What You Can Do to Prevent Underground Water Storage Tank Flotation

August 19, 2020 8:59 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Believe it or not, in certain situations, you can develop issues with underground water storage tanks in Colorado beginning to float, despite their massive weight and underground nature. Their buoyancy can cause logistical difficulties that you must take into consideration if you are to prevent the problem from occurring.

The issue of buoyancy can be a difficult concept to grasp, so think of it this way: when you have a water bottle that’s only half-filled with water, it will float when you throw it into a body of water, because the large amount of air inside the bottle forces it upward. This is what we refer to as “buoyancy,” or the capacity of an object to float.

Underground storage tanks often have large volumes of liquid with very strong buoyancy forces, so if you have a situation where the water table rises due to natural increases in water or due to flood situations, you may also start to have problems where the water storage tank floats upward. This could even potentially cause the tank to break through the surface if the forces get strong enough.

Obviously, this is an issue you’d like to prevent to the fullest extent possible. With this in mind, here are a few steps you can take to prevent problems with underground water storage tank flotation in Colorado:

  • Anchors: Using the appropriate anchors can help you hold the storage tanks in place, even if the water table rises. This is especially ideal if it simply isn’t feasible for you to dig any deeper to bury the storage tanks. Deadman anchors made out of a type of reinforced concrete prevent the tanks from rising up by delivering extra stability when the tank is in its proper place.
  • Deeper burial: If it’s possible for you to dig further down to achieve a deeper burial of your underground storage tank, that may be the best solution to the problem. The further you go underground, the more the weight of the backfill will counteract the buoyancy by increasing the amount of downward force it places on the storage tank. In some cases, this may not be an option due to geological conditions, but if it is an available option, this could be your simplest and most effective solution.
  • Concrete slabs: There are a couple ways in which you can use concrete slabs to prevent underground water storage tank flotation. You can use a paving slab on top of the surface, which will add more downward force to keep the tank in place. You can also install a hold-down slab at the bottom, underneath where your storage tank will be installed. This will make it easier for you to anchor the tank in place, and offers more downward force as a counter to the buoyancy of the tank.

These are just a few examples of some of the steps you can take to avoid underground storage tank flotation in Colorado and keep your tanks in their proper place. For more tips and information, contact DJC Enterprises Inc. today.

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