Water tank build

I’ll put images up very soon but first i’ll give you an overview of the plan…

Its been raining often and HEAVY in melbourne this month ( spring) and when it doesn’t i water the garden/vegs from the tap so naturally i think “i need a water tank” !!!!!!!!!!!or 4 !!!!!!!!!

well i found 55gal/210ltr blue food grade barrels for $20 a piece about 30 minutes from here but i’d only get 2 in the car, so 2 long trips.

So i looked at the spare area i have an did some calculation and i can easily fit a square of 80cm or 1 meter wide, 2M long and i suppose as high as functional @ 1.6M i think.

I did the calculations and its amazing how much more a sq tank hold compared to anything round as this missing corners are about 25% ish of the area dedicated, so where i can fit 4 barrels = 840ltr a tank .8M wide x 2M long x 1.6M high holds @ 2500ltrs ! thats a HUGE difference.


will it fall over?
how do i make something that holds water?
how do i get the water in/out/overflow?
will the sides burst !!!!!!!! ?????????
where is the water going to come from regularly and what happens when there is to much?
so the answers are:

its going to be up against the fence so although it will be independent of the fence i will attach it as well so it doesn’t fall over, + make sure its level side to side and front to back. I’m actually going to mount the tank so it slightly tilts back towards the fence…… just slightly. also if it did fall over SO hat? its just water and it will just run down the hill as if its been raining.
as usual my master plan will do it ( uprights with beams crossing, but this one will have a floor) then i plan to line the inside with builders concretors black plastic, you find the last bit of the roll in new estates, i went out this morning as i didn’t have enough for this project and within 5 minutes i found a roll on the sidewalk in front of an empty block of land, used and discarded. when i go home i rolled it out and it was the normal 4M wide ( folder to 2M) and it had 10M left on the roll…….perfect/to much 🙂
the location i have chosen is the 2.3M gap between the house and the green house where its up against the fence and also there is a down pipe from the roof 🙂 HOW lucky am i ? i’ll put in a diverter in the downpipe and i can turn it on and off as i need to fill the tank. at the bottom of the tank i will connect a normal hose attachment through the tank wall and then i can just plug my hose in when i want to use it, at the TOP of the tank furtherest from the house i will put an over flow outlet with a permenant hose that runs behind the green house and comes out down the hill between the green house and the outdoor garden where i plan to build another small tank, that overflow will then just go out onto the lawn down the slope and all as usual as if its raining.
my construction plan is to have a solid base of a pallet the correct dimensions, uprights at each end as well as 2 more in the middle, and cross over them with a strong 75mm x 35mm plank as well each, so the surface are without support is just 67cm each x 3, also i have managed to gather 2m long pallet planks which will make up the walls, so no half pieces, 1 complete full length each and thicker then normal supported 4 times ( left and righ side + 2 in the middle. the ends will be the same construction. the beams will horizontal and on the inside of the uprights so the water will have to push against the planks + the uprights + the cross members that secure it to the other side which is then also attached to the fence + its tilting slightly backwards. The ends will be a 80cm width making SURE the whole thing is lavel means most of the water weight is actually focused downwards, if there was a slight tilt between laft and right that water weight would shift to that side.
opps, i answered that above 🙂
so i think the plan is sound, next step would to be setting up fixed water pipes with on off taps, some watering from the roof and others along the plants on the floor and into the self watering areas, i’d need a small pump for that as the water sits below the roof line by about 40cm but once pumped up there gravity would take over, i’d also like the pump solar powered by charging a battery, after that perhaps a fancy timer as will !

so images coming soon, should have most of it done tommorrow if the sun comes out but it rained all day today, even hailed ! in spring !

day 2:

well i thought i would have got it all done in one day, the thing that stopped me was DE-NAILING ! i just could not believe the amount and length of the nails in most of the pallets i have. some nails were @ 60mm when the pallet board was on 10-15mm thick, certainly solid !

i worked out what it will take to build the tank, everything wood coming from pallets.

this is cut length, not what i originally got:

13m ( 8x 1.63m ) 75x35mm uprights, WHY 1.63m? well the base pallet is 130mm high so that then leaves me 150cm for the tank, given the plastic is 4m wide and the base is .8m wide that give me a total to cover of 3.8m ( 1.5 + 1.5+ .8 ) and thus 100mm overhang at the top for fastening down was folded over the top edge.
87m of pallet wood lengths of 100mm wide each ( 2m and .9m lengths ) why .9 and not .8? well the end wood gos on the outside so i need the extra to attach to the uprights, the 2m lengths go on the inside, anyway, you’ll see in the images once done.
18m long pallet wood attached to the base
3.2m of pallet base cross beans ( 4x.8m)
.8m x 2m 5 ply ( i had 2 x 550mm wide pieces and trimmed 1 [ 250mm +550mm ] )
giving me without ply 121.2 linear M of wood, that’s a LOT of pallets

so it takes loads of wood to build.

i made a mistake and cut 5 uprights 130mm to short !!!!! bugger, i this time i went to masters hardware for their closing down sale and out the back were these pallets with 5M lengths !!! 70mmx35mm………perfect, so i cut them up to fit in the car and sorted it out when i got home.

so much wood just means a long time gathering, measuring, cutting, de-nailing before you get anywhere near building

you’ll see below a picture of the backyard, that is not the last lot, its another lot which will all get soaked into this build, the foreground is the off cuts, nothing you can really do about that. I generally plan any job based on a combination of location and size/space available, availability of the wood i need eg: size/length

you can see i had to go get even more wood , So i got the base pallet and placed it on a small roller castor trolley ( you’ll see it later) its only @ 2ft sq.

this is about 11am so this is the last place sun hits so you can see in summer everything is going to have loads of sun-time.

i then placed 5 ply on top so no holes, i was still worried about punctures so i added a layer of foam insulations, the ONLY reason i did this was because i had it otherwise i would not have bother, maybe just another sheet of black plastic?

so i just paid it down, covered it with plastic and stapled it down as i doesn’t need support.

now to build without a helper, it would be 3 times + as quick if there was 2 of you. first 2 uprights clapped supports and drilled at base, then top cross beam and another upright down the length with beam, once you have that you are pretty quick, BUT make sure they are sq ans straight as it will rule everything else you do.

i then made the full width and one of the first uprights must have dropped as i screwed, so i just took it out and lifted it 5cm.

the reason i put it on a trolley is i need to build the sides before it goes in as there is nooooooooooo room to drill, its a tight fit.so i build the sides and then i can turn it round, its quite heavy now.

i also have all the back uprights and some cross metal to hold sq, all has to be done before going in, my design is such the long lengths are fixed from the inside.

once done i roll it forward, spin it and push into place, well that was the plan, but the trolly stuck on something and it fell backwards …..just 20degrees, so you can see the small trolley in the middle.

you can see the completed sides and once in position and leveled i’ll put the back on, then front, then insert the bag i am making out of the sheet plastic, then a drain/hose pipe at the bottom and an overflow pipe at the top, if i get overflow it will just flow down the yard into the open garden.

more photos soon, i have it now in placed but 2cm off, so i’ll level it tomorrow.

i leveled it very easily, but i have to stop for a few weeks as i have other stuff to do, so those images asap.