How long does a concrete water tank last

How long does a concrete water tank last


A concrete water tank could be a reliable solution if you need a water storage system in a region where water is scarce or limited.

These tanks are essential for storing water, and their longevity is crucial to ensure a continuous and sustainable water supply.

Therefore, it’s essential to understand how long a concrete water tank can last. In this regard, we’ll take a closer look and explore the expected lifespan of a concrete water tank.

Concrete water tank

When discussing concrete water tanks or cisterns, it’s essential to consider the materials used in their construction.

Typically, concrete comprises cement, sand, rough aggregates, and water, which takes approximately 28 days to cure completely. Concrete tanks can be delivered in various strengths, and they are a popular choice for water storage due to their durability and strength.

It’s important to note that the lifespan of a concrete storage tank is directly related to the quality of the concrete used. The concrete used for a storage tank differs from that used for a concrete slab, so the quality must be carefully considered.

To ensure a long lifespan, plasticizers are added to the mix to promote the tank’s longevity.

Concrete cisterns are renowned for their ability to store and collect water. However, the lifespan of precast concrete cisterns is generally around 20-30 years, while DIY concrete cisterns require special attention to ensure they last.

To extend the lifespan of precast concrete cisterns, it’s recommended to use modern fixing materials such as polymer products that offer extra water resistance. These materials can help prevent water seepage and increase the cistern’s durability.

If building a DIY concrete cistern, it’s essential to incorporate plasticizers into the mix or research ways to make the concrete more waterproof. Additionally, including rebar in the cistern will help prevent rusting, which can reduce the tank’s lifespan.

The density of the concrete is a crucial factor in determining the lifespan of the cistern. The higher the density, the better the cistern can withstand compression.

In a water tank, the pressure is exerted outward, so the concrete needs reinforcement to hold it together. This reinforcement can be a rebar, which provides additional strength and support to the tank.

In conclusion, to ensure that the cistern lasts for many years, it’s essential to take the necessary steps to ensure the quality and density of the concrete used.

Incorporating modern fixing materials and reinforcing the tank with rebar will help to extend its lifespan. While increasing the density of concrete may come at a higher cost, it ultimately increases the longevity of the cistern, providing a reliable source of water storage for many years to come.

The average lifespan of a water storage tank is around 20-30 years, but with proper maintenance and care, it can last even longer.

Key points:

  1. Concrete water tanks require high-quality concrete and plasticizers for longevity.
  2. Precast concrete cisterns last for around 20-30 years, while DIY cisterns require special attention.
  3. It’s recommended to use modern fixing materials such as polymer products to extend the lifespan of precast concrete cisterns.
  4. Reinforcing the tank with rebar can help to extend its lifespan.
  5. Increasing concrete density can increase the cistern’s longevity but may come at a higher cost.
Water storage tank life expectancy is around 20-30 years

Concrete tank cost

Upon conducting an initial assessment of the water tank, we have come up with a rough estimation of its age.

However, to obtain a more precise estimate of the required investment, we must delve into the pricing details for a concrete water tank. Understanding precisely what we would get for our investment in such projects is crucial.

Several factors influence the price of a concrete water tank, including its size, construction process, and materials used. In most cases, a more considerable tank will cost more than a smaller one.

The construction process also plays a role in determining the pricing, as some methods may require more labor or specialized equipment than others.

When it comes to materials, constructing a concrete water tank offers various options. For instance, some tanks may be made using precast concrete panels, while others might use poured or reinforced concrete.

The choice of materials is a crucial factor in the durability and longevity of the tank, as well as its overall cost.

Apart from the water tank itself, we must also consider the cost of all the necessary work, including machinery, excavation, and other supporting activities.

By considering all of these factors, we can better understand the investment required for the water tank project. This will enable us to ensure we get the best possible value for our investment.

It is worth noting that opting for a polymer concrete water tank will cost more than regular concrete. However, it will likely be more robust and last longer, making it a sound investment. Nonetheless, conducting thorough research on the subject is necessary before making a final decision.

Key points:

  1. A more precise estimate of the investment required for a concrete water tank is needed.
  2. Several factors, including size, construction process, and materials used, influence the price of a concrete water tank.
  3. Materials used are a crucial factor in the durability and longevity of the tank, as well as its overall cost.
  4. The cost of all necessary work, including machinery and excavation, must also be considered.
  5. Polymer concrete water tanks are more robust and last longer than regular concrete but cost more.

Accessories will raise the cost.

When investing in a tank, it’s essential to remember that the cost can vary based on the accessories necessary for the tank’s efficient operation. There are various accessories available that cater to different needs.

For example, pumps and filters may be necessary to ensure the water collected is safe. The tank’s intended use should be considered before investing in any additional accessories. 

Historically, ancient concrete cisterns installed water filters to ensure the water collected from them was safe. Similarly, if the tank is being used to collect rainwater for drinking purposes, a water filter will be essential to ensure the water is safe to drink.

Additionally, pipes may be required to transport the water from the tank to the desired location. 

It’s essential to note that the cost of a tank increases as more features are added. For instance, tanks with more complex designs may require more accessories, significantly increasing their cost.

Therefore, it’s crucial to carefully consider the intended use of the tank and the necessary accessories before investing in it. This will help avoid any additional costs that may not be necessary.

Rough estimation

If you’re considering purchasing a precast concrete water tank for your home, it’s essential to consider several factors to make an informed decision. One of the most critical things to keep in mind is the cost.

The price of a 500-gallon concrete cistern can vary significantly, depending on your location and other expenses. You can expect to pay anywhere from $500 to several thousand dollars for a high-quality precast concrete water tank.

Apart from the cost, you must also consider the size of the cistern you require. Typically, the larger the cistern, the cheaper it is per gallon. So, it’s crucial to determine your family’s daily water requirements and calculate accordingly.

This way, you can select the right water tank size that suits your needs and your budget.

In addition to these factors, consider building a concrete water tank yourself. Constructing a cistern using concrete will depend on local concrete prices and labor costs. Installing a concrete water tank can save you a considerable amount of money, but it’s important to consider whether you value your time and effort.

Whether you opt for a precast concrete water tank or construct one yourself, it’s essential to consider all the factors involved to make an informed decision that meets your family’s needs and requirements.

Finally, it’s always a good idea to consult a professional to ensure you choose the most cost-effective and efficient option for your home.

Underground concrete water tank

If you plan to install a 5,000-gallon water tank, an underground tank is one of the best options. This solution is perfect if you want to increase your water storage capacity without taking up additional space in your yard.

Additionally, underground tanks are hidden from view, making them an excellent choice if you want to maintain the aesthetics of your property. 

Concrete is the most durable and long-lasting material for underground tanks. Concrete tanks can be placed deep underground and provide a permanent solution for your water storage needs.

However, it’s essential to remember that installing an underground tank is a significant investment, and once installed, it’s challenging to change or move it. This is especially true if you have other structures nearby, such as buildings or walls. 

If you need to make any changes to the tank, it can be expensive, as excavation work will be needed to access the tank. Therefore, it’s crucial to think carefully before installing an underground tank and ensure you’re happy with your decision. 

On the other hand, the advantage of an underground tank is that it provides a large water storage capacity without wasting valuable space in your yard. You can invest in a larger tank, which will not require additional space.

An underground tank is perfect if you need a large water storage capacity and more space in your yard. It will also help you save on your water bills and provide an eco-friendly solution to your water needs.

Above-ground concrete water tanks

When it comes to collecting rainwater, there are various types of storage tanks available. Above-ground tanks have become popular due to their convenient accessibility and ease of replacement.

Since they are located above the ground, they are much easier to reach and replace if necessary, saving time and effort. 

However, it’s crucial to note that above-ground tanks are more vulnerable to freezing than underground tanks.

This is because they lack an insulating layer above them that would protect them from the cold weather. In contrast, underground tanks benefit from being surrounded by soil, which acts as a natural insulator, keeping them relatively warm and protected.

During the winter, only the ground’s top layer freezes, meaning underground tanks remain relatively warm and insulated. However, above-ground tanks are more exposed to cold air, and their contents may freeze, potentially damaging the tank and the water inside. 

Therefore, it’s essential to consider these factors when deciding which type of rainwater collection tank to use. If you live in an area with harsh winters, an above-ground tank may not be the best choice, and an underground tank may be a better option.

However, if accessibility and ease of replacement are your primary concerns, an above-ground tank may be the way to go. It’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of each type of tank to make an informed decision that suits your specific needs.

Concrete vs plastic water tanks

Let’s delve into the differences between concrete and plastic water tanks, focusing on their durability and stress-handling capabilities.

Regarding durability, plastic water storage tanks have a life expectancy of around 20 years, slightly less than concrete tanks. However, the durability of plastic tanks can vary based on the type of plastic used in their construction.

For instance, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) tanks are known to be more durable than concrete tanks in some cases.

One advantage of plastic water tanks is that they can be buried underground, much like precast concrete tanks. However, unlike concrete tanks, plastic tanks cannot be built on the side of a property and require car access for delivery.

Another benefit of plastic tanks is that they are lighter than concrete tanks, making them easier to install without heavy machinery.

Concerning stress handling, concrete is generally considered a more robust material and can handle more stress than plastic. However, concrete tanks are also prone to cracking over time. In contrast, plastic tanks are less able to handle stress but are more flexible and less likely to crack.

Plastic tanks are more susceptible to damage from weather conditions when placed above ground. Underground roots can also damage them. Meanwhile, concrete tanks can be buried deeper than plastic tanks due to their remarkable ability to handle ground pressure.

Overall, both concrete and plastic water tanks have pros and cons regarding durability and stress handling. It’s crucial to consider the specific needs of your property and lifestyle when deciding which type of tank to choose.


After considering various factors, the lifespan of a concrete water tank is around 20-30 years.

When choosing a tank, it’s essential to consider its size, accessories, and placement. While an underground tank may be the best choice, repairing it can be challenging if problems arise.

On the other hand, an above-ground tank is more susceptible to damage and takes up more space. When comparing a concrete tank to a plastic one, each has advantages and disadvantages.

Proper use and maintenance are crucial for the success of both types of tanks. If you opt for an underground tank, consider placing it under the driveway for easy access during excavation.

This way, your driveway and water tank can have a similar lifespan. However, if you place the tank under the driveway, you must replace it simultaneously with the driveway, providing a chance to redesign your driveway.