height is linear. 50-ft will provide half the pressure. That is around 20-psi.
Using water tanks means you have limited water to use. As you continue to use water, you will need to keep refilling the tank. Also, when the water pressure is high, you need to remember that the water will get over quicker.
Therefore, you should not set very high water pressure. The main water tank can be kept at the height of about 30-ft from the camp. This provides a good water flow for filling the concrete mixer and also for dishwashing.
However, it can be a little slow for a good shower. So, you will need to consider the pros and cons before setting it up.
What Do I Need To Remember If I Want to store drinking water?
The first thing to remember is that you need to ask the seller what the water tank was used for previously. You should buy it only if it was used for food-grade substances. Otherwise, it can prove to be a hazard to your health.
The second point to consider is the hose you utilize for pumping water into the water tank. You also need to consider the hose you use for pulling water from the water tank. A regular garden hose should not be utilized for these purposes.
A regular garden hose causes the water in them to have certain amounts of lead. This lead is usually above the safety level recommended for drinking water. It is best to choose a hose that is specifically meant for drinking water.
There are many hoses meant only for drinking water that you can safely use without any fear in the market. You may require 2 or 3 hoses for your water tank. It depends on how far up you want to store your water.
A permanent fix to your hose would be to use a PVC or Pex tubing. A PVC or Pex tubing runs under the ground starting from the water tank up to a hose spout. The hose spout is kept at the place where you want to use the water.
You will have to dig a trench under the depth of the frost line. This is a permanent solution to water storage, but you need to know where your cabin’s frost depth is. If a cabin has a 3- feet frost depth, it means the ground freezes up to a depth of 3 feet.
Hence, for water lines under the ground, you will have to dig a trench of at least 3 feet in depth.
Storage of drinking water in a water tank requires you to take a few precautions. You will have to take steps to ensure the purity and safety of the water is maintained. You will have to keep the water free of algae that can harm you.
If the water you have filled the tank with is pure and safe to drink, you do not have to treat it before drinking. But this is only applicable if you are going to consume it within less amount of time.
But if you are going to storing the drinking water for a long time, here are a few precautions to take.
Keep the water tank away from heat sources and the sun. Sunlight can damage and deteriorate the plastic of the water tank, causing leaks. Sunlight also assists algae is growing, which is unhygienic for drinking water.
Keep it shut
Keep the top, as well as the bottom openings, shut tightly. If the water tank is sealed tightly, the water will stay pure and safe for a longer time.
Keep the drinking water away from chemicals
Most chemicals you may find outdoors while camping wouldn’t be safe for drinking. Keep the water tank away from kerosene, gasoline, and all other such chemicals. The chemicals have to be kept very far away from the water tank.
The plastic of the water tank can easily absorb chemical vapors from these hazardous chemicals. They will mix in your drinking water and can injure you.
How Do I treat unsafe drinking water?
In case your drinking water develops an odd taste or flavor, you can chemically treat it. This will ensure your water is safe and healthy for you to consume.
For treating drinking water, you can add the regular household bleach that is 5.25 % – 8 % sodium hypochlorite to it. It needs to be unscented and not have any added cleaners, soaps, or any color-safe substances in it.
You can use 1 tsp for each gallon of drinking water in the water tank. A 275-gallon water tank will accept around 5 ¾ cups of it. (source: https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ss439 and https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water/emergency-disinfection-drinking-water )
Mix the chemical into the water tank as well as you can. Allow it to rest for half an hour before consuming the water. This process will not only disinfect the drinking water but also disinfect the hose and the tank.
This process should be done every 2 or 3 times you fill the water tank. In the case that you leave the water unused for a long time, it is recommended you disinfect it every time.
How To Fill The Drinking Water Tank?
Bringing water uphill can be a task for anyone, no matter how fit you are. If you are thinking about literally moving a full water tank, you might want to reconsider that.
275 gallons of water can weigh about 2,200 lbs or 1000 kg. You will need a forklift to move this kind of weight anywhere.
Here is how to handle this. You can use several water tanks. You can place one water tank downhill, pretty close to a stream. The next water tank can be placed a little uphill, about 100 ft away, and so on.
For non-potable water that you use for cleaning and mixing the concrete, you can use water directly from a stream. You can purchase and use a ½ hp submersible sump pump that you can insert into the stream. You can connect this to a hose that can pump water into the lowest water tank.
After the lowest tank is filled up, you can place the pump into it and fill the next water tank. This method takes some time for the water to reach the top tank.
What Factors Should I Consider Before Purchasing A Pump?
These pumps that are used are available in many options. They range from budget-friendly plastic ones to those made out of cast-iron. A few of these ½ hp pumps are able to pump water to heights of 40 ft vertically, but some can only pump up to 20 ft vertically.
Some of the pumps can pump around 30 gallons of water per minute maximum. Some pumps can pump up to 65 gallons of water. These options can be considered before you purchase a pump. There are many such pumps available on Amazon, too.
If you are planning to invest in a submersible pump like this, you need to buy one that will fit into the top hole on your water tank. This means it has to be small enough to fit into it. The totes generally have a hole of diameter measuring 6 inches on the top.
In case you cannot fit your pump into the hole, you might have to cut a notch to fit it. When you do this, the tank will not completely get sealed again. Therefore, submersible pumps are very good to pump water up from the stream. But they are not that great while pumping from tank to tank.
Another solution to pumping water is by using non-submersible water pumps. There are many non-submersible pumps available on Amazon for purchase. You will require a hose that is short to run from the outlet of one water tank to the pump. You will require another hose to run from this water tank to the next water tank uphill.
You can also use this method to pump clean water from a water tank to your cabin. You will have to add some water initially so as to prime it. Otherwise, it will be difficult to pump water uphill. It will work easier if the pump is at the ground level.
The pump has to be situated just below the water in the tank, especially to start it flowing.
In case you want to store the drinking water that you are pulling in from your home, you can utilize a similar approach. You can use one water tank for bringing the water in. You can use a pickup or a trailer.
Then you will have to keep it as close as possible to the tank you wish to store your water in. Use a clean and disinfected sump pump as well as a water hose to pump up the drinking water to your tank.
Adding some elevation as a solution for water pressure does bring along some challenges as a camper. You will have to pump up water to the water tank. This might especially be a big challenge if you are new to camping.
However, this tactic is the best one to receive pressurized water at a low cost. An alternative to using the higher altitude tactic is using a pressure tank and a big pump. You will need to use a well along with this.
It Is actually a great way to maintain pressure consistently even if the water consumption is on a high. Many cities go by this method as it is a great way to maintain water pressure.
This is the concept behind water towers. Water is basically pumped continuously into the water tower. This is done so that when water consumption is high, or the power is cut, and pumps don’t work, water pressure is consistent and doesn’t drop low.
There can be many challenges one faces while camping in the outdoors. Choosing a location off the grid is even more challenging and requires a lot of patience and determination. Water storage and water supply is necessary for anyone camping outdoors and needs to be addressed.
Water tanks are a necessity for campers as it ensures storage of clean drinking water for long periods of time. The task of bringing water to and fro from a water tank is a task that needs to be sorted.
Some of the methods and tactics you can use to transport water are mentioned in this article. Pressurized water is also a need, but you will have to gauge the pressure required. Too much pressure is a drawback, and so is very minimally pressurized water.
It is recommended to go through all the factors mentioned in this article before choosing to purchase a particular pump or hose.
When living outdoors off the grid, prevention of any problem is better than later finding the solution due to limited resources outdoors. It is best to plan and purchase all your essentials before you shift to your camping site or cabin. This will ensure that you make the most of your camping experience!