Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond by Brad Lancaster

Water Tanks/Cisterns

I STRONGLY RECOMMEND YOU INVEST ONLY IN TANKS/CISTERNS THAT ARE RATED FOR POTABLE WATER STORAGE AND USE, EVEN IF YOU DON’T EXPECT TO USE THE WATER FOR DRINKING &/OR DOMESTIC USE. WHY? BECAUSE THE HIGHER THE QUALITY OF THE HARVESTED AND STORED RAINWATER, THE MORE OPTIONS YOU HAVE FOR ITS POTENTIAL USE. TANKS NOT RATED FOR POTABLE WATER STORAGE OFTEN CONTAIN TOXIC BIOCIDES THAT WILL LEACH INTO YOUR WATER. SO DON’T SULLY YOUR WATER WITH TOXIC OR CONTAMINATED MATERIALS OR COMPONENTS.

Rain Barrels (premanufactured)

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These are typically too undersized to be considered a true cistern, but they can get you started.

Rain Barrels Iowa, LLC
www.rainbarrelsiowa.com

RainBarrel USA
www.rainbarrelusa.com

Rain Water Solutions, Inc.
www.rainwatersolutions.com

Resource Conservation Technology Inc.
www.conservationtechnology.com

Recycled olive barrel rain barrels
www.waterritesys.com

Tijeras Rain Barrels
Custom rainbarrels in capacities from 50 to 360 gallons, in 34 colors.
www.tijerasrainbarrels.com

Bisbee and Sierra Vista, Arizona

Andrew Nelson – Bisbee
(520) 432-3143

Oasis Water Harvesting
www.oasisrainwaterharvesting.com

Do-It-Yourself Rainbarrels and Tanks (home-made)

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Do a web search on: “How to make your own rain barrel” for instructions.

For a source of used food-grade barrels try:
– Feed stores
– Soda and juice bottling companies (Tucson-area residents, see below)
– Bakeries and tortilla factories

Tucson:

Kalil Bottling Company
Contact Patrick Duncan at the number below if you are interested in Kalil’s new and used plastic and metal 55-gallon drums, which can be converted into rainbarrels, composters, etc. Patrick has had personal success in converting the barrels for harvesting rainwater and has details on the process to share. New barrels are available but the used ones may also be considered safe for rain and compost uses. Current pricing (June 2011) starts at $13 per barrel. Deals for bulk orders may be worked out through contacting Patrick. Hours: Monday through Friday, 8 am to 2 pm. Location: 931 S Highland Ave, Tucson. Loading assistance is available, however, delivery is not available.
(520) 624-1788 x147

Online:

Vela Creations’ Building a Cistern: Step-by-step instructions on how to build a cistern with a shell and liner
Abe Connally of Vela Creations notes, “The roof is tricky because most people are not familiar with the material. But, it holds up well and is very forgiving. If I had all the money and machinery in the world, I’d make a conical roof out of metal, but it’s not really that easy in a backyard. If it’s just for irrigation, a pool liner is the cheapest way to go, and we can built a 6000-gallon tank for about $750 or less. We also have one we made out of a pond liner, and it works well, too. For a potable tank, the liner is more expensive, and the total tank cost about $1000. I like the cost, and it’s fairly easy to put them together, even low-skilled workers can assemble one in a couple of days. I eventually want to make one with an eave, so it didn’t even need an external roof. It would be a self-filling rain tank, and spread out further away from the homestead, it could give water to wildlife or help establish native trees and plants.”
velacreations.com/howto/cistern-howto

Distributors of Various Tank Types (& other water harvesting items)

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BRAE Rainwater Technologies
Along with many types of tanks, they sell full kits with rainheads, pumps, pipes, filters, etc.
www.braewater.com

Contain Water Systems, Inc
A family-owned and operated business, based in Los Angeles County and serving the entire USA and Canada, dedicated to the advancement of sustainable water-management practices for individuals, families, communities, and businesses. Manufacturers of galvanized steel water-storage tanks and very slim Contain Water Wall plastic tanks, available in a range of sizes from 30 to 3,000,000 gallons. Delivery and installation available even for remote areas. Water-harvesting systems components also available.
www.containwatersystems.com

Plastic-Mart^
Plastic-Mart is one of the nation’s largest online polyethylene-tank distributors and specializes in custom tank orders including steel tanks, transport water tanks, and water-storage tanks.
www.plastic-mart.com

Rain Tank Depot
www.raintankdepot.com

Slim Tanks (for tight spaces and smaller lots)

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American Stainless Steel Water Tanks
Corrugated prefabricated stainless-steel water tanks in round and slimline styles.
www.acerwatertanks.com

BlueScope Water – Australia
This Australian company’s Slimline and Waterpoint Classic Tanks are sexy and great for urban applications – especially small yards.
www.bluescopewater.com

Bushman Tanks – Australia
Check out their plastic slim tanks for urban applications. They have a small footprint and can double as cistern walls or cistern fences along property lines. But I am NOT a fan of Bushman tanks. I find their construction to be of a lower quality than other brands and their 3-inch bulkheads are of poor quality, so I go to the extra cost of replacing these bulkheads with higher quality bulkheads such as those offered by Norwesco.
www.bushmantanks.com.au

Bushman Tanks – USA
Check out their plastic slim tanks for urban applications. They have a small footprint and can double as cistern walls or cistern fences along property lines. But I am NOT a fan of Bushman tanks. I find their construction to be of a lower quality than other brands and their 3-inch bulkheads are of poor quality, so I go to the extra cost of replacing these bulkheads with higher quality bulkheads such as those offered by Norwesco.
www.bushmanusa.com

Contain Water Systems, Inc – California USA
A family-owned and operated business, based in Los Angeles County and serving the entire USA and Canada, dedicated to the advancement of sustainable water-management practices for individuals, families, communities, and businesses. Manufacturers of galvanized steel water-storage tanks and very slim Contain Water Wall plastic tanks, available in a range of sizes from 30 to 3,000,000 gallons. Delivery and installation available even for remote areas. Water-harvesting systems components also available.
www.containwatersystems.com

Rainwater HOG (Australia)
www.waterhog.com.au
These plastic 180-liter tanks are 500 mm x 220 mm x 1800 mm and can be mounted horizontally (groundHOG) or vertically (waterHOG) in small or tight spaces such as along fences or between floor joists.

Rainwater HOG (USA)
www.RainwaterHOG.com
These plastic 51-gallon tanks measure 71″ x 20″ x 9 1/2″ and can be mounted horizontally (groundHOG) or vertically (waterHOG) in small or tight spaces such as along fences or between floor joists.

Slimline Rainwater Tanks – Australia
Corrugated stainless steel tanks.
www.slimlinetanks.com.au

The Tank Factory – Australia^
The Tank Factory manufactures slimline tanks with capacities from 450 to 5000 liters, with eleven different sizes and shapes. Solid tanks with a 20-year warranty.
www.watertankfactory.com.au/types/slimline-water-tanks

Plastic Tanks

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If placed above ground be sure tank is UV-resistant for durability, and light-proof so algae will not grow in tank. Select tanks for potable water storage.

American Tank Company
www.watertanks.com

Bushman Tanks – USA
Check out their plastic slim tanks for urban applications. They have a small footprint and can double as cistern walls or cistern fences along property lines. But I am NOT a fan of Bushman tanks. I find their construction to be of a lower quality than other brands and their 3-inch bulkheads are of poor quality, so I go to the extra cost of replacing these bulkheads with higher quality bulkheads such as those offered by Norwesco.
www.bushmanusa.com

Bushman Tanks – Australia
Check out their plastic slim tanks for urban applications. They have a small footprint and can double as cistern walls or cistern fences along property lines. But I am NOT a fan of Bushman tanks. I find their construction to be of a lower quality than other brands and their 3-inch bulkheads are of poor quality, so I go to the extra cost of replacing these bulkheads with higher quality bulkheads such as those offered by Norwesco.
www.bushmantanks.com

Cotterill Civils Ltd – UK
They supply, advise on, and install water tanks for rainwater harvesting.
www.cotterillcivils.co.uk/products/oil-and-water-tanks/water-tanks.aspx

Loomis Tanks
www.LoomisTank.com

National Tank Outlet^
Supplier of polyethylene tanks used for rainwater harvesting and water storage for homes, businesses, and industrial applications. They state that all of their tanks use FDA approved polyethylene resin, making them food grade and potable safe.
www.ntotank.com

Norwesco
Beware of Norwesco rotation-molded tanks for below-ground installation that require you to keep 20% of the tank filled with water at all times to prevent collapse of tank.
www.norwesco.com

Poly-mart
I find their 3-inch bulkheads to be of poor quality, so I go to the extra cost of replacing these bulkheads with higher quality bulkheads such as those offered by Norwesco.

Protank^
Specializes in liquid storage tanks and agriculture equipment within the United States, and offers custom tank fabrication for your specific needs. They ship water-storage and rainwater-harvesting equipment from more than 40 locations. Questions welcome at (866) 776-8265.
www.protankms.com

RainwaterHOG
These plastic 180-liter (47-gallon) tanks are 500 mm x 220 mm x 1800 mm and can be mounted horizontally (groundHOG) or vertically (waterHOG) in small or tight spaces such as along fences or between floor joists.
www.RainwaterHOG.com

Resource Conservation Technology Inc.
www.rainwatertechnology.com

Roth Global Plastics (formerly Fralo Plastech)
Plastic tanks for below-ground application.
www.roth-usa.com

Rotonics
www.rotonics.com

Snyder
www.snydernet.com

The Tank Factory – Australia^
The Tank Factory services the east coast of Australia, supplying poly water tanks with capacities from 340 to 34000 liters. The Tank Factory is a family-owned business that has been operating for over 30 years.
www.watertankfactory.com.au

Tank Town
www.rainwatercollection.com

New Mexico

New Mexico Water Tanks
They sell potable water-grade 1.5lb/gallon HDLPE black plastic tanks for above-ground applications. These are thicker and stronger than 1.0lb/gallon black plastic tanks.
www.nmwatertanks.com

WaterMart of New Mexico
www.watermart.us

Texas

Tank Depot^
Tank Depot is an online wholesaler and retail distributor of tanks with numerous retail stores from California to Florida.
www.tank-depot.com

Tanks For Less^
Tanks For Less is an Austin, Texas, retailer and online distributor of rain-harvesting equipment and water tanks.
www.tanksforless.com

Arizona

Dewey
Loomis Tanks
www.loomistank.com/rainwater-collection-harvesting.shtml
(866) 636-0046

Prescott
Skywater, LLC
www.skywaterarizona.com

Tucson
Southern Arizona Rain Gutters

Plastic Bushman and Polymart tanks, etc.
www.southernarizonaraingutters.com

Ewing Irrigation & Landscape Supply
Snyder and Norwesco plastic tanks
https://store.ewingirrigation.com/
520-690-9530

Fiberglass Tanks

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If the tank is to be placed above-ground be sure it has a UV-resistant coating for durability, and it is light-proof so algae will not grow in tank. Select tanks for potable water storage.

Tank Town
www.rainwatercollection.com

XERXES Fiberglass Underground Tanks
www.proformcorp.com

 

Wood Tanks

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Timbertanks America
1,600- to 97,000-gallon tanks
www.timbertanks.com

Forest and Lumber Cooperage, Ltd
3,000-, 6,500-, and 9,000-gallon tanks
www.forestlumber.com/cistern.php

Pre-manufactured Metal Tanks

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Acer Water Tanks, Inc.
Acer distributes Pioneer and American Stainless Steel water tanks. Serving residential and commercial customers.
www.acerwatertanks.com
 
American Tank Company
www.watertanks.com

BH Tanks Inc – USA
This Blue Scope Water company offers tanks from 10,000 to 65,000 gallons for residential use and for commercial applications offers tanks up to 700,000 gallons.
www.bhtank.com

BlueScope Water – Australia
This Australian company’s Slimline and Waterpoint Classic Tanks are sexy and great for urban applications – especially small yards. But they are not yet available in the U.S. Contact them – and Pioneer Tanks (their U.S. arm) and request they distribute in the U.S. as soon as possible!
www.bluescopewater.com

CorGal Water Storage Tanks
www.corgaltanks.com
www.specallproducts.com

Metal Rain Tanks
Owner Nell Wheeler specializes in high-quality stainless steel rainwater tanks with capacities from 150–2400 gallons. No epoxy coating or plastic liner, so all tanks are suitable for potable-water use. Located in Houston, Texas.
metalraintanks.com

Texas Metal Cisterns
www.texasmetalcisterns.com

The Tank Factory – Australia^
The Tank Factory’s metal tanks offer the traditional water-tank look. There are slimline, square and round tanks available with capacities from 1000 to 27000 liters.
www.watertankfactory.com.au/steel-water-tanks


Northern New Mexico

Williams Windmills
www.williamswindmill.com

Modular Metal Tanks (shipped to, then fabricated on site)

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Contain Water Systems, Inc
A family-owned and operated business, based in Los Angeles County and serving the entire USA and Canada, dedicated to the advancement of sustainable water-management practices for individuals, families, communities, and businesses. Manufacturers of galvanized steel water-storage tanks and very slim Contain Water Wall plastic tanks, available in a range of sizes from 30 to 3,000,000 gallons. Delivery and installation available even for remote areas. Water-harvesting systems components also available.
www.containwatersystems.com

Corgal Water Storage Tanks
600- to 500,000-gallon capacity
www.corgaltanks.com
www.specallproducts.com

Steel Culverts (to make your own culvert cisterns)

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Caution: It is very common for steel culvert tanks to leak, and to rust.
The seals of the tanks need to be thoroughly cleaned before sealing with caulking. One local water harvesting company cleans the seals with carburetor cleaner that sprays deep into the seals before applying the caulking.
Another common leak is the seam where the culvert enters its concrete base.
They tend to rust anywhere the galvanized coating has been scratched (and often there are many scratches).
As a more durable, leak-free alternative, SARG in Tucson has worked with the manufacturer of large corrugated steel tanks with an interior bladder to make 4-foot and 5-foot diameter tanks with interior bladders. If you are set on the look of a culvert tank, I would recommend you look into this option.

Look up “culverts” in your phone book yellow pages.

Arizona Culvert of Casa Grande
This company makes culverts in 6″ increments, from 1′ to 12′ diameter, and any length (nearest foot).  Price for 42″-60″ culverts is in the range of $30-$50/foot.  I recommend you build culvert cisterns no smaller in diameter than 4′. I find the smaller diameters are harder to construct, and don’t offer enough storage capacity. Delivery to Tucson is $250 for 1 or several culverts; if you can wait until they are making other deliveries to Tucson, you can save 50% or more on the delivery charge.
(520) 426-6000

Fabricators of Metal Lids (for culvert cisterns)

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Advantage Air Mechanical
These folks in Tucson, Arizona, make high quality, structural lids. Inspection ports with covers are an option.
www.advantageairmechanical.com/sheetmetalproduction.php

A good design can be fabricated by local sheet metal shops.

Tucson

Quick Custom Metals

Can build 4 foot, 1.5-inch diameter lids from 24 gauge metal, and 5 foot, 2-inch diameter lids from 20-22 gauge metal. Ask for galvanized or galvalume metal. 4-foot diameter lids cost about $90 each. 5-foot diameter lids cost about $150 each.
(520) 888-7313

AIRCO Products
Ask for Chapo. He can build 3 foot, 1.5 inch diameter lids for about $35 each from 24 gauge sheet metal.
(520) 326-1441

Precast Ferrocement Septic Tanks (made for cistern use)

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Instructions on customizing new ferrocement septic tanks to act as cisterns for non-potable water are provided in Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands, Volume 3.

Look up “septic tank manufacturers” in your phone book yellow pages.

Tucson

Arizona Precast Septic Concepts LLC
5550 S Beverly Ave
(520) 663-3459
1,000; 1,250; 1,500-gallon above ground tanks. Below ground tanks from 1,000 to 5,700-gallons

Mitt’s Precast
(520) 883-5298

Bladder Tanks

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Eco Sac Water Storage
The eco sac® is an Australian flexible rainwater bladder storage system that hides away under decks or floors making it more discrete than traditional water tanks. The bladders are made from a beige-coloured PVC material which enables potable water storage to Australian standards. This means that the water captured can be used safely to fill swimming pools and fish ponds without fear of contamination from the bladder. The bladders sit in a strong galvanized steel frame supported by industrial strength geo-tech fabric which gives added protection.
www.ecosac.com.au

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The Umbrella: Winter 2019/2020

THE UMBRELLA: A catch-all of resources, events, media, and more from Brad Lancaster   Rain Planting E-BOOK now available! Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 1, 3rd Edition now available in E-BOOK format Plant the Rain gifts Get holidays gifts that spread the word and practice on how we can make the world a […]

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