It is crucial for a farm to possess a high quality water system. Water sustains and propagates life. Life cannot continue if water is underprovided. An influx of earnings can be made possible through the provision of a steady supply of clean water for the livestock on the farm.
It has been found that it is most beneficial to dairy animals if the water given to them is cool in summer and warm in winter. Water tanks that have frozen in winter provide the animals with less drinkable water than do individual drinking cups where it is easier to break off ice. For a cow to be able to produce a pound of milk, she needs four to five pounds of water which explains the importance of constant water consumption especially during the winter.
Providing insulation means for tanks will prevent them from freezing during winter. Water tanks subjected to direct exposure to the sun causes bacteria to grow thus making water tank lids very essential during the summer months.
Recently we have had an opportunity to examine two Iowa farm tanks in different parts of the state that do not freeze in winter. One tank is made of hollow tiles and cement while the other one is made of concrete, confined within a small tank house. According to the owner of the concrete tank, it has never developed crusts of ice during winter.
What he did to make this possible is to build a small cover over the tank with double wall construction, the dead air space between the walls insulated with sawdust. The other water tank does not freeze because the insulation was constructed using ordinary building tiles laid five inches in thickness. The water tank's double walls run from three feet below the ground, which is the base of the foundation.
The cover of the tank is made of hollow tiles and concrete and it serves as the only protection of the tank, with three holes from which the animals may drink. These openings provide for the formation of crusts of ice but they are readily breakable using the fingers. Condensation is prevented in tanks with walls constructed this way.
The minimal cost of the natural insulation is one huge advantage in constructing an underground tank. The water tank, if constructed above the ground instead of below it, will have an increased risk of freezing.
The same treatment does not have to be applied to the outside wall. The wider width of the tank at the top interior has a tendency to force the expanding ice upward and to prevent the pressure coming on the walls of the tanks. This is a point made to us by the northern Iowa farmer who has all concrete tanks on his farm.
Concrete and hollow building tiles when used in building lids for water tanks will prove to be excellent, according to the owner of the hollow tile tank. It is permanent and thicker and less likely to develop frosty air in winter or hot air in summer. The tile's dead air space offers a natural form of insulation against both heat and cold.
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