Water storage is the most often neglected aspect of emergency preparation. Most people focus too heavy on food and emergency gear when they should really be looking into the resource that is more far more vital for life. You can go weeks without food but only a few days without water.
Recently we purchased the Ultimate 250-Gallon Emergency Water Tank because we were tired of the 55 gallon drums taking up so much space in our garage. This pricey emergency water tank should take the spot of 5 of our 55 gallon drums and make water rotation easier. To find out if it did that continue reading our Ultimate 250-Gallon Emergency Water Tank Review below.
Standing at 86 inches (just over 7 feet tall) this mammoth water storage container can be a little intimidating. Weighing in at just over 70 lbs when dry, over 2,000 lbs when filled with water, this tank is not going to be going anywhere once it is filled with water. To make absolute sure that is the case the tank has two grooves for tie down straps so you can secure the tank to a wall.
We were pleased to see how thick the BPA free plastic walls were. When water was added there was no bulging or shifting of its shape. Other emergency water containers can bulge when filled with water. Our 5 gallon stackable water containers do while our WaterBricks do not. A nice strong and thick wall gave us assurance this water tank would take some abuse and be fine.
Bottom full port valve
You get water in and out of the tank reliably due to the 2 large brass full port valves. Brass holds up far better than other water tanks with plastic valves. The full port feature means there is less restriction for water flow. While full bore/port valves are more expensive they are worth it on such a pricey product. Thankfully they didn’t skimp here.
Lastly, the cap on top is vented which means vapor lock won’t be an issue. Ever tried to empty liquid from a container that is full and it comes out painfully slow? One of our gas cans is this way. For those that’ll skip a water preserver product, you’ll want to rotate water every 6-12 months. High quality valves will be able to handle frequent use and make the task quicker.
Getting the 250 gallon water tank set up was not difficult but was a little time consuming. The delivery comes via an LTL freight line similar to a purchase of an appliance. When it is delivered you’ll need to get it from your curb to its final resting spot. After removing it from the pallet we lowered it at an angle and rolled it up the driveway on its bottom edge. It’s a one person job but might be difficult for some.
Next we took off the lid, opened the valves, and sprayed water and a little dish soap into the tank to give it a good rinse. If you plan to filter the water upon removal you can skip this step.
After getting it into place, we took a 2×12 piece of wood and cut it into 3 pieces to create a base for the tank. Even food grade plastics can have chemicals leech into the water over time. A barrier between concrete and the water tank is a best practice to stop this. Concrete takes years to cure. Over time flavor and chemicals from the concrete can pass through the plastic walls and into your water.
Next we opened the bottom valve and screwed on the hose and turned the water on filling the tank from the bottom. You could simply remove the cap and dangle the hose in from the top as well. With the water starting to fill we added 5 bottles of water preserver (review on this product coming soon) to the tank so it could mix with the water as it rushed in.
After the water level raised above the second valve, we checked for leaks and proceeded to fill to the top. If you live in an area where freezing temperatures occur you will want to leave about 5 inches of air at the very top so the water can expands as it freezes. This isn’t a problem in our new home in Arizona so we filled it to the top. When we lived in Utah we left space for expansion but never saw the water freeze.
The biggest selling point for the Ultimate 250-Gallon Emergency Water Storage Tank is the convenience it provides. It takes up the footprint of about one 55 gallon water barrel but holds just under 5 barrels worth of water. Also due to its upper spigot it is easy to fill smaller more portable water containers. 55 gallon barrels require a siphon to get the water out. This is often slow and frustrating, especially if you plan to rotate the water often.
Maximum convenience is achieved with the 250 gallon water tank when it is combined with Water Preserver. This sodium hypochlorite (bleach) keeps bacteria and virus away for 5 years. It is EPA approved for human consumption, something regular unscented household bleach is not. Not having to rotate the tank for 5 years is great and when you do have to do it the process is easy and quick.
The biggest downside to the Ready Store’s 250-gallon emergency water storage tank is the cost. The unit generally runs around 650 on sale. In a past line of work I dealt with LTL shipping quotes and learned quite well the cost to ship items of this size. Shipping this water tank likely costs the Ready Store over $200. Possibly a lot more if you are on the East Coast. Their site offers the water storage tanker with free shipping but that is because the shipping cost is “built” into the retail price you pay.
The most popular alternative to a product like this is the 55-Gallon Water Barrel Drum from places like Walmart or online from preparedness places like Emergency Essentials. These typically run $60-80 each. To get to around 250 gallons you would need to buy 5 which would set you back $300-400. Looking at is this way the 250 gallon tank doesn’t look so bad now.
In the end, value is in the eye of the beholder. It is up to you to decide if the price is too steep. Are the benefits worth the cost? Those are things only you can ask yourself.
We love our Ultimate 250-Gallon Emergency Water Tank. We really enjoy the space savings in our garage. We don’t have a lot of space to store water barrels. Placing them outside in the direct sun would be a bad idea. We are already toying with the idea of saving up some more to buy a second. 500 gallons of water for a family of 5 sounds a lot better.
Thanks for checking out our Ultimate 250-Gallon Emergency Water Tank Review!