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# How To Calculate Pressure of Underground tank walls and how to calculate wall thickness.

## How To Calculate Pressure of Underground tank walls and how to calculate wall thickness.

(OP)
Hello all

I was hoping someone could help point me in the right direction regarding the following problem.

I have 2 x tanks, 1 x cylindrical and the other rectangular of a given depth H that will be installed below ground with just the top of the tank exposed as shown below:-

These tanks will contain sewage and I am trying to figure out how to calculate the maximum pressure exerted on the wall of the tanks due to the surrounding soil and what thickness should the walls be in order to withstand the maximum pressures.

The tank will be installed in a location where the ground conditions are virtually dry (so I don't need to consider water pressure) and the soil is composed of hard gravel / sand.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.
Replies continue below

### RE: How To Calculate Pressure of Underground tank walls and how to calculate wall thickness.

You will need a Geotechnical Engineer to do some drilling and/or sampling of the soil at your site. He/she will be able to give you all the information you would need to calculate your pressures. Information like soil unit weight, friction angle, bearing capacity, settlement criteria, etc. Once you have this data it should be a fairly straightforward process to calculate the pressures that the soil is exerting on the tanks.

As for the tanks themselves, I won't be much help at all as I'm not a Tankologist.

### RE: How To Calculate Pressure of Underground tank walls and how to calculate wall thickness.

I would suggest to consider consulting mechanical engrs for the design of tanks, thanks

### RE: How To Calculate Pressure of Underground tank walls and how to calculate wall thickness.

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### RE: How To Calculate Pressure of Underground tank walls and how to calculate wall thickness.

Matthew, sorry to be late to the party --

If the tanks contain sewage, common practice in this area would be to design the tanks of reinforced concrete (potentially prestressed, depending on scale).

In that case, PCA has produced two useful guides, one for rectangular tanks, one for circular (cylindrical) tanks.

----
just call me Lo.

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