Stainless steel tanks are a great way to store residential rainwater or carry massive water reserves for farms and fire safety. No matter what size you are looking for, steel water tanks can be a pricey investment, so nothing short of the best will do.
While every manufacturer in the country is likely to tell you that their steel tanks are the best, we’ve rounded up the top options serving plenty of happy customers throughout Australia.
The Short Answer
To save you the most time and money, we will get straight to the point. After tireless comparison, we believe Kingspan produces the best steel water tanks for Australians.
The Irish manufacturer leans on decades of experience producing reliable water storage products time and time again.
Why Kingspan is number one:
- Huge range of products available almost anywhere in the world
- Great warranties and reliable customer service
- Enormous color and capacity range
- Sustainable practices from an ethical company
As a global leader in sustainable building, Kingspan has over 70 years of experience and a definitive plan for achieving a future with zero net emissions. In Australia, Kingspan offers residential and commercial tank options with the round, squat, modline, slimline, and square options available.
Most famously, the Kingspan Rhino Steel Water Tanks are one of the most well-known product lines among rural communities, and for good reason. Kingspan’s Rhino line is built to withstand harsh Australian conditions, with solutions for every climate zone.
In addition to efficient and safe rainwater harvesting, the Kingspan Rhino rural and commercial fire tanks can be fitted with outlets to meet local regulations and provide quick and efficient outflow.
Finally, Kingspan customers are assured of some of the best warranties on the market today. Most residential Kingspan stainless steel water tanks come with a 20-year parts warranty as well as a 10-year construction warranty.
Other Great Steel Water Tanks
Not convinced Kingspan is the best fit? There are a handful of other great products out there, some of which are manufactured by 100% Australian businesses. Below, we will explore some of the other great steel water tank brands available throughout the country.
Why Aquamate is the runner up:
- Affordable tanks without sacrificing quality
- Designed specifically for rural applications
- Australian company since 1986
- Undeniable customer reviews and experiences
We nearly named Aquamate as the best steel water tank manufacturer, thanks to their decades of high-quality installations across the country (and the world). In 1986, Aquamate introduced the polymer-lined steel water tank, and has been delivering large and reliable storage solutions ever since.
The only reason that we didn’t name Aquamate number one is because the company is almost entirely focused on large scale rural development. If you’re looking for a backyard tank, Aquamate is not your brand.
On the other hand, if you are in the market for over 2 decades of high-volume water storage, Aquamate is one of the most affordable manufactures in the country. With a strong commitment to quality and customer service, Aquamate makes it easy to acquire a steel water tank without any inflated costs.
Aquamate’s stainless steel water tanks can be used for rainwater harvesting, fire protection, stormwater detection, wastewater treatment, and more. The galvanized steel water tanks are built to last even beyond their impressive 20 year “no service” warranty.
Why Waterplex is Great:
- Huge range of residential steel water tanks
- Sydney based company
- A good resource for additional parts and accessories
- Solutions beyond steel
While Aquamate is great for large rural water storage solutions, Waterplex is perfect for finding the ideal urban or suburban water tanks. The Sydney-based company manufactures residential and commercially capable steel water tanks of all shapes and sizes.
Notably, Waterplex has a great range of square, slimline, and modular steel water tanks. Even in the tightest of quarters in urban Sydney and beyond, it is likely that Waterplex will be available to provide a rainwater storage solution, no matter the spatial constraints.
Using high-quality corrugated steel, Waterplex’s tanks are built to last, no matter where they are located. The company also has flexible and integrated tank options beyond steel, as well as many parts and accessories available for sale with any purchase.
Waterplex has only been around since 2008 but has quickly expanded to become one of Australia’s market leaders, focusing on domestic development. The company’s website estimates that their sold products have caught over 3 trillion liters of rainwater for their customer’s homes and businesses.
Why It’s Great:
- Easily accessible all across the country (3 outlets)
- Excellent customer service for efficient DIY installations
- Huge range of custom capacity and sizes
While we are talking about urban appliances, Gardners Colorbond and stainless steel water tanks offer great solutions for residents in and around Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, and Sydney.
Gardner’s water tanks are relatively new to the market (compared to the other industry behemoths on this list), but they have grown quickly with more city-dwellers turning to more sustainable solutions. With rural solutions available as well, Gardeners installations have strong testimonials from many happy customers.
As a modern company, Gardners gives customers complete design control with their “size-a-lator” website feature. Here, you can input the exact length, width, and height of your proposed tank and you will instantly receive the capacity and weight for your slimline, round, mod-line, or square tank.
If you are located in Brisbane, Gardners water tanks can be installed by company-certified professionals. Beyond this, the organization’s national distribution network makes it possible to install almost anywhere, but this may not always be the most cost-effective solution.
Why It’s Great:
- One-stop-shop for tanks of all purposes
- Available in every territory with 5 manufacturing locations
- Free delivery available in most major cities
- Australian owned and operated company
Next, let’s take a loot at Bushmans tanks, who offer one-stop-shopping for tanks of all capabilities. Bushman boats a national network of delivery services with manufacturing locations in 5 major Australian cities. If you live in the generous area pictured here, then you qualify for free delivery of your Bushmans tank!
Bushmans is an Australian company with over 30 years of experience. Although most of their products are limited by a 10-year warranty, the company’s steel water tanks are manufactured to meet all quality standards and withstand any potential accidents during delivery and installation.
The Bushmans water tank library is so large, that you can sort it by size, material, and location. In terms of steel tanks, Bushmans Aqualine Steel liner tanks can be sized appropriately for homes, businesses, and industrial purposes. Currently, the company offers capacities up to 360,000 liters.
Why It’s Great:
- Industry-leading commitment to quality and innovation
- 100% Australian owned, local to Adelaide
- Great range with discounted tanks available
Finally, steel storage solutions from Southern Tanks are a great local option for those local to South Australia. Based in Adelaide, Southern Tanks offers residential and industrial steel tanks for customers within their service area.
It pays to be local, as Southern Tanks products and installations are generally more affordable than their national counterparts. The company also offers free delivery to any customer that is within 120 kilometers of Adelaide. Plus, the included 20-year warranty period is sure to save you more money down the road, in case something were to go wrong.
With a purchase from Southern Tanks, it is easy to adopt a rainwater harvesting system from a small, local company. At the beginning of each year, Southern Tanks hosts an annual mega sale to keep consumers saving even more money.
What To Look for In the Best Steel Water Tanks
Now that you know some of the best steel water tank manufacturers, it’s time to decide on “the one” for your water storage application. Whether you are setting up a small rainwater tank in your backyard or a 300,000L on your ranch, these are the things you must consider before your purchase.
First and foremost, capacity is the most important factor to consider when finding the best steel water tank for your property. Steel water tanks are widely used in agriculture and rural areas to store massive amounts of water in capacities of 50,000 Litres and more.
For residential instances, it is critical to consider droughts and dry spells when finding the ideal capacity for a water tank. If you live in an area with one or two month periods without rain, then you will likely have to purchase a larger tank than anticipated.
In order to find out what size water tank you need, first consider your current water demand. If possible, you may be able to replace existing systems and appliances with more water-efficient solutions. We recommend using this complete guide to help determine the right capacity for your rainwater tank.
Before making any large purchase, the warranty period should be carefully considered. With steel water tanks, hefty investments are often brought alongside generous warranty policies of 10, 20, and even 30 years.
Typically, warranties are broken down into several different time periods for various parts of the equipment. The tank itself should have a very long warranty period, with parts and construction guarantees lasting 3-10 years depending on the manufacturer and installer.
Warranty is critical in saving you money over time. Despite an initially high investment, a well-maintained stainless steel water tank can last for 25 years and more. By not replacing a cheaper tank, your return on investment could better with a high-quality product.
While we’re talking about money, let’s not ignore the cost of a steel water tank. Although they’ve been dotting the Australian countryside for decades, stainless steel water tanks continue to be very expensive to purchase, transport, and install.
Although the initial cost is expensive, stainless steel water tanks are worth the investment from high-quality manufacturers. Cutting costs on installation is also never advised, as repairs and parts replacement can add to expenses later on.
It is easiest to save on the cost of an installation by choosing a manufacturer with production near you. This also lowers the project’s carbon footprint if that must be considered. Thanks to their ecological impact, it is also possible to save on the project cost with locally available rebates and incentives.
Rebates and Incentives
Steel water tanks may be eligible for local or federal rebates and incentives if they are built to code and connected to a rainwater harvesting system. Forms must be submitted to the overseeing council, and you can check to see if your area and tank qualify for an incentive through the Water Corporation’s details.
In rural areas, large steel water tanks may also be eligible for on-farm emergency water infrastructure rebates. With this, the cost of the steel water tanks is summed with the cost of the installation, labor, pipes, and other project expenses.
304 vs 316 Grade Steel
Stainless steel is stainless steel, right? Well actually, this is not necessarily true. Stainless steel comes in many different grades and content combinations. The two most common grades are 304 and 316.
Known sometimes as “marine grade stainless steel,” 316-grade tanks are highly resistant to water, crossing, and sulfuric acid. Despite this, 316-grade tanks are more susceptible to damage from nitric and other oxidizing acids. 304-grade stainless steel is more common, cheaper to manufacture, and occasionally rated to “food-grade” levels.
High-quality stainless steel is typically made with percentages of nickel, chromium, molybdenum, and other materials. If a water tank’s grade has the letter “L” next to it, that refers to a low-carbon steel grade, which is generally more expensive.
No matter where you live in Australia, there is going to be a way to acquire a steel water tank. Designed for remote locations, steel water tanks are often seen in the scarce parts of the country where there really isn’t much of anything else to see.
In cities like Melbourne and Sydney, property owners have the opportunity to source tanks from many local companies at their own discretion. Here and elsewhere, it may be possible to purchase a stainless steel water tank with a high concentration of recycled materials.
Shape & Site Location
Believe it or not, there are a lot of differently shaped steel tanks on the market today. You’ve probably seen barrels, squat tanks, and other cylindrical water storage tanks in some of your neighbor’s yards, but that is just the beginning.
Although it is much more common with plastic tanks, it is possible to install a stainless steel water tank below a deck or under a building’s foundation (like you might with a bladder tank). With this, some of the top manufacturers even allow you to completely customize the dimensions of a water tank to fit your water demand and property space constraints.
Before you purchase your water tank, it is best to closely inspect your property to make sure it can accommodate the size and weight of the installation. In large rural scenarios, the proposed installation area will need to be cleared and leveled to accommodate the tank.
Frequently Asked Questions About Steel Water Tanks
Before we wrap up, here are the answers to some of the most common questions regarding steel water tanks.
How long do steel water tanks last?
Steel tanks generally last between 15 and 30 years, sometimes more, sometimes less. Although the manufacturing process plays a large part in the longevity of a steel water tank, high-quality builds are generally worth their investment with multiple decades of water storage.
Are galvanized water tanks safe?
Yes, water stored in galvanized steel water tanks is still safe to drink. Steel tanks are galvanized so as to withstand rust, however, this can cause a slightly metallic taste in the water if untreated. Although this is not harmful, the taste may be less than ideal.
What is the best material for a water tank?
Finding the best material for a water tank is highly dependent on the installation location and budget of each individual consumer. Beyond steel, some of the best materials for water tanks include plastic, fiberglass, concrete, and stone.
What size water tank do I need?
We recommend purchasing a water tank that has a capacity slightly larger than your home’s estimated demand that can still fit on your property. Try using a water tank calculator such as this one to help determine the volume for your ideal water tank size.
What do I need to do to prepare for my tank to be delivered and installed?
If you will be purchasing a large steel water tank, typically there are a couple of things that need to be done in preparation of the delivery and installation:
- Pad Preparation – It is usually the customer’s responsibility to prepare a level pad of sand or crusher dust. Typically the pad should be 150mm deep at the specified diameter.
- Water Supply – It is also the customer’s responsibility to provide a water supply for the tank (at least 10% of the total capacity) upon completion.
How do you maintain a steel water tank?
Steel water tanks are very easy to maintain, and annual attention is required to keep your water supply safe and optimal. Above all, it is important to test the quality of your water, clean any debris or bugs from the storage and filters, and double-check the connections and conditions of all the surrounding parts.
How much does a steel water tank cost?
Steel water tanks are much more expensive than plastic containers, and generally cost between $5,000 and $7,000 for homes small and large. For high demand rural areas in Australia, large steel water tanks may cost as much as $20,000.
Aside from this, it is also important to consider the costs of transportation and installation.
We hope that this guide has answered your questions. Whether you are collecting rainwater or storing a massive reserve in case of an emergency, steel water tanks are premium products, built to last for years. Still eager to learn more? Check out our complete guide to water tanks in Australia.