How Frequently Do Water Tanks Need Replacing?
Water tanks are an essential part of Australian living. Our nation is considered one of the world’s driest inhabited regions. Good quality water tanks are therefore as much part of our lives as utes.
Locals use tanks made of concrete or polyethene, and they can either be installed above the surface or underground. Whichever type of tank you select, they are built for stability and longevity. Underground tanks have a more sturdy construction because they have to withstand the pressure of the surrounding soil as well as the ground above.
If you plan to install your tank below your driveway, then it’s a good idea to select a concrete model with a lockable stainless steel lid. This material can withhold the weight of a parked car while keeping out insects, viral material, and other biological contaminants.
Water tanks rarely need to be replaced. A well-made plastic tank can last 30 years or more, and a concrete tank can last indefinitely. After all, the Roman ruins are still in existence, and modern concrete is of far higher grade that the construction materials of the Colosseum.
The only reason you would need to replace a water tank is if it was exposed to manual damage. For example, underground tanks are vulnerable to the shifting of the earth’s core. In case of tremors, earthquakes, or mudslides, the tank must be thoroughly inspected. Even if it survives the physical force, it might develop tiny cracks.
These minute flaws, when combined with water pressure and general wear and tear, could eventually lead the concrete tank to collapse. The cracks may also allow germs into the tank, and these can cause the steel sections of the tank to corrode and worsen the damage while making the water unsuitable for human use.
Concrete expands in hot weather and contracts when it gets chilly, so the tank should not be positioned in direct sunlight. Over time, those changes in temperature can weaken the structure of the tank. Similarly, plastic tanks soften over time, due to sunlight exposure. However, this softening takes decades to have any noticeably harmful effect.
Polyethylene tanks are popular because they can be moulded into attractive shapes and designed in bright, attractive colours. These hues are waterproof, and will not leach harmful toxins into the water. That said, the colours will eventually fade, and the bright tones will become dull and drab. This will take twenty years or more, so it’s a minor concern.
Concrete and plastic are both non-biodegradable materials, so they’ll never rot or fade away. As a result, your water tanks can be used indefinitely. There are other scenarios that can damage them though. Fire can destroy both plastic and concrete through excessive heating that can lead to melting and crumbling respectively.
Tanks can also be destroyed if a heavy vehicle rams into them, or if a nearby building collapses on them. Plastic tanks can be pierced or perforated by a sharp object if it has enough heat or force behind it. And if a polyethene tank is installed on the improperly prepared ground, the combination of water pressure and a small sharp stone can ruin it.
When the plastic tank is empty, its surface is strong enough to withstand a stone. But once it’s full of water and weighs several tons, the smallest rock at ground level can succumb to all that force, poking a tiny, unnoticed hole that could drain all the water. The slowly seeping water could then weaken the soil beneath the tank, causing it to sink and collapse the tank.
As you can see, tanks never need replacement unless they are acted upon by an external force. Their regular wear and tear have no real effect on their quality for several decades. To prevent manual damage, water tanks should be properly installed to avoid damaging them. They should also be inspected regularly and repaired when necessary. With the right care, your water tank can last you a lifetime.