Choosing the right water tank for your needs

Choosing a water tank or water tanks can be daunting and as good quality tanks are not cheap, the decision should be well considered before purchasing


When it comes to large-volume water or wastewater storage it is important to understand that you have a choice of tank type and that the one you choose must suit your particular project or installation.

Choosing a water tank or water tanks can be daunting and as good quality tanks are not cheap, the decision should be well considered before purchasing.

Type and size of water tank

There are a number of tank options available when considering buying water storage tank. To choose the right tank size, first decide for what purposes you will be using the water, the size of your roof or installation space, how much water your need will consume daily, weekly or monthly. These factors will help you estimate the size and type of the tank required.

  • Polyethylene tanks: These are lightweight, durable options that are available in different colours and sizes. They can be used both above and below ground, depending on your needs.
  • Concrete tanks: These durable tanks are usually built on site (above or below ground) and work best to prevent growth of algae and to keep water cool.
  • Metal tanks: Made of corrugated metal or coated steel, these custom-made options are easy to transport.
  • Fiberglass tanks: These tanks are a good above-ground option as they are rust and corrosion proof, and can withstand high temperatures.
  • Bladder tanks: While these don’t really fit into our ideas of tanks, these are ideal for verandas or under house applications.

Factors to consider when selecting a water tank

Every house has a water tank installed to supply water to the entire house throughout the day for basic use like bathing; using the toilet; drinking water, washing dishes and laundry etc. But, Do we ever consider what to keep in mind while buying our water tanks? Mostly not, we just buy a 1000L tank for a big house, and a 500L for a smaller one. There are a few factors you should keep in mind while buying a water tank. These are:

 Quality over price

“In the Kenyan market, customers can’t differentiate between a blow molded tank and a rotational molded tank. Rotational molded tanks are the traditional technology tanks that are strong and durable. They can be made in double layer and are usually stronger than single layer/blow molded tanks. Customers also don’t seem to know the difference between virgin material and recycled material and often tend to buy recycled material tanks which can pose a risk as the composition of recycled material is usually unknown. This can lead to different melting flow index and thus have issues with the quality of tanks. No wonder we have numerous customers complaining of tanks just bursting when filled with water,” said Dhaval Patel from TECHNO-PLAST LIMITED. The company is a leading plastic water tank (Techno-Tanks) manufacturers in Kenya.

Justin Lindsay, ECO TANKS General Manager Operations advices the following in regards to water storage selection;

  • Match your tank to your requirement.  Understand how much water you will need and then look at the number of tanks you will need to store this volume.  For example there is no point in purchasing a 1000L tank that you are going to use to top up a 60 000L swimming pool.
  • Tank quality.  Be sure to understand the guarantee on the tank before purchase, this is a good indication of quality and will give peace of mind.
  • Tanks that carry the approval of Tank Standard, are required to meet certain criteria in terms of quality that ensure a top class product.
  • Also look for suppliers that carry quality management system certification, such as ISO

Africa water storage market

Techno-plast tanks

According to Dhaval Patel, water demand has gone up while rainfall has dropped with poor water supply infrastructure. However, in terms of supply the market is very saturated and profit margins are almost to none. As an investment this business is no longer lucrative due to stiff competition from sub standard producers.

A view at South Africa market, Justin Lindsay says that, recent droughts and water shortages have created an awareness that has resulted in an increased demand for tanks, given that, most part of Africa is a water scarce continent and the demand for water tanks is something that can only increase in the near future. Mr. Lindsay further  points out financial capability as one among the challenges when buying and installing storage tanks. “The biggest challenge is financial. Rural communities are cash strapped.  To purchase and transport a tank is a costly exercise. Additional costs such as building tank stands and fitting gutters are not taken into account or are done on a budget that results in poor installations and damaged tanks or ineffective water harvesting,” says Mr. Lindsay.

Africa water storage challenge

When it comes to water tank installation, TECHNO-PLAST suggests educating end users or customers because up to date end user fail to follow simple instructions like place tank on a flat surface, don’t pick the tank with water filled, inlet and outlet holes, etc Many customers are simply unaware of the differences between tanks and their installation procedures. Due to cash constraints they would buy a cheaper tank and then regret as it wouldn’t last. In the long run, cheap is expensive.

ECO TANKS advices, educating rural communities is probably the key to successful rainwater harvesting and storage