Rainwater Harvesting Series 4

Where Should My Storage Tank Be Located?

The location of the storage tank depends on the available space inside or outsied the building. While deciding where to locate, take into account that the water temperature needs to be as low as possible to limit bacteria and algae growth. Here are some pros and cons of different locations:

1. Underground Tank


  • Can be installed under high traffic areas (with concrete support)
  • Takes no space in building
  • Keeps water cold aand protects stored water from freezing if placed below frost depth


  • High excavation costs
  • Must be secured to prevent the tank from lifting when emptied

2. Above Ground Tank


  • Lower excavation costs
  • Easy access for maintenance
  • May eliminate the need for a pump to extract water


  • Takes space on building site
  • Exposed to harsh weather
  • Risk of frozen water
  • Needs to be anchored to the ground when empty
  • Subject to direct sunlight, therefore has warm water

3. Indoor Tank


  • No excavation costs
  • Low or no risk of frozen water


  • Takes up space inside building
  • If placed at the top of the building, the building must be reinforced
  • Has risk of high water temperature
  • In case of leakage from the tank, the building must be protected against flooding e.g. by means of gullies

4. Sectional Tank

For larger capacities of water, multiple tanks may be connected to meet storage requirements. Sectional tanks are constructed from modular panels that are bolted together on site. They are particularly useful as they enable confined spaces (like basements) to be used for rainwater storage.