Water Tanks for Bushfire Protection



    In rural areas, especially those susceptible to bushfires, it’s essential to protect everything that’s important – your family, your home and your stock. Part of being prepared means having a plan in the event of danger, taking steps to organise and maintain your property and having sufficient water storage on site. Aquamate’s range of galvanised steel water storage tanks are ideally suited to providing protection for homes and sheds in bushfire prone areas. Speak to us about the benefits of a galvanised tank for fire protection. 

    Fire tanks for active bushfire protection

    Fire tanks and access to water supply can play an important part in active and passive systems to help protect your home in the event of a bushfire. Passive steps for bushfire protection can range from the materials used in construction in your dwelling or shed and the location of buildings, to clearing of trees that are too close to your home. Active systems can include firefighting pumps and sprinkler systems; and associated fire tanks for water storage. Some important bushfire provisions to consider when preparing your home are:

    For more industrial fire protection applications, like dedicated fire hydrants or automatic sprinkler systems, jump across to our water tanks for commercial fire services page to find out more.

    Galvanised steel water tanks outperform poly tanks during bushfires

    Fire tanks need to withstand the different types of heat and flame conditions during a bushfire. Red-hot embers from leaf litter or ones blow during high winds can affect the performance of your fire tank, as well as radiant heat from approaching fire and direct expose to flames.

    Poly tanks are typically made from polyethylene, a ductile thermoplastic that can be melted to be re-formed again and again – that’s what makes it such a great material for recycling. Under the stress of radiant heat exposure, combined with the stress of holding water, poly tanks can become unstable, beginning to sag and split. The transition temperature for polyethylene, the point at which it starts to soften, is just above the temperature of boiling water. Even when exposed to embers, poly tanks can start to blister around the base.

    Galvanised tanks come in two types; rolled galvanised tanks with an for small volumes around 10,000L to 20,000L and bolted liner tanks for 25,000L and up.

    In contrast to poly tanks, Aquamate’s galvanised liners tanks can remain effective, even during bushfires

    Research and Testing undertaken by the Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre (now Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC) into the use of both poly and galvanised steel tanks has shown that galvanised steel water storage tanks have the best chance of providing effective bushfire protection for your property.

    For small water storage volumes, 20,000L and less, you can contact Aquamate and we can put you in touch with one of our dealers that supply galvanised tanks. Alternatively, feel free to search for a dealer in your area and see what they can offer you in a galvanised tank, especially if you’re in a bushfire prone area. With over 30 years of experience, you can trust we will provide a fire tank that will protect for years to come.

    Performance of rainwater tanks in bushfire conditions

    The CRC and CSIRO conducted research into the performance of different rainwater tanks in bushfire conditions. It was found that the steel liner water tanks maintained their structural integrity during all tests. It was also proved that the liner was able to retain water during and after the fire-front. This is very important for the protection of your property in the event of a bushfire.

    Safely combine firefighting water and domestic water in the same fire tank

    Fire tankOnce you’ve decided that you want a fire tank, consider whether you want to take advantage of the fire tank volume for more than just bushfire protection. Aquamate can combine your rainwater harvesting for irrigation or domestic uses without cutting into firefighting reserve water. By installing your bushfire take-off at the bottom of the fire tank and a second take-off above the reserve volume water line, Aquamate can combine the two storage volumes, without you having to worry about accidentally depleting the firefighting reserve.

    Additional water storage can be used for anything from garden irrigation systems, laundry and bathrooms, to supplementing or replacing your entire domestic water use. Plus, with Aquamate’s “Rainsaver” gutter system, you can collect rainwater that’d normally go to waste directly off the roof of the fire tank. Increasing the size of your fire tank works out cheaper than purchasing a second tank for other uses in almost all cases.

    Bushfire Attack Level or BAL is a method for rating the intensity of a locations potential exposure to bushfire.

    Currently, the Australian Standards provide two methods for calculating BAL. The most commonly used methodology, is described in AS 3959:2018.  However, AS 3959:2018 does not mention water tanks in any of the Construction Requirements for any BAL level. The only reference to the water supply in the standard is in regard to above ground, exposed water supply pipes which must be metal.

    Although water tanks and their fittings and accessories do not have a BAL rating, as they are not provided for in AS 3959:2018 Construction of Buildings in Bushfire Prone-Areas, the aforementioned CSIRO & Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre’s research paper, Performance of Rainwater Tanks in Bushfire Conditions, highlights the benefits of steel tanks with bladders such as the Aquamate style of water tank, on any property prone to bushfires regardless of the locations specific BAL rating.

    Aquamate fire tanks from 23,000 litres to 363,600 litres available

    Today, Aquamate’s range of fire tanks is available in a variety of sizes from 23,900 litres right up to 363,600 litres.  All of Aquamate’s fire water storage tanks are transported to site in “flat pack” form and assembled on site within a single day in most cases.  Available in a plain galvanised finish and in a variety of modern Colorbond colours. Take a look at Aquamate’s colour selector to find a colour that suits you.

    For more details, download Aquamate’s water tank brochure

    Aquamate Model Code Tank Diameter Nominal Capacity - Standard Tank
    AM3G052 3.7 metres 23,900 litres
    AM3G076 4.5 metres 34,400 litres
    AM3G103 5.2 metres 46,800 litres
    AM3G134 5.9 metres 61,100 litres
    AM3G170 6.7 metres 77,300 litres
    AM3G210 7.4 metres 95,500 litres
    AM3G254 8.2 metres 115,500 litres
    AM3G302 8.9 metres 137,400 litres
    AM3G355 9.7 metres 161,300 litres
    AM3G411 10.4 metres 187,100 litres
    AM3G472 11.1 metres 214,700 litres
    AM3G537 11.9 metres 244,300 litres
    AM3G607 12.6 metres 275,800 litres

    Want more information on bushfire preparation and storage tanks for your home ?

    Call Aquamate today on 1800 633 995 or fill out our online enquiry form and we’ll get back to you

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