Water Tanks Off-Grid: Some Tips & Ideas

Living ‘off-grid’ infers that no municipal/state services are available or desired – water supply and power probably being the most important and in need of serious consideration. Water tanks are needed for storing water and off-grid living requires some careful planning for an effective water reticulation system to be implemented.
water tanks installation
Depending on the local topography, natural water resources and the extent of the home-owner’s ingenuity and resources, water tanks can be effectively utilised without any electricity supply.  If there is a spring or other suitable source of water located at a higher elevation than the homestead (for example, a spring emanating from up in the mountains behind the house) then some of this water can be diverted via canals and pipes toward where it is required.  If possible, the water tank or water tanks should be placed on tank stands above the homestead to further increase the difference in height between the bottom of the water tanks and to where the water enters the building.  This will ensure that as much pressure will be generated from gravity alone.  One Bar of pressure (14.22 P.S.I.) will result from 10 metres (32.8 ft) head of water.  So, if a 6 metre steel tank stand is erected, a further drop of 4 metres to where the house is, will result in one bar of pressure.  Some appliances need more pressure than this to operate efficiently but the chances are that an off-grid set-up is unlikely to require high water pressure.  The diameter of piping to the house and within the house can affect pressure values too.

A very common sight in South Africa is the ubiquitous windmill, often seen in rural farming areas, although many have been replaced with diesel or electric pumps.  If you live in a windy area, perhaps wind power could be employed to pump groundwater up to a water reservoir or water tank and then directed down to a lower elevation to capitalise on the pressure gains.  Again, no electricity would be required for this type of setup.  It would be important to ensure that holding tanks are of sufficient capacity (e.g. 10000 litre tanks, 15000 litre tanks or even 20000 litre tanks) to safeguard against windless days.

Another off-grid option would be to make use of solar power, especially in sunny countries like South Africa. Solar borehole pumps are very efficient and can run off relatively small solar panel arrays.  Again, ideally the groundwater would be pumped to a water tank on a high tank stand from where it can be directed to the homestead at a lower elevation.  Sufficiently large water tanks should be installed to ensure that enough stored water is available for overcast conditions.

Off-grid living was a necessity for many in the past but now it is actively being chosen by some – the satisfaction of being self-sufficient and free from the hassles of Mains supply interruptions, is significant. The cost savings from zero electricity or water bills is another compelling factor.

When choosing components such as water tanks, always choose good quality – in South Africa, we recommend polyethylene water tanks made by JoJo Tanks.  JoJo Tanks are guaranteed for 8 years and are manufactured with a food-grade, FDA-approved inner black lining that inhibits algae growth and keeps stored water fresher for longer.  Click on the links below to view the full range of JoJo Tanks products available in South Africa.

JoJo Tanks South Africa offer a wide range of products such as plastic water tanks and chemical tanks to suit every household, business or agricultural need, including silo tanks and silo tank stands as well as other high quality JoJo Tanks products.  See JoJo Tanks’ VERTICAL TANKS, HORIZONTAL TANKS (transporter tanks), STEEL TANK STANDS and OTHER JOJO PRODUCTS and see JoJo Tanks’ NEW 6000 LITRE UNDERGROUND TANKSAlso see our FAQ and WATER TANK PRICES.

JoJo’s superior polyethylene plastic water tanks and steel water tank stands make JoJo Tanks the leaders in plastic water tank technology and the quality, affordability and 5-year guarantee on these water tanks make JoJo products one of the best choices in South Africa.  *All JoJo Tanks polyethylene tanks and products now carry a 8 year warranty (on tanks purchased on or after 1 July 2013)*  JoJo’s water tanks and chemical tanks come standard with a number of features that are often lacking on cheaper/inferior plastic tanks made by other companies in South Africa.

We are authorised JoJo Tanks dealers in South Africa and dispatch orders directly from JoJo Tank depots to save on transport costs. Full range of JoJo Tanks products and JoJo water tanks for sale.  CONTACT US for a quote on the right JoJo water tank or other JoJo product for you.  Special discounts are available on multiple orders of chemical tanks and water tanks and to our commercial and government customers. We can usually delivery tanks and tank stands free of charge to business/commercial addresses in South Africa.


(15000 litre and 20000 litre JoJo vertical water tanks & chemical tanks are available on order directly from JoJo Tanks’ main factory)

Live in the USA and need rainwater harvesting equipment?  Click HERE!

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