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Tire stock tanks

 
Mariana Jackson
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Hi all, Ive just started raising cattle & sheep using rotational grazing. I am using a polytank & I don't care for the plastic & the fact that it freezes in the winter.

A friend has several stock tanks on his farm made from old tires. Im really impressed with them but my main concern is that they may contain chemicals that can leach into the water.

Do you know of any potential problems? Possible alternatives that hold up as well? My dad is pushing for a concrete waterer but they are so pricey.I would go with the tire tank if I knew it was safe for my animals & consumers. Thanks for any input.
 
Dan Boone
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Hi, Mariana, welcome to Permies!

How are those stock tanks made from old tires made watertight? Is there like pond liner inside, or...?

I use old tires extensively on my property to make planters. I don't worry about the potential for leaching; trace amounts of petrochemicals leaching into soil where it may or may not be bioavailable and then may or may not get taken up into my plants just seems like a very attenuated risk to me. I think I'd have the same idea about stock watering. Leaching is going to be small in quantity, and a lot of it is going to pass through the animal. For enough of anything to get concentrated in the tissues we eat seems pretty unlikely to me.

You'll find plenty of folks here on permies who feel differently. But that's me. (Here's a thing I wrote about using plastic containersthat explores the same logic in more detail.)
 
Dillon Nichols
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What I have always wondered about the leaching issue, is how long the bad stuff will continue leeching for. Surely there are finite amounts present, which will mostly have leached out after a year or five years or...?

In that case, tires which have been sitting around for X years, preferably in running water aimed at your least favorite neighbour, ought to be much healthier.

I haven't yet seen data to pinpoint a sweet spot for 'X'.


As I recall, the most plentiful problem substance that leaches from tires is zinc. Zinc poisoning will make you feel like shit; no way would it be unnoticed, though you'd still need to connect the dots.
 
William Bronson
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How about a compromise? By itself a tire doesn't hold enough water anyway. It needs a liner or bottom.
How about using the tire as a leave-in-place form for a concrete "lining".
The inside part of the form could be as simple as as a dirt filled tarp.

Of course if your worried about plastic leaching into water, better check your water supply.
Most city water will pass through miles of plastic, and if you think that's bad, take a look inside a wooden steel or iron water supply line.
They all deteriorate,they look creepy doing it,and the bits they lose goes into your water.
Still, iron oxide is probably better for you than the plasticizers in PVC.
We have a galvanized stock tank my wife bought as a kiddie pool, it's been in the weather 14 plus years and it's still going strong.
We do empty it in the winter, so YMMV.

 
Judith Browning
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I thought maybe Mariana meant tanks made from recycled tires into tanks , not the tire in its present form...I guess I would still worry about leaching either way.
I've seen those big black ones at the feed store that are really flexible and supposed to be freeze proof....I wonder if they are recycled tires?
 
Kelly Smith
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i am not sure, but i think there is some kind of liner in the tires

here is a picture of what i think Mariana is talking about:


here is the same sorta tire without water in it:


i am not sure i water is normally piped to the tire or how they are supposed to remain full.


seems to me, if you are worried about any leaching, you could put a liner in it and be done with it.
 
Ann Torrence
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I;ve been of a mind to build a passive solar stock tank, similar to this.
 
Miles Flansburg
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The ones that I have seen in Wyoming have the hole in the bottom filled with cement. This seals them and makes them really hard to move around.
 
allen lumley
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- I believe that I have seen discussions here at Permies about using Old upright (vertical ) Freezers or Chest type (horizontal with top lid ) Freezers

With a passive solar assist this should handle all but several days of freezing weather ! As Enamel is very inert this should sore the leaching issue.

Anyone remember where this thread was posted ? For the good of the crafts ! Big AL
 
Tate Smith
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Location: Cheyenne, WY
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These tanks work GREAT!!! We use them everywhere!

On the leaching: I personally feel this is a big joke so do your own research. I got in some trouble in this community over using the tanks as garden planters, so lets discuss the finer points of installing these tanks.

First you need to trench your water system to the center point of where you want your tank. This can be from a well source, gravity feed, really any pipe you would traditionally run water through works. We use the standard 2" PVC trenched from a well source to all of our tanks. The pipe is laid deep so not to freeze. You put a 90 degree elbow up and install the riser pipe (with coupler attached). The edge of the coupler should come just a smidge over where the top of the concrete goes. This is because if the exposed pipe in the tanks gets busted for whatever reason you can reinstall new fittings by chipping out to old pipe from the coupler and putting new riser and fittings in.

So now installing the tank. Level the pad site so that the tank will sit level. Remember that the cut on the tire is not always level so some diligent planning is required so you aren't constantly spilling water. Place the tire on the level spot. This will typically need some sort of machinery to do as the tires are very heavy. Get enough sacks of concrete to fully fill the cavity where the tire sits. Fill concrete up so that there is a good seal. DO NOT USE WET CONCRETE!. Tamp the concrete in or leave it loose, a little bit of tamping seems to help but we've put them in both ways.

Install the riser and fittings. This is as simple as running down to the hardware store and getting a float valve to put on top of the riser. Get a float and attach. DO NOT BUY COPPER FLOATS! They are incredibly expensive and break just as easy as any other. The best and cheapest float is 2 or 3 old laundry detergent bottles tied to the lever on the float valve. You have to replace them more often (once about every other year), but they are free, it's recycling, do what you want.

Turn the water on!

The concrete will self cure and harden perfectly fine.

Best damn water tank ever. I have seen them shot multiple times with 30-06 rounds, and the rubber "heals" itself. I have never seen leakage on a tank, but I'm sure there are always some that have been really worn down or have had massive punctures. It's best to check the tire out, just like checking out used tires to put on the farm truck.

If you get whole tires and need to cut the top out...I have seen them taken off with sawsalls and chainsaws. The chainsaw method is really tough on machines though, especially with the metal that is inside the tire. Cut the tire on the apex of the corner going from tread to wall at a 45 degree angle. You may or may not need a grinder wheel to smooth off rough metal edges once you get it cut.

The tops can be used for all sorts of things. We use them as garden planters. Weed suppressors around trees. Parts of erosion control methods. And I've seen them in wind breaks.

Google search some schematics and you will find LOADS of information on the best way to install. We have used everything from a 6 foot tire to a 20 foot tire. Process is the same, the heavy lifting a bit different.

GOOD LUCK!!
 
Ray Moses
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Location: Brighton, Michigan
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I use them also, I have never heard of problems either. So easy to set one up.
 
Bryan Elliott
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Location: Oklahoma Panhandle
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Put it in like Tate Smith says. Sackrete and then fill it up. I'd install an overflow when I put in supply also. That way when something happens to your float (it will) you won't have a big mess. 90% less ice to chop in the winter.
 
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