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What would you do with a Mystery Tank?

 
Posts: 67
Location: Merville, BC
7
hugelkultur duck forest garden food preservation bike bee
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We've inherited a big, old, metal tank. It's a perfect cylinder (minus a dent or two), 7 feet long, 4 feet in diameter. It's covered in surface rust (inside as well, judging from the water we pumped out of it). It has 3 holes on the top side, and a drain hole at one end. 2 of the top holes are open, one is plugged (the bigger one) and the plug seems seized with rust. It can hold ~ 660 gallons.

My suspicion is that some previous owner tried to set up a diy heat pump or solar hot water system. The tank was in an unheated space under a balcony, with hot air ducting coming down on two sides. I was also buried under 3/4 inch drain rock. Truly though, I have no idea what it was for. It was almost full of water when I inspected it. The water seemed clean, with some rust. I sniffed it, drew some out to observe the colour, and poured a little on a coffee filter and let it evaporate, there was no residue. I have not tested the water.

I pumped the water off property to a roadside ditch that runs downhill from our land. The next couple of properties down slope don't grow any food, and the water seemed clean. Removal by a septic service would have cost $300. That all being said, I have no real knowledge of the history of the tank, where it came from, what was stored in it, how it has been used.

I can always try and have it hauled off for scrap, but I'm wondering if there might be a better use for it around our permaculture homestead to be. What would you do with it? How would you make sure it was safe to use?
 
steward
Posts: 4618
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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What types of tools do you have, do you have a welder and a cutting torch or grinding wheel? Is there any smell of fuels? Can you see any name plates, stamps or tags on it?
 
Kirk Hockin
Posts: 67
Location: Merville, BC
7
hugelkultur duck forest garden food preservation bike bee
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I have none of those tools, but I can borrow all of them. There is no oil smell of any kind, merely a faint smell of rusty water. There are no identifying marks of any kind, that I've been able to find.
 
Posts: 16
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We have one. It was a propane tank for heat. We own it, and havent used propane for 5 years. We have an indoor wood burning heater. My Hubbie is going to use his torch, and cut it in half, and make a large outdoor wood burning heater, that will also heat our water.
 
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