Talk:Tag:man made=storage tank

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Map rendering

Apparently building=yes has to be added so that element is rendered.--Absay (talk) 08:06, 22 February 2017 (UTC)

Please do not do it this way. Storage tank is not a building. Tagging for renderer is wrong. See Buildings#Don.27t_tag_for_the_renderer.
Chrabros (talk) 08:26, 25 February 2017 (UTC)
I'm well aware one should not tag for the renderer. But the map example on the page links to a place full of tanks where each one of them has been tagged as buildings.--Absay (talk) 08:39, 25 February 2017 (UTC)
Clearly someone was seduced. But we should not spread it further. Chrabros (talk) 08:45, 25 February 2017 (UTC)
Dont' worry. I only mapped one storage tank. Will revert my changes. Also, just a few blocks south east from the example map, water tanks were also tagged as buildings, which by the same logic are not buildings either, I assume? I thought looking at some maps in Germany (e.g. Berlin) would give me good insight on how more experienced people are mapping stuff in important cities but I guess I should look at some other more trustable regions or ask here when in doubt. I appreciate the quick answers in this case.
Also, should that map example (bad example anyway!) be removed from the main article? And recommend not to tag storage tank areas as buildings? --Absay (talk) 22:22, 25 February 2017 (UTC)
Nearly 45% use building with storage_tank. So one can not speak of an exception. There is an issues on this topic, but as far as I can see from it no solution. But that would be important.--geozeisig (talk) 10:25, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
"So one can not speak of an exception", sorry but I don't get what you mean by this. Are you trying to encourage mapping storage tanks as buildings because almost half of them are like that? Or are you reinforcing the idea of tagging them as buildings is a bad practice? --Absay (talk) 17:07, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
Nevertherless it would be a great idea to render these things in the first place, i. e. let the renderer consider them as buildings instead of explicitly mapping them as such. --Gausserrorfunction (talk) 21:48, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
It seems iD adds building=yes in it's preset. --GoodClover (talk) 01:27, 23 December 2020 (UTC)

Add made-of

It could be made of

  • Wood
  • Metal
  • Plastic
  • Cement
  • Etc.

Jidanni (talk) 02:49, 12 March 2017 (UTC)

You can use material=* fot this. Chrabros (talk) 04:48, 12 March 2017 (UTC)

Add above-ground

It could be

  • Elevated
  • At surface level
  • Partially submerged below the ground line
  • Underground
  • etc.

Jidanni (talk) 02:50, 12 March 2017 (UTC)

See location=* Chrabros (talk) 05:33, 12 March 2017 (UTC)
I added location=*. Underground seems to be not implemented yet per Google, so I left it out. Instead of partially_underground I considered semi-underground but this is mostly used for waste containers while the former is more used on houses.--Jojo4u (talk) 11:04, 17 June 2017 (UTC)

Add Capacity

It could be

  • 100 metric tons (water) (100,000 liters)
  • 1 metric ton (1,000 liters)
  • etc.

Big difference. Jidanni (talk) 02:55, 12 March 2017 (UTC)

I added the tag. --Jojo4u (talk) 10:31, 17 June 2017 (UTC)

Add empty-full

It could be

  • Always empty
  • Always full
  • Seasonally empty
  • Leaky / broken / in disrepair
  • etc,

Jidanni (talk) 02:58, 12 March 2017 (UTC)

Tagging this will probably collide with verification rule. Chrabros (talk) 05:39, 12 March 2017 (UTC)
I agree. The information would be difficult to verify once entered. What would be the use cases? Broken ones can be marked with disused=yes/abandoned=yes (yes a disused tank is still a tank) or disused/abandoned:man_made=storage_tank. --Jojo4u (talk) 10:34, 17 June 2017 (UTC)

Add Drinkable

It could be

  • Drinkable
  • Drinkable only in rescue operation circumstances
  • Unfit for drinking
  • etc.

Jidanni (talk) 03:00, 12 March 2017 (UTC)

Hmm, you cannot drink straight from the storage tank I guess so we should not use drinking_water=*. But probably you could use content=drinking_water. Chrabros (talk) 05:39, 12 March 2017 (UTC)
Could you please elaborate where the distinction water/drinking_water would be important? content=drinking_water sounds good. It's not yet used (taginfo) so I did not add it to the list. Underground drinking water storage tanks which are part of a piped water supply are usually tagged as man_made=reservoir_covered.
See also emergency=water_tank - it's unclear how this tag fits into the whole tagging. I'd see this as POI and not as structure.--Jojo4u (talk) 12:59, 17 June 2017 (UTC)

building=yes ?

In he says the wiki is wrong. Jidanni (talk) 13:44, 24 August 2017 (UTC)

I removed this controversial line. Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 10:26, 26 October 2017 (UTC)

AFAIK building definition in OSM is quite wide and includes storage tanks. I propose to recommend tagging with building=storage_tank. Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 10:26, 26 October 2017 (UTC)

Note that around half (100k) man_made=storage_tank are also tagged as building=* ( ) Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 10:28, 26 October 2017 (UTC)

The tag building=* is probably used in most cased because osm-carto does not render the tag. Whether to use building=storage_tank or man_made=storage_tank I do not feel too strong about but the statistics say man_made. But please no double-tagging of man_made and building. I consider them top-level tags.--Jojo4u (talk) 13:37, 27 May 2018 (UTC)
Yes, it seems likely that building=yes was added because osm-carto (and other renderer) doesn't display man_made=storage_tank/man_made=silo – I'm observing the same with historic=ship. I agree that double-tagging doesn't make sense. --SelfishSeahorse (talk) 12:58, 24 August 2018 (UTC)
What is the procedure for pursuing proper rendering for "man_made=storage_tank"? IMHO, using "building" is akin to using "highway" just to get a rendering.
Badenk (talk) 03:20, 24 February 2021 (UTC)

When it becomes used like a warehouse...

Mention what to do when... say one moves a lot of boxes into the storage tank. It is still a storage tank, content=boxes ? Or does it now become a shed, shelter, etc.?

Or when it gets converted into a movie theater, without altering the construction... Jidanni (talk) 17:59, 7 December 2017 (UTC)

"Or when it gets converted into a movie theater, without altering the construction..." - sounds like building=storage_tank Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 18:38, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
You added building=storage_tank (if applies) without explaining the criteria. I want to add it is suggested to use building=storage_tank if the tank has now been converted to be used by humans.

Personal Propane Tanks

Should "personal" (serving say one house or business, the one that's like 10-15 long seen all over (the USA at least)) propane tanks be outlined for area and marked as storage tanks? I would say yes because they have an element of danger to them in case of an emergency/disaster, but don't know if community standards have been applied here.

I'm pretty sure its done with the content=LNG or whatever tag added to them. I think the Seattle fire department maps them there. I've mapped a few at gas stations around where I live also. --Adamant1 (talk) 07:17, 9 April 2019 (UTC)

Substance vs content

What benefit does content=* bring here better than substance=*? Fanfouer (talk) 00:52, 11 January 2020 (UTC)

I suppose not all storage tanks contain one substance. Water, petroleum and methane are substances, but milk is a solution, wine and beer are a bit of a stretch for "substance", and sillage or manure are a mix of various substances. Historically it looks like content=* was often used for silos and some types of storage tanks, while substance=* was developed for pipelines carrying petroleum and chemicals or water. I see that there are tags like substance=slurry and substance=sewage - clearly for pipelines, while content=sillage and content=manure are only for bunker silos, silos or storage tanks, in practice. According to content=* is almost 5 years older: usage started growing in 2010, vs early 2015 for substance=*. --Jeisenbe (talk) 01:51, 11 January 2020 (UTC)
Thank you to have make this clear. It's now a problem to have content=gas and substance=gas but content is so much used as it requires huge work to get rid of it now. However merging substance and content would save us a column for the same thing. Oxford doesn't sate that a substance have to be homogenous nor a mixture (a solution may be a particular kind of substance) Fanfouer (talk) 23:12, 11 January 2020 (UTC)
For some database users it is sometimes nice to have different property tags for different features (the id editor maintainers like this), and there is really no hard to using a different key for similar things in different features. Changing this now would require automated edits and those take a huge amount of valueable time to get right and are often opposed by local mapper communities. So I would not recommend trying to get rid of content= or substance=. --Jeisenbe (talk) 00:16, 12 January 2020 (UTC)
To me it's a problem here because you may find pipelines (recommended with substance=*) that act like storage tanks from time to time (recommenced with content=*). Which one should I use?
Pipelines are never confused with man_made=storage_tank or man_made=silo so it's not a problem in practice. --Jeisenbe (talk) 00:30, 12 January 2020 (UTC)
pipeline=surge_tank does store water temporarily. -- Kovposch (talk) 08:26, 5 June 2020 (UTC)
Good point for surge_tank. The matter is not to confuse things but to use different words for the same concept (what fluid is inside). Fanfouer (talk) 17:00, 5 June 2020 (UTC)
Despite iD may like this, it's definitely a problem to use two terms for the same concept. containment is often implied by tagging combinations (or topology construction) and make terminology specific in case you include it in keys or values. Fanfouer (talk) 00:23, 12 January 2020 (UTC)
These are not terms for a concept, they are the stings used for a tag. The concept represented by a tag is based on context and wiki documentations and hopefully is maintained when translated into other languages. --Jeisenbe (talk) 00:30, 12 January 2020 (UTC)


Hi all very new here. I read through the discussion on this page as well as on the discussion on Tag:man_made=reservoir_covered, but there didn't seem to be anything that addressed the source of the water (which seems important to me). I am currently collecting data on rainwater harvesting systems at my university (University of Georgia) and I am thinking of adding the tanks/cisterns to OSM. However, it seems very significant to include information on potability, as some systems are designed just to supply water for irrigation or for flushing toilets. In addition, it seems important to note the distinction of sources. Some of the tanks on campus are supplied by rainwater, but if the water level falls too low, a make-up system routes water from the main into the tank. So the source in this case would be both rainwater and main-water from the municipal source. However in other cases, the tank is filled by rainwater, and rainwater only, as when the water level is no longer sufficient to supply the water in the tank, the control system simply uses a bypass system (water from the municipal main circumvents the rainwater system and tank altogether), which in my view is a difference that is important and should be classified as such. I am not sure what to do next, principally because I don't know whether this is just adding a category to source or something, but maybe someone can help me be able to add this information in some-how.

Thanks, Ian --IanVG (talk) 14:33, 4 June 2020 (UTC)

Edit: Also could anyone please inform me why this key=tag (man_made=storage_tank) is better than Tag:man_made=reservoir_covered in the case displaying of rainwater harvesting tanks/cisterns? --IanVG (talk) 14:38, 4 June 2020 (UTC)

There is drinking_water=yes. For other questions I have no idea - wiki talk pages often have low volume, you may try tagging mailing list (you will likely get more replies than you need :) - but it is a mailing list) / slack (OSM US group) / telegram (OpenStreetMapOrg group) to get more answers if noone else answers here Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 18:54, 4 June 2020 (UTC)

Water Source Tag

I know this was already brought up in the reservoir_covered page [[1]], but I think that having a water_source= tag would be really useful to help the user understand the kind of tank and the purpose of the tank that was added to the map. For example, if the water_source for a tank/cistern is only rain, then it is understood to be storage for rainwater. And if it is both municipal water and rainwater, then it is understood to be a system that captures and collects rainwater and uses city water to fill up the tank when low. Condensate is also a common source for rainwater harvesting systems in my area (Athens, Georgia, U.S.). Thoughts? I'm also pushing for usage of storage from rainwater harvesting system to be tagged with man_made=storage_tank as it seems more widely used already. --IanVG (talk) 22:49, 16 July 2020 (UTC)

Hi and thank you to propos this. I think it should be handled with substance=* or content=*. The point isn't to know where does water come from but which water actually is inside the tank. This is important to remains inside the tank and not introduce kind water origin traceability which is way more complex to manage Fanfouer (talk) 23:14, 16 July 2020 (UTC)

incorrect image description

Under "Example", the description for the hydrocarbon storage sphere has:


However, the vessel content would be a liquified gas:

content=LPG - Liquefied petroleum gas

Badenk (talk) 03:08, 24 February 2021 (UTC)

Status of man_made=tank

What status of man_made=tank? Is this tag deprecated or not? Something B (talk) 09:30, 26 February 2021 (UTC)

No idea about its status and use. You can research how it is used (with overpass turbo and taginfo and ask community in places with wider audience such as tagging mailing list. If you do this you can create a tag page for it. Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 09:34, 26 February 2021 (UTC)

Capacity estimates

Mention how to tag capacity estimates. Jidanni (talk) 21:54, 15 April 2021 (UTC)

I recommend using taginfo and searching for volume: Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 06:44, 16 April 2021 (UTC)


"Key:covered (assumed yes)" is very important!

An uncovered water tank quickly becomes a mess...

Yes, I know about Tag:man_made=reservoir_covered. Jidanni (talk) 12:58, 10 October 2021 (UTC)
Shouldn't covered=yes/no be added to the wiki, in order to cover those cases where it's important to differentiate between covered and non covered storage tanks? For firefighting, for example, is very important to know which ones are open or not. --AntMadeira (talk) 16:15, 7 January 2022 (UTC)

image is a storage tank?

The image maybe is depicting a fermentation tank and not a storage tank? —Dieterdreist (talk) 17:12, 18 July 2022 (UTC)