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Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association

Australian Steel Water Tanks

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Steel water tanks have been a part of outback Aussie life since almost day one. When Australians in the 1850’s started moving away from the coast, steel water tanks provided them with reliable, clean water storage for drinking, crops, gardens and even livestock. Despite many decades having past, and innovation improving these tanks to make them more durable, larger and stronger, and the cost of steel water tanks increasing, much like every other aspect of our lives they still remain crucial to rural living.

These water tanks were originally prebuilt structures, made from corrugated iron, and taken to the site fully assembled, whereas today, more modular tank systems are able to be constructed on sight withn the day, making transport easier, faster and more affordable.

Several companies have developed new wall panels also, moving away from the traditional corrugated pattern, with the Pioneer V-Lock® wall profile specifically designed for water storage, to make tanks stronger and more durable, increasing their life span, but also to protect the liner from damage or stretching.

Iron, Steel, Tin and the Australian Zeitgeist

Lightweight transportable building products – particularly for constructing windmills and water tanks, allowing access to water – allowed early farmers to move into more rural areas with less reliable rainfall. Large tracts of land that were relatively unused, that were ideal for running cattle and sheep.

But the building from tin and steel didn’t just end there. Where the capital cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane were building traditional English-Style brick and mortar homes, rural homes, shops and even churches were being built from corrugated iron.

Australia quickly became the world’s largest consumer of the product, as our rural population boomed, which led to manufacturing plants springing up to produce steel panels on shore – helping build the iron ore industry into what it is today.

So well did this wondrous building product capture the Australian Zeitgeist, decades later when Australia held the Sydney Olympics, when reference was made to the rural identity of Australia, along with sheep and horses, a centrepiece of this was a shed, constructed from corrugated iron. This segment was referred to as the Tin Symphony.

Advancements in Technology
Colorbond® Steel

Colorbond® Steel was born of the desire to cease regular painting of galvanised iron products.  At the time, not only was this process time consuming and imperfect, but also involved dangerous and toxic lead based paints.

This was the case until Lithostrip Corporation and Pre Finish Metals – based out of Chicago in the United States – found a method of effectively bonding coloured paint to a galvanised steel base – hence the name Colorbond®.

By 1966, the first coil of Colorbond® Steel rolled off of a factory line in Australia, and was at the time available in six colours – all of which would maintain their vibrancy much longer than painted steel – and thus revolutionising the building industry in Australia.

Today, Colorbond® Steel is available in dozens of colours and can be used for almost every imaginable application, including entire homes, garden beds, sheds, and of course water tanks. Nine in ten new homes built in Australia feature some form of Colorbond® product.

Zincalume® Steel

What most people today refer to as corrugated iron or tin – and what most corrugated roofing, water tanks and panels are made from – is typically Zincalume® Steel; a lightweight durable steel alloy manufactured by BlueScope Steel, and comprised of Australian Iron, Zinc and Aluminium – the latter two lending themselves to the products name.

Zincalume® boasts that classic metallic silver finish – albeit perhaps a bit cleaner and shinier looking- while technological advances have allowed the product to be stronger, lighter and more durable. Zincalume® boasts stronger corrosion and rust resistance to the older corrugated products, and is much harder to damage.

BlueScope® Water Tank Colours

Pioneer Water Tanks are available in a range of Colorbond® colours, of which the standard and non-standard colours can be found at

This range of colours – as well as the option of the traditional Zincalume® finish – allow you to truly match your water tank to its surrounds, be it a house or shed roof, or the landscape it sits in.

Pioneer Water Tanks uses genuine BlueScope Steel, not relying on powder coating steel sheets in order to reach the desired colour, which makes the bonded paint more reliable and long lasting.

Recyclable, Reusable and Environmentally Conscious

Metal products have the highest rate of recycling or reuse in Australia, with 84% of all metals produced in the country being reused or recycled.

All Colorbond® and Zincalume® are 100% recyclable, meaning if they are not reused, they can be melted down and repurposed once they have reached the end of their service life.

The current versions of Zincalume® and Colorbond® have between 10 and 25 per cent less environmental impact than their previous iterations according to Environmental Resources Management.

Australian Made Steel Rainater Tanks

Pioneer Water Tanks have been making tanks in Australia for Australians for over 30 years, and with over 50 dealers across the country in the Pioneer Dealer Direct Network, the delivery and installation of these world class tanks is a breeze.

These dealers are also there to provide expert local support throughout the service life of your Pioneer Water Tank.

Pioneer Water Tanks is a completely Australian Owned and Operated company, with the support of dozens of family businesses across the country, who live in the communities they provide water storage to.

Talk to the Number One Big Tank Company

If you’re interested in having a steel water tank installed on your property, or have any further questions, call Pioneer Water Tanks on 1800 999 599. One of their experts will take the time to understand your needs and offer you knowledgeable advice on the best plan for your water storage solution.

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