An essential part of seasonal water storage tank maintenance of large elevated tanks is temperature control in winter.

Elevated water storage tanks are susceptible to freezing in climates where the winter temperatures drop below freezing for long periods of time.

Without the proper attention to prevent freezing, numerous issues can develop.

Every tank owner should work with experienced water storage tank services that can ensure their elevated tanks will not freeze, eliminating these issues before they can develop.

Why Do Some Water Storage Tanks Freeze?

All water freezes, even larger bodies, when the conditions are right.

Large, industrial water storage tanks are especially susceptible to freezing once temperatures stay below 32 degrees for an extended period, as they contain a static body of water that is more likely to do so.

Movement is what prevents freezing, which is why rivers do not freeze while lakes do.

Other water storage tank maintenance issues that allow these vessels to freeze include keeping the water level too high in the winter and failing to properly outfit the tank to resist freezing in climates that see below-freezing weather.

Frozen Elevated Water Storage Tanks A Costly Concern

Though the most obvious concern with frozen water tanks is the disruption in water service, water storage tank services see that the problems associated with tank freezing go far beyond that.

Water expands as it freezes, increasing pressure on whatever container it is kept in.

Overfilled water storage tanks can suffer significant damage if allowed to freeze.

Freezing can result in the cracking and tearing of the tank liner, puncturing or splitting of the tank exterior, crushing of internal equipment as well as structures, and bursting of pipes.

The damage caused by allowing these tanks to freeze can be catastrophic, rendering them unusable at the worst or requiring costly repairs at the least.

How Can Water Storage Tank Freezing Be Prevented?

The key to preventing tank freezing is providing tank maintenance to avoid the conditions that allow it to happen.

  • In some instances, that means only keeping a tank in regular service so the water is never still.
  • Lowering the water level to increase circulation can help.
  • All tanks should also be routinely inspected for leaks that can contribute to freezing damage.

Where colder, longer winters are normal, tank owners should always invest in an insulated tank or have a water tank service install an insulating tank liner.

Where sub-zero temperatures are common for long periods, a water heating system to keep the water temperature elevated should be employed.

A sloping tank cover to prevent ice buildup on the water surface should also be installed.

Plan Tank Design and Maintenance With A Qualified Water Storage Tank Service

The water contained within a water storage tank can become highly destructive to the tank if it is allowed to freeze.

A critical part of seasonal water tank maintenance for those in climates that see sub-zero temperatures is winterization to prevent freezing.

Whether purchasing tanks new or preparing existing tanks to prevent water freezing, a qualified water storage tank service that understands this issue and what methods should be used to prevent it should be involved.

Based on the tank, its location, and its use, the right freeze-prevention plan can be initiated.

Need Winter Water Storage Tank Maintenance in Oklahoma, Texas, or Surrounding Areas?

Contact Dunham Engineering To Solve Water Storage Tank Freezing Problems Now!

Call 405-500-1369 To Learn More!


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