What Are Water Tanks Made From?

It may sound strange when people say that water is a finite resource, especially with oceans, swamps, and drizzles all around us. It is though because the amount of water that we can easily access is limited. For us to use sea water, polar glacier water, or underground water tanks, it has to be harvested and treated to make it potable, which costs time and money.

That’s probably why some of the cleverest minds on the planet predict that the wars of the future will be fought over water, not oil. Fortunately, we’re not quite there yet. But we do have places where regular access to water is a challenge. These places range from deserts and arctic regions to rural areas whose infrastructure doesn’t support piped water.

In regions like this, water tanks are a necessity. These tanks allow residents to collect rain or river water and store it for later use. They might also dig wells or boreholes and syphon the water into a tank so that it can be piped and distributed to the rest of the house.

In farming communities, tanks can be used to hold water in different sections, which saves the time, effort, and hassle of moving it wherever it’s needed. For example, if you had to carry water from the well to the seedlings one bucket at a time, you’d spend all day irrigating.

Another advantage of water tanks is large scale supply management. In some places, water has to be bought by the truck-load and delivered from hundreds of kilometres away. This wouldn’t be possible if there were no way for this purchased water to be stored.


Water tanks need to have several features. They should be waterproof to avoid leakage. It helps if they’re not porous, because this may allow atmospheric contaminants to infect the water and render it unsuitable for use. Tanks need to be sturdy because water is heavier than it looks. They also need the ability to withstand changes in liquid temperature.

In many indigenous locales, clay pots are used to keep water for household use. While they can be appropriate for small volumes of water, they’re not ideal for long term storage. Clay particles seep into the water, adding a rich, pleasant, non-toxic,  mineral flavour. And since the clay is porous, some of the liquid evaporates, keeping your water refreshingly cool.

The downside of this porosity is that pots leak, so they have to be rested on top of a sump to catch spilt water deposits. Clay is also prone to shattering, especially once the pot has been moistened through long use. It’s impractical for any of large water tank.

Concrete is a popular material for water tanks, especially underground tanks. Its hard surface can withstand water pressure, and it doesn’t corrode or rust. Concrete can handle a lot of wear and tear, and when it’s well constructed, it doesn’t crumble. It helps that concrete doesn’t affect the taste, smell, or flavour of water.

Natural stone is sometimes used for water tanks. In areas with a solid water table, the underground stone can be carved out and excavated to make a natural water depository. The advantage is this tank is organic, and therefore less likely to have any chemical contamination. It will also keep out pests, insects, and micro-organisms.

The downsides include the cost of quarrying. You would need a single rock face large enough to carve out the right size of tank. While you can use different stone pieces to construct your tank, you’d need extra work and binding materials to make sure there was no leakage between the individual stone surfaces.

Some manufacturers prefer to use stainless steel for underground water tanks sydney, though it’s pricey and can be heavy. Steel is a good conductor of heat, so it’s likely your water may get too hot or cold, depending on weather conditions. Fibreglass is also becoming a popular option for tanks. They’re affordable, but since they can’t be recycled, they’re not environmentally sustainable.

The most common material for water tanks is plastic. Polypropylene and polyethene tanks are lightweight and easy to manipulate so that they can be constructed in massive sizes and transported over large global distances. They can be moulded in a huge variety of shapes and colours, making their aesthetics a strong selling point.

Although these plastic tanks may look flimsy, they are surprisingly strong and can hold thousands of litres of water, both warm and cold. They don’t shrink or corrode, and their expansion is minimal in atmospheric heat. Some grades of plastic are tough enough to be installed underground. And while plastic won’t biodegrade, it’s easy to recycle and repair.

When you’re in the market for a water tank, choose one that has a warranty and an option for maintenance. Select the right style and capacity for your needs. Go with a brand that includes delivery and installation, since this can be more cumbersome than you expect.

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