Plastic vs Concrete Water Tanks: Make a Right Choice

Civil Engineer / Content Writer

Safe potable water free from any impurities is a basic need of the people. In today’s pollution prone environment, hygiene of water is must. The shortage of drinking water is very common, almost everywhere, particularly in developing countries.

We cannot live without water. We need water for almost 24 hours for our day to day needs. In most of the developing countries, the municipalities or local government does not supply water for 24 hours. Hence it is compulsory for a house owner to store the water for their needs. The quantity of water to be stored will depend on the size of the family and their lifestyle. But water storage is must, so that 24 hour uninterrupted water is available in the house. It is also equally important for multi-storey apartment building where the water storage is a must as the municipality supply might not have that head or pressure so that it can reach the terrace of a high-rise building. Hence first you have to store water in the underground tank and then pump it to overhead tank on the terrace.

There are some locations where the volume and pressure of water are insufficient for the correct supply to each house. That is why it is so important to have a water storage tanks in your house. Since not all places have an abundance of water, residential water storage is becoming increasingly important. Water tanks provide storage of water, for many uses like drinking water, food preparation, gardening, car washing and washing clothes as well as many other purposes.

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When you choose water storage tanks for your house, it should fulfil your requirement as per your needs. When we compare plastic vs concrete water tanks, the properties, cost, life of the tanks, etc. plays a major role while making selection. They are very popular in different styles and sizes. Hence, here we give you brief comparison about these water tanks which will help you to make the right choice for your house.

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01. General

01. Nowadays, plastic water tanks are popular and extensively used. It is light in weight. These tanks are leak proof, rust proof, maintenance free, durable and economical. It is available in a circular as well as cubical shape. 01. Concrete water tanks are the oldest types of water tank. It is quite strong and long-lasting. It can be made of the variety of shapes, i.e. Rectangular, Circular, etc.

02. Composition

01. Generally, it is made of high-density polyethylene. 01. It is made reinforced cement concrete or ferrocemet.

03. Uses

It is used for storing water for residential homes and apartments. This water storage is used for drinking water, food preparation, washing clothes, tree planting, etc.

04. Advantages

01. It is leak proof. You are free from fear of leakage and associated problem as anticipated in RCC tank at least for first few years of in life.

02. It is light in weight as compared to RCC water tank and hence can be moved manually in any position. Hence it is almost portable, not stationary. Therefore its location can be changed. Because of its portability, we can move it from one place to other.

i.e. If you raise one more floor in your house, you can shift it from one floor to other floor and similarly from one building to another building. It doesn’t corrode.

03. It is rust proof as compared to RCC water tank.

04. It is water tight, so the water does not become dirty.

05. It is more hygienic as compared to concrete water tanks as it is water tight.

06. It is less expensive as compared to RCC water tank.

07. We can add additional capacity of water tank connecting to another water tank. If at anywhere you find that your current 2000 litre is not adequate, you can always add additional capacity by adding required size and interconnect them.

01. It is more durable as compared to the plastic water tank.

02. If properly maintained, it can last for several years.

03. It keeps water cold and clean as compared to the plastic water tank.

04. It is easy to clean as compared to the plastic water tank.

05. Disadvantages

01. It is difficult to clean.

02. It is light weight, but it breaks down over the time due to UV radiation because it is plastic. It is not stable against the UV radiation. However, with the advance of material chemistry, the future tank would be better.

03. In the summer, the water gets hot. Hence people may not like to use.

04. Many people cover it with the brick wall to keep it cool and protect it from UV radiation. But it adds to the cost.

01. It is heavy in weight as compared to the plastic water tank.

02. It is not rustproof as compared to the plastic water tank. Any leakage in the tank will be subjected to corrosion, creating many problems.

03. If the water in the tank is slightly acidic, it can leak calcium from the tank into the water. This makes the water harder and affects the taste.

04. If it is not properly constructed, there may be the chance of cracking and leakage of water some time. In spite of adequate care during construction, because of the number of joints involved in construction and also lack of availability of skilled workforce, it leaks, and the leakage becomes a permanent headache to solve. Leakage invites other problems along with it.

05. The presence of light may cause the growth of algae in the stored water which may pollute the water.

06. The construction of concrete water tank is time-consuming.

07. After some time, it needs repairs.

06. Natural Disaster

01. During cyclone, if the plastic tank is empty or partially filled with water, the tank may get dislocated from its original position.

02. It is safe during the earthquake as it is light in weight and flexible in connections.

01. During cyclone, it is stable in its original position because it is heavy in weight.

02. During an earthquake, the crack may appear on the tank surface, or sometimes tank may collapse if not designed properly.

03. Concrete water tank on terrace causes vertical unsymmetry from a configuration point of view for resisting earthquake forces, and hence it needs adequate care in design. Otherwise, there will be damages during the earthquake.

04. During Bhuj earthquake, in most of the load bearing house with of G+0, G+1 storeys, the staircase cabin and water tank were severally damaged while the house itself was not that much damaged.

07. Properties

a) Durability

  • It is less durable as compared to concrete water tanks.
  • It is more durable as compared to plastic water tanks.

b) Flexibility

  • Its connection is flexible.
  • Its connection is rigid.

c) Strength

(Breaking Strength)

  • It has a low breaking strength compared to RCC water tank. If some heavy materials falls on the tank, it can break easily.
  • It has a high breaking strength compared to plastic water tank.

d) Colour Resistance to UV Light

  • It has low resistance to UV light as UV light may fade the colour of the tank but tank also makes it brittle causing cracks and ultimately useless.
  • It has high resistance to UV light. Not affected by it, except expansion or contraction.

08. Installation

01. It is easy to install as compared to RCC water tank due to its light weight. 01. More skilled persons are required to construct it and waterproof it. Hence construction is not easy.

09. Maintenance

01. It requires less maintenance as compared to concrete water tanks as it is easy to clean. 01. It requires more maintenance as compared to plastic water tanks as it is difficult to clean.

10. Size

01. Plastic water tank sizes are different. The plastic tanks are available from 1000 litre, 1500litre, 3000 litres, to 50,000 litres and more.

02. The plastic loft tanks are also available for 200 litres to 1000 litre which can even be installed in the house on loft or even on walls.

01. Concrete water tank sizes depend upon the availability of the space. But they can be constructed of any size based on actual needs.

11. Cost

01. The price of the plastic water tanks depends upon the size of the tank. It approximately ranges from Rs. 5 to10 per litre. 01. The cost of the concrete water tanks is high as compared to the plastic water tanks. It depends on the size of the tank and its location, i.e. on which floor it is constructed. The higher the terrace, higher the labour cost however it will cost you around Rs. 10 to 15 per litre.

12. Manufacturers

01. The standard manufactures of plastic tanks are Sintex, Purvi, Finolex, National Plastics, etc. 01. It is constructed by local contractor and fabricated on site.
Also Read: Different Types of Valves in Plumbing System

13. Special Comments

From the above information of plastic vs concrete water tanks, the choice of the water storage tank is depend on the requirement of the water to the family and their set budget. Nowadays, people use plastic water tanks rather than the concrete water tanks because it is light in weight and less costly. From the above information, it will help the people to make the right and judicial choice.

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