A Water Tank for Emergencies Made From a Cardboard Box and a Trash Bag





Introduction: A Water Tank for Emergencies Made From a Cardboard Box and a Trash Bag

Emergencies can happen and water shortages have been experienced in even the most modern cities during the least expected times. Often within moments of a storm's detection on radar, the news broadcast will send people flocking to stores where people clean the shelves of large containers of water, leaving nothing for those who delay.

This innovation will allow you to store water for washing and other uses during emergencies. Fill the apparatus while the water supply is still running and if you are unable to buy water.

You should be careful to use food grade plastics. Some trash bags are coated with pesticides & can release chemicals into the water. Trash bags are not recommended by the USDA for the storage of food.

Step 1: Find an Empty Cardboard Box

Step 2: Draw an Upside Down Triangle That Arches Downwards (like the Eiffel Tower Standing on Its Head).

Step 3: Cut the Triangle With a Knife.

Step 4: Insert the Bag

Insert one or two empty trash bags into the box and carefully pull one of the bag's bottom corners out of the triangle. Inserting one bag into another will increase the overall resiliency of the plastic bladder.

Step 5: Twist the "ear" and Tuck It Into the Triangle's Crack

Twist the corner and tuck it into the triangle's crack. Later on you will see that once the bag's ear is squeezed in between the triangle long seam (crack) the cardboard will provide ample amount of pressure to keep water from gushing out of the ear/spout.

Step 6: Fill the Bag With Water

Fold the plastic bag opening over the box's flaps and fill the box with water.

Step 7: Tie the Bag

Tie the bag opening and tuck it into the box.

Step 8: The Water Tank Is Ready

Step 9: When You Want to Use the Bag for the First Time

Carefully cut the end of the corner, lift the corner from the crack and un-tuck it to allow water to gush out. To stop the water flow twist the corner and tuck it back into the crack.

Step 10: Extra Securing the Ear/spout

You might also like to secure the spout with a twine.

Step 11: Another Way to Secure the Ear/spout Is With a Clothespin



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    73 Discussions

    Many thanks for leaving your positive remark. Good luck with finding the right bag!

    That is an awesome idea.. so simple..yet soooo elegant.
    Very very handy for the UK, where we dont have the USA's bath tub reservoir bags.
    Going to get some big bags tomorrow and test this out. See which ones work the best.
    Can even collapse the box, with the bag in, for storage, and pull out when needed.
    10 outta 10!!!!

    thanks so far so good 30$ 50 gal rubber maind toughneck trash can from walmart hefty 55 gallon trash bags pretty good normal tank start at around 80 $. No leaks and it has wheels so I can move it pretty easy

    what kinda of trash bag did you use. I have a rubbermaid roughneck trash can I was going to use hefty 55 gallon contractor bags would that be ok if not how do i find out what bag to use.

    1 reply

    I don't remember what kind of bag I used. Just make sure your bag is made by a reliable brand.

    Two things come to mind.
    First, make sure the bag is bigger than the box. This way any strain is taken by the box instead of bursting the bag.
    Second, Wine boxes make great emergency water storage containers. Not as large, maybe, but they are pre-made and have built in valves. And you have to empty out the wine first.

    3 replies

    then again, the wine makes a wonderful survival drink, why throw it away?

    Empty out the win first.. you sir, are a genius. Now I have a reason to buy one of them.. bonus!

    This must be one of the best entries I've ever seen on this site. The range of practical uses for this simple idea is huge. In a relief context, this would be a true life saver.

    1 reply

    Very useful and creative idea, especially for those who don't have a lot of storage room (or who have filled/exceeded their storage area!). Living in Florida, we keep a few five gallon water containers full at all times, refreshing them every other month, because you just never know when the water is going to be out without any warning. If we do have some warning, we scour and fill up the bathtubs; those with a top-load washing machine can fill that as well. This idea with the boxes and liners is a great additional source of "just in time" water storage that takes up little room when not being used. Thank you for posting! (And thanks to Lifehacker for posting about it.)

    Re: Food grade plastic bags. I would suggest using Turkey roasting bags. I keep some around to cover large plates of cookies and cupcakes for bake sales. You can find them in most grocery stores. I'm not sure the extra large Zip-lock bags are food safe. Don't forget that as soon as you have a warning you could fill up your bathtubs and sinks for all other no drinking water uses.

    1 reply

    Good Idea and almost free. Good recycling idea.
    No need to panic-spend or be gouged just because of the weather.
    I like the comment on hanging bar soap in a stocking, no wasted liquid soap.
    In Scouts we re-used boxed wine bags, rinsed of course.
    They collapse and take less backpack space as they are used.
    There would still be a slight hint of wine flavor but we liked "roughing it".

    1 reply

    I LOVE this project. I would like to use this as an outdoor event hand washing mechanism, by placing a bucket underneath and a bottle of handsoap on top. I guess it could wash a small amount of dishes and utensils too.

    3 replies

    In Scouts we had a bar of Ivory Soap in the top of a clean nylon stocking that was tied to the spigot.
    (Never did find out who was wearing nylon stockings.)

    LOL! I would have liked that Scout!! Obviously they had style and ingenuity too. YES!! I will add his contribution to my hand washing stand..plenty of stockings around here. Thank you lots

    My scout troop used that little trick a lot. Except they never remembered to remove the soap from the wash basin, so we always ended up with a stocking full of mush.