# How many cubic yards is a 500 gallon tank?

To determine the cubic yardage of a 500 gallon tank, we first need to convert the volume from gallons to cubic feet, and then convert from cubic feet to cubic yards. The steps are as follows:

## Step 1: Convert Gallons to Cubic Feet

Since 1 US gallon is equal to 0.13368 cubic feet, we can calculate:

500 gallons x 0.13368 cubic feet/gallon = 66.84 cubic feet

## Step 2: Convert Cubic Feet to Cubic Yards

Since 1 cubic yard is equal to 27 cubic feet, we can calculate:

66.84 cubic feet / 27 cubic feet/cubic yard = 2.474 cubic yards

## Conclusion

Therefore, a 500 gallon tank is equal to approximately 2.474 cubic yards.

To summarize:

• 1 US gallon = 0.13368 cubic feet
• 500 gallons = 66.84 cubic feet
• 1 cubic yard = 27 cubic feet
• 66.84 cubic feet / 27 cubic feet/cubic yard = 2.474 cubic yards

So a 500 gallon tank contains about 2.474 cubic yards of volume. This conversion can be useful for estimating how much concrete or other material is needed to build a tank of this size.

## Calculating Tank Volume in Cubic Yards

The volume of a liquid storage tank can be calculated based on its dimensions. Here are the steps to determine the cubic yardage of a tank with any capacity:

1. Measure the diameter and height of the tank in feet.
2. Calculate the radius by dividing the diameter by 2.
3. Use the formula for volume of a cylinder: V = πr2h, where π is approximately 3.14, r is the radius, and h is the height.
4. Divide the volume in cubic feet by 27 to convert to cubic yards.

For example, for a tank that is 10 feet in diameter and 15 feet high:

• Radius = 10 feet / 2 = 5 feet
• Volume = 3.14 x 52 x 15 = 1,177 cubic feet
• 1,177 cubic feet / 27 cubic feet/yard = 43.6 cubic yards

So this sample tank with a 10 foot diameter and 15 foot height would hold about 43.6 cubic yards.

## Factors that Determine Cubic Yardage

The main factors that determine the cubic yardage of a liquid storage tank are:

• Diameter – The width of the tank. Larger diameter means more volume.
• Height – The vertical distance from bottom to top. Greater height increases cubic yardage.
• Shape – The geometry of the tank. Cylindrical and rectangular shapes are most common.

Increasing the diameter or height will exponentially grow the volume since the calculation uses squared and cubed units. Small changes in tank dimensions can add substantial capacity.

Other factors like wall thickness will impact the internal dimensions and capacity. But diameter and height are the primary drivers for the gross volume and cubic yardage of a liquid storage tank.

## Calculating Concrete Volume for Tank Foundation

When building a liquid storage tank, a reinforced concrete foundation needs to be constructed to support the weight of the tank and contents. The volume of the concrete foundation can be estimated knowing the tank cubic yardage.

As a general guideline, the concrete volume is typically about 10% of the tank gross volume. So for a 500 gallon tank with 2.474 cubic yards, the concrete foundation volume would need to be around 0.25 cubic yards.

To estimate the concrete needed for a tank foundation:

1. Calculate the cubic yardage of the tank.
2. Multiply the tank cubic yardage by 0.10 to get the concrete cubic yardage.
3. Add 10-20% extra as a safety factor.

Always consult a structural engineer for the specific design and concrete requirements when building a tank foundation.

### Example Concrete Volume Calculation

• Tank Capacity: 10,000 gallons
• Tank Cubic Yards: 10,000 gallons x 0.13368 ft3/gallon / 27 ft3/yd3 = 49.9 cubic yards
• Concrete Volume: 49.9 cubic yards x 0.10 = 5 cubic yards
• With 15% safety factor: 5 cubic yards x 1.15 = 5.75 cubic yards

Therefore, about 5.75 cubic yards of concrete would be needed for a 10,000 gallon tank foundation.

## Estimating Excavation Volume for Tank

To install an underground or partially buried storage tank, soil needs to be excavated to create a hole or trench. The volume of soil that needs to be removed can be estimated based on the tank size and burial depth.

For a completely buried tank, calculate the volume of a rectangular prism that will contain the entire tank:

• Length = tank length + 2 feet extra on each end
• Width = tank width + 2 feet extra on each side
• Height = depth below grade to bottom of tank

For a partially buried tank, calculate the volume of a rectangular prism based on the buried portion only:

• Length = tank length
• Width = tank width
• Height = depth below grade to bottom of tank

Always allow some extra space all around for working room. Calculate the volume in cubic feet, then divide by 27 to convert to cubic yards.

### Example Excavation Volume

• 10 ft diameter tank
• Tank buried 6 feet below grade
• Excavation length = 10 + 2 ft = 12 feet
• Excavation width = 10 + 2 ft = 12 feet
• Excavation depth = 6 feet
• Volume = 12 x 12 x 6 = 864 cubic feet
• 864 cubic feet / 27 cubic feet/yard = 32 cubic yards

So for this 10 foot diameter tank buried 6 feet deep, about 32 cubic yards of soil would need to be excavated.

## Selecting Tank Size Based on Dimensions

When choosing a liquid storage tank, the capacity in gallons and the physical dimensions need to match the available space. Here are some tips for picking tank size based on dimensions:

• Measure space available – Length, width, and height.
• Choose a tank type that fits – Vertical, horizontal, buried, above ground.
• Allow extra room for fittings and access.
• Consider relevant codes and regulations for clearance.
• Use diameter and height to calculate possible volume.
• Compare required capacity versus calculated volume.
• Select smallest standard tank size that exceeds needed capacity.

Always double check that the tank will work at the installation location by mocking it up or using 3D modelling. This will help avoid issues with incorrect sizing.

### Example Tank Sizing

If a space has dimensions 10 ft x 15 ft x 8 ft available for a vertical cylindrical tank:

• Maximum possible diameter is 10 feet.
• Maximum possible height is 8 feet.
• Volume of 10 ft diameter and 8 ft height tank is 623 gallons.
• Round up to standard 750 gallon vertical tank size.

In this case a 10 foot diameter by 8 foot tall 750 gallon vertical tank would be selected to maximize capacity while fitting in the space constraints.

## Common Tank Sizes

Liquid storage tanks come in a range of standard sizes. Here are some typical capacities for common tank types and dimensions:

Type Diameter Height Capacity
Vertical 6 feet 6 feet 1,500 gallons
Vertical 8 feet 10 feet 5,000 gallons
Vertical 12 feet 20 feet 15,000 gallons
Horizontal 6 feet 12 feet 2,000 gallons
Horizontal 8 feet 20 feet 10,000 gallons
Horizontal 12 feet 40 feet 30,000 gallons

These tank dimensions can be used as a reference to estimate volume when planning a tank installation. Always verify exact tank capacities with the manufacturer.

## Estimating Needed Tank Size

To determine the ideal liquid storage tank size, consider the following factors:

• Peak storage volume needed – Size for max capacity during high use periods.
• Average daily usage – How much liquid is used on a normal day.
• Growth projections – Possible increased future demand.
• Delivery schedules – How often the tank can be refilled.
• Emergency reserve – Extra capacity for unexpected needs.
• Tank dimensions – Physical size constraints of tank location.

For critical applications like fire suppression or drinking water, extra storage is required beyond typical demand. It is better to err on the side of a larger tank if space allows.

Work through various scenarios to determine ideal total storage volume. Then select the smallest standard tank size that adequately meets the needs with room for growth and emergencies.

### Example Tank Size Estimation

• Max expected daily usage: 1,500 gallons
• Refill schedule: Once per week
• Growth estimate: 2x over 5 years
• Emergency reserve: 500 gallons

Calculate:

• Daily: 1,500 gallons
• Weekly: 1,500 x 7 = 10,500 gallons
• Growth: 10,500 x 2 = 21,000 gallons
• Reserve: 500 gallons
• Total Volume Needed: 21,500 gallons

For this scenario, choose a 25,000 gallon storage tank to comfortably meet current and future needs.

## Comparing Horizontal vs. Vertical Tanks

Liquid storage tanks come in vertical and horizontal orientations. Here is a comparison of these two tank styles:

### Vertical Storage Tanks

• Cylindrical shape stands upright.
• Smaller footprint than horizontal.
• Heights up to 40 feet available.
• Diameters from 6 feet to 24 feet.
• Capacities from 500 to 50,000 gallons.
• Suitable for tall, narrow spaces.
• More stable than horizontal tanks.

### Horizontal Storage Tanks

• Cylindrical shape on its side.
• Lower profile than vertical tanks.
• Lengths up to 150 feet available.
• Diameters from 6 feet to 12 feet.
• Capacities from 1,000 to over 100,000 gallons.
• Good for low clearance installations.
• Require strong foundations and bracing.

In summary, vertical tanks need less space while horizontal tanks store more volume in a smaller footprint. Consider height clearance, available area, tank capacity, and installation constraints when choosing between vertical and horizontal orientations.

## Tank Volume Calculator

Use this tank volume calculator to easily convert tank capacity in gallons to cubic yards, or cubic feet to gallons:

Gallons Cubic Feet Cubic Yards

To use, simply enter the quantity in any unit. The other units will update automatically. This makes converting liquid volumes quick and convenient.

## Key Takeaways

• A 500 gallon tank contains about 2.474 cubic yards of volume.
• Cubic yardage depends on diameter, height, and shape.
• Use diameter and height to estimate tank capacity.
• Allow extra volume for growth, delivery schedules, and emergencies.
• Pick standard tank sizes equal to or greater than needed volume.
• Use online calculators to easily convert between units.

## Conclusion

Determining cubic yardage for liquid storage tanks requires converting between gallons, cubic feet, and cubic yards. Measure tank dimensions, calculate volume, compare to desired capacity, and choose the next larger standard tank size to allow room to spare. Use a conversion calculator to make quick work of estimating how many cubic yards a tank contains.