Rural Water Tanks

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Reliable rainwater storage for rural Australians

An estimated 29% of Australians, or around 7 million people, live in rural and remote areas across the country, this results in unique challenges, not least access to reliable water. Many of these Australian households have no access to mains water supply due to their location, and some of the ones that do need more water supply than available under local scheme water in order to water crops and livestock. The fact that rainwater is the only available water for many of these Australians in rural and country areas, makes rural water tanks a crucial aspect of their way of life.

For over 30 years, many of these Australians have turned to a Pioneer water tank for their rainwater harvesting and water storage needs, and Pioneer understands the importance of reliable water storage solutions. These steel tanks have become an iconic and important part of rural living in Australia, and continue to support the way of life of many Australian families.

Families in semi-rural areas who do have access to mains water may even be looking for a water storage tank in order to subsidise water use for the washing machine or garden, especially in country towns with particularly harsh water restrictions. Pioneer Water Tanks are still manufactured in Western Australia to this  day, and continue to be an Australian owned and operated business.

Why choose a steel water tank?

One question many people have when purchasing a water tank, is what type of water tank to purchase. Why purchase a steel water tank, and not, say, a poly tank or concrete tank? What advantages to steel rainwater tanks have over a plastic tank, or poly water tank, which are also very popular.

For the thousands of Australians relying on tank water for all of their household water supply, including drinking water, garden water, and kitchen, bathroom and laundry water, a steel water tank will typically be cheaper. While a poly water tank may often be cheaper when compared to a like for like steel rainwater tank, they typically only come in sizes up to 50kl, meaning that multiple tanks would need to be purchased in order to supply sufficient water to a whole household, whereas only one large steel water tank would be needed for the same result.

Another advantage a steel rainwater tank (made from Zincalume® or Colorbond®, not a stainless steel tank) has over a poly water tank, be it slimline tanks or round tanks, is bushfire resistance. In most of Australia - one of the driest nations on earth - bushfire is a constant threat to homes, property and families, and nothing performs better in bushfire conditions that steel rainwater tanks. In a 2010 study on the performance of rainwater tanks in bushfire conditions by the Bushfire CRC, a Pioneer steel water tank with a liner outperformed all comers, with the tank liner able to hold water during and after the fire front, a critical feature for bushfire protection

Rural water tanks from Pioneer come in a range of sizes from a modest 12 000L right up to a whopping 500 000L, with a tank size to suit any water storage needs.

What size should my rural rainwater tank be?

Like most other things about your home, there is no truly one size fits all solution to what size water tank a household needs. The size of your water tank is determined by a number of things, including roof size, what the tank will be used for, annual rainfall, and household members and water usage.

The first thing you need to figure out is how much water you can harvest from your home and shed roof. The equation to figure this out is pretty simple, simply multiply your roof area (m²) by your annual rainfall (mm) and you will get the total water annually you can harvest in Litres.

For example, someone in Devonport, with a combined roof and shed roof size of 250m² and an average yearly precipitation of 735mm would be able to harvest just over 180 000L of rainwater each year. Pioneer recommends a minimum of 150 000 litres of water storage for a family of four, and considering you're not going to be getting all of this rainfall at once, these figures align quite well.

If you do find you don't have enough roof catchment area to meet your water storage needs, Pioneer offers the revolutionary Smart Water Saver, which fits directly to your tank roof and can harvest thousands of litres more water. For example, if the person above in Devonport fitted the Smart Water Saver to a 170kL water tank, they would be able to improve their water level by an additional 50 000 litres a year.

How do I keep my rural water tank clean?

If you are going to be using your stored rainwater for potable or drinking purposes, one of your major concerns is likely going to be how to keep your water clean and fresh.

The good news is, one of the great strengths of a Pioneer Water Tank is its liner. The Aqualiner Fresh® antimicrobial tank liner not only meets, but exceeds Australian standards for water storage, and its antimicrobial properties means that you know as long as clean water is going in, then clean water will come back out. The tank wall profile - the Pioneer VLock®, is designed to protect this liner from damage via stretching when being filled and emptied.

This means it is important to ensure that no debris or contaminants enter the tank - including chemicals such as chlorine or contaminated bore water. A good way to ensure this is to keep your gutters, pipes, pump and other plumbing clear of leaf litter and debris, ensuring that it cannot enter the tank.

Further questions

If you have any further questions regarding rural water tanks, or about the price of your desired rainwater tank, contact Pioneer Water Tanks today.


Pioneer Water Tanks have provided a service for Tasmania since 1988. Our high quality Australian-made water tanks will provide the long-term water security you’re looking for.