Water Storage Tanks
Below are the currently available rain and drinking water storage tanks.
Household Water Storage
It’s nearly impossible for someone else to accurately predict for you how much water storage capacity you will need for household use. The varying quantities and habits of people, pets, and guests in a household makes the water usage vary greatly. For example, the EPA says that the average household uses 300 gallons of water per day, or 9,000 gallons per month, but my own water bills show less than 2,000 gallons per month used. When possible, consult your current or past water bill for your own usage. If you don’t have a water bill to consult, try asking a friend with a similar size household while understanding that their habits may be completely different. Lastly, if you’re having water hauled to you, find out how many gallons your water delivery company can/will deliver to you, and the frequency of delivery.
Rainwater Collection & Storage
Thankfully, for those of you planning to collect and store rainwater, the US Department of Energy provides a handy calculator to estimate the amount of rainwater you may be able to collect. All you need to know is the square footage of your catchment system (roof or other areas that will collect the rainwater for you) and your zip code. Upon entering this information into the calculator, you will be provided with monthly potential rainwater collection estimates based on historical weather data from your zip code and your catchment system size. You can access the Department of Energy’s calculator here: Rainwater Harvesting Calculator | Department of Energy
Wine & Whiskey Barrels for Water Storage
Here's a little story about why we don't recommend using retired wine or whiskey barrels for water storage: Wine and whiskey barrels are made without any gaskets, sealers, or removable lids. When used in the winery or distillery the wine or whiskey swells the wood, causing the barrel to seal. When the barrel is empty the wood dries out, shrinks, and after some time the barrel is no longer sealed. When wineries have empty barrels that they plan to reuse, or sell for reuse, they maintain a hydration program for those barrels to keep them clean and sealed. However, nearly every used barrel that you will find for sale in Arizona, unless they happen to be maintained and marketed as certified for refill, or refillable, is considered a furniture grade barrel that has not had its hydration maintained. There is really no way that someone can guarantee you that furniture grade barrels won’t leak. In fact, some wine and whiskey barrels leak while they’re still in service at the winery or distillery which is why cooperage supply stores sell a host of items such as spiles and wedges to deal with leaky barrels. Is it possible to rehydrate a dry barrel and have it not leak? Of course. You may get lucky or you may have a hydrated barrel that leaks the same or worse than when it was full of whiskey or wine. And if you do get lucky and have a barrel that doesn’t leak, you’ll need to maintain that hydration indefinitely, meaning that you can’t leave your barrel sit empty when monsoon season ends. In my opinion there’s just too much chance that you won’t be happy with the long term results of using a retired wine or whiskey barrel for water storage so that’s why I don’t recommend it.