Commonly called “gravity tanks”, they’re really just water storage tanks.
Sometimes they’re raised to the point where gravity works to create pressure and sometimes they’re not.
In some places in the Philippines, pressurized water isn’t available at all and they truly are used as gravity tanks.
Our primary water supply comes from the Subic water district, based at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone. The pressure fluctuates from a low pressure of about 10 PSI to a high pressure of about 45 PSI. The fluctuation is caused by the number of homes supported by the main water line, which appears to be a one-inch pipe at our elevation. There are a lot more homes in our area than there was when we built our house in 2006.
The water situation has improved tremendously since 2009, when I first wrote about our water supply issues on my old website. Back then, we would have water outages at the same time as the power outages because the water pumps ran on the same power lines. Since then, they’ve been separated and now the only times we have a water outage is when there’s a citywide power outage or when a pipe bursts somewhere in our area. We have more of a problem with low pressure than anything else now.
This has been on my “to get” list for a long, long time. Since I’m working with a strict budget, I don’t know when I’ll get a water tank set up. While we’ll still have water available from the water district, we’ll always keep the tank filled. When there’s a water outage, we’ll still be able to take showers and be able to do our laundry, clean our dishes, use our toilets, etc. The tank will be elevated, but only above the second floor plumbing. We have a third bathroom on the first floor and that should suffice during the outages anyway.
Frankly, I’m not in a hurry. After all, we drink bottled water that’s delivered every week or so – we have a hot and cold water dispenser which uses 5-gallon plastic bottles and a water outage wouldn’t affect our supply of drinking water. Also, I have no problem waiting out a water outage. It’s the power outages that get to me, especially during the hot months.
My wife is the one who gets anxious when there’s a water outage and I don’t even know why. Perhaps it’s all the years when she was young, when people had to wait their turns at a local well, hoping they didn’t run out of water before bathing. We need a water tank because she says so and who am I to argue?
Photo Attribution: Tanks a Lot, Philippines