This is the natural follow-up to my previous post on solid waste storage.
We tend to keep our liquid investigation-derived waste (IDW) in either 55-gallon drums, poly tanks, or gigantic frac tanks.
Drums for liquids are the same as drums for solids, as discussed earlier. They're easy to drive around and pump off if needed, but troublesome if you're dealing with more than a couple hundred gallons.
I usually prefer poly (plastic) tanks, which range up in size from 150 gallons or so (about the maximum that you can put in a full-size pickup) up to a couple thousand gallons. The poly tanks tend to be much easier to open/close (which you may do often if you're just filling them a couple of buckets at a time) but still hold enough water to be useful for larger jobs. Also, if you have mildly corrosive water or treatment chemicals, these hold up better than the steel drums. About my preferred size (225 gallon) example here from ebay:
If I have a very large water sampling job, or an intermediate-sized drilling job, I may go with a much larger poly tank (this from rain for rent):
But sometimes, you find yourself handling lots of water. After a certain point, you'll need a frac tank. The biggest standard tank is 21,000 gallons, and if you're going to be doing a lot of deep drilling or potentially exciting drilling (karst? faults?) and need to containerize the water for disposal, you may get a couple of these (from Adler):
confined-space entry to clean them. And I'm always paranoid that some local troublemaker is going to go ahead and open the front porthole (halfway up the face on the right in the photo) when the thing is mostly full and we'll have A Big Problem. Although I will admit that if I need a nice "quasi-aerial" photograph of a busy environmental investigation, the top of a 21,000-gallon tank is the perfect place to stand.
I'm sure that my counterparts in the oil and gas biz think that my frac tanks are hilariously small (they think the same of the drill rigs I use), compared to the manmade lagoons that they might make for a fracking project. But this is as big as it gets for me, thank goodness. I have a hard enough time keeping them properly sealed and secured.