Getting To Know Your Cold Water Storage Tank

8 September 2022

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

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There are a variety of places where a cold water storage tank can be located within a property. In some cases, it can be found within roof space or the attic of a property, known as a gravity feed system. In other cases they will be found at ground floor level (usually a plantroom) with a pump set and this called a pressurised system.

The size of tank you’ll need depends on a variety of factors. The tank is sized based on the demand within the building, calculations considering the number or washrooms, basins, showers and other facilities which use water. The number of people within the building also forms part of the calculation. The volume of stored cold water should be minimised and should not normally exceed that required for one day’s water use.

Do Cold Water Tanks Become Contaminated?

Yes is the simple answer! Cold water storage tanks should be installed in compliance with The Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999 and Scottish Water Byelaws 2004.
To prevent dirt and other potential nutrients from getting in, they should have tightly fitting lids. Insect and vermin screens should be fitted to protect any pipework open to the atmosphere, such as the overflow pipe and vent. Where screens are fitted, they should be installed so they do not hold water. To avoid stagnation, where multiple cold water storage tanks are fitted, they should be connected to ensure each tank fills uniformly and water is drawn off through each of the tanks.

Unfortunately not all cold water storage tanks are installed to this standard….

Most common issues with cold water storage tanks

  • Storage vessel has not been installed with a fixed lid and screened vent.
  • Storage vessel has heavy sediment on the base.
  • Storage vessel has not been insulated.
  • Vent pipe from a water heater returns to the storage vessel.
  • Storage vessel is oversized and has become stagnant.

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