Understanding Overhead Water Tanks: A Comprehensive Guide

by | Jul 11, 2023

Understanding Overhead Water Tanks

As the world grapples with increasing water scarcity issues, overhead water tanks have emerged as an important solution for effective water storage. They play an essential role in ensuring a continuous supply of water in various sectors, including residential, commercial, and industrial.

However, choosing the right overhead tank and maintaining it is not as straightforward as it seems. This guide aims to shed light on the intricacies of overhead water tanks and help readers make informed decisions.

Understanding the Basics of Overhead Water Tanks

Overhead water tanks are containers placed at a height above the ground to store water. The primary purpose of these tanks is to ensure a steady supply of water in different conditions, including power outages. They work on the principle of gravity, which helps distribute water to the lower levels.

There are different types of tanks available on the market, made from various materials such as plastic, steel, concrete, and fiberglass. The choice of tank depends on several factors including capacity requirements, available space, local climate, and budget.

Different Types of Overhead Water Tanks

  • Plastic Tanks: Lightweight, affordable, and resistant to corrosion, plastic tanks are often a popular choice. The downside is that they may not be as durable as other options and may degrade with exposure to sunlight.
  • Steel Tanks: Known for their strength and durability, steel tanks can withstand harsh weather conditions. However, they are prone to rust and may require internal coatings to prevent corrosion.
  • Concrete Tanks: Concrete tanks are sturdy, highly durable, and provide excellent insulation. They can be more expensive initially but are cost-effective in the long run due to their longevity. One drawback is that they can be prone to algae growth if not properly maintained.
  • Fiberglass Tanks: Resistant to rust, corrosion, and UV radiation, fiberglass tanks are ideal for outdoor installations. These are lightweight, easy to install, and require low maintenance. The downside can be the higher cost compared to other options.
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Factors to Consider When Choosing an Overhead Water Tank

  • Capacity: The water tank’s size should align with your water consumption needs. Larger households or businesses will require larger tanks.
  • Space Availability: Ensure you have enough space for the tank. Consider the dimensions of the tank and the access required for installation and maintenance.
  • Local Climate: The tank’s material should be suitable for your local weather conditions. For instance, steel tanks are excellent for cold climates while plastic tanks are better for warmer climates.
  • Durability: Check the lifespan of the tank. Durable tanks might be expensive initially but will pay off in the long run.
  • Cost: Evaluate the total cost, which includes initial investment, installation, and operational costs like cleaning and maintenance.

Maintaining Overhead Water Tanks

  • Regular Cleaning: Tanks should be cleaned at least once or twice a year to prevent the accumulation of sediments and algae.
  • Inspection: Regular inspections can help identify potential issues like leaks or structural weaknesses early on.
  • Water Treatment: Depending on the quality of your water source, you might need to consider water treatment options.
  • Repair and Replacement: Address minor issues promptly to prevent them from escalating. If the tank is past its lifespan or constantly requiring repairs, consider a replacement.
  • Protection from Elements: Depending on the material, some tanks may require additional protection from weather conditions or UV radiation.
  • Professional Help: For complex maintenance tasks or significant repairs, seek professional help to ensure the job is done correctly and safely.

The Evolution of Overhead Water Tanks

Overhead water tanks have come a long way since their initial versions as simple clay or wooden structures. These rudimentary containers served the purpose of storing and distributing water but had their limitations in terms of durability and capacity. With the advent of reinforced concrete and steel in the construction industry, the design and capabilities of these tanks saw substantial improvements.

As urbanization accelerated and population growth surged, the demand for larger and more efficient water storage solutions increased. This led to the development of multi-level overhead tanks and interconnected systems, enhancing the efficiency of water distribution and storage. The focus was to ensure reliable water supply, especially in densely populated areas.

In the current era, technological advancements have further revolutionized overhead water tanks. Features like automated monitoring and maintenance systems have been incorporated, providing real-time data on water levels and quality. Furthermore, modern designs also consider environmental sustainability, with many tanks now equipped for rainwater harvesting.

Thus, the evolution of overhead water tanks reflects a continuous process of innovation. It demonstrates how these essential structures have adapted over time, providing increasingly reliable and sustainable water storage solutions to meet changing societal needs.


Overhead water tanks are an essential part of our infrastructure, ensuring a steady water supply even during power outages. Understanding the different types, the factors to consider when choosing a tank, and their maintenance requirements can help individuals and businesses make an informed decision that best suits their needs and circumstances. As technology continues to advance, we can look forward to more efficient and sustainable solutions in the world of overhead water tanks.

Bhuwan Bhatia

Bhuwan Bhatia

Bhuwan Bhatia, an engineering graduate with a diverse background, has been passionate about entrepreneurship since age 13. Founder of edtech startup Technoshaala, Bhuwan now focuses on leading his innovative water management startup, FLOTAA, in Kanpur to create sustainable solutions.
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