Local labour was used to build a Timbertank in Vanuatu

Local labour was used to build a Timbertank in Vanuatu

  1. Why choose a Timbertank rather than a plastic, steel or concrete tank?
    A Timbertank has an attractive natural appearance which blends into any setting. Made from plantation grown pinus radiata, a renewable resource, it is the tank which has least adverse environmental impacts in terms of carbon emissions and energy consumption throughout its life cycle from raw material extraction to end of life. Concrete, steel and plastic rate poorly in comparison with lumber in terms of both high energy consumption and carbon emissions in their production processes. Growing trees absorb and store carbon dioxide hence dry lumber retains a negative carbon emission rating even after the production process.
  2. How long will a Timbertank last? Won’t it be likely to rot?
    A Timbertank will last longer than any of the alternatives. The barrel, 2/3rds the value of the tank will last 80 to 100 years because the timber has been treated. The cables may need replacement after 40 years if they are constantly wet and may need replacement, a quick and easy job. Some of the roof shingles (sheathing) may need attention, we are asking a lot of the timber being exposed to the direct sunlight. Ask us, we will supply replacements when required. The new liner materials now used are expected to last 80 to 100 years but to replace a liner takes only an hour or two.
    All timber used in a Timbertank is treated to ground contact standards to ensure long life. The New Zealand Forest Research Institute predicts a life in excess of eighty years for this grade of treated timber. Timbertanks are now recycling redundant tanks that are 30 years old, no sign of rot in the barrel staves.
  3. Is the wood likely to be attacked by termites or other insects?
    No. Treated timber is highly resistant to termite, other insect and fungal attack.
  4. What is pinus radiata?
    Pinus radiata is the botanical name for the Monterey Pine, native to California. Radiata, as is common in botanical names, describes a physical characteristic of the plant. Here radiata is descriptive of the spoke-like growth pattern of the branches. This species thrives in New Zealand where it is extensively planted to provide quick growing plantation grown timber.
    The liner will be pinched between the staves when the staves dry out.
    This is a myth. We have often been told that this happens. We always ask to be shown an example but we have yet to see the evidence.
  5. Will the tank fall over if the staves dry out?
    Yes, but the tank will have had to have remained totally empty for several years. For a tank to behave well it must be in continual use and should not be allowed to empty completely and remain empty. The outlet pipe is installed above the floor of the tank to ensure about 100mm of water remains. This allows any sediment to remain and not enter the distribution system. Some tanks require to be tightened ( about 1%) after a year or so but should not require further tightening again. The timber will have stabilised after a couple of years.
  6. Will a tank collapse in an earthquake?
    No. All Timbertanks are designed to withstand seismic activity.
  7. Will a tank collapse in high wind?
    No provided the barrel has backfilling around the outside 100mm deep MUST NOT COVER THE BOTTOM CABLE as it will rust out. The 100mm or so of water remaining in the tank will stop any sliding.
  8. Can a Timbertank be buried?
    Yes but not recommended. The barrel must be buried at least a minimum of 1/3rd of its depth. The buried cables will rust so the back filling must be carefully done to take the place of the cable capacity when it loses its strength when weakened by rusting. Timbertanks will advise in detail if burying is required.
  9. Can a Timbertank be shifted?
    Yes, easily. We do it frequently, a metre or two or hundreds of kilometres. Depending on tank size a unit may be shifted in one piece or dismantled and rebuilt on a new site.
  10. Can the capacity of an existing tank be increased?
    Yes, a Timbertank barrel can be easily enlarged to provide increased storage volume far more economically than buying an additional tank.
  11. Why is a Timbertank so expensive?
    Several reasons. Although Timbertanks buy timber competitively, the timber has been machined and cut to length accurately and well treated. The wire cables are heavily galvanised, the liner material is of high quality and the liner is expensive to make. All materials have to be high quality to last 80 to 100 years.
  12. Will the treatment in the timber contaminate the water? Will the water be safe to drink?
    The timber treatment ( preservative ) in the stave timber cannot contaminate the water as it is not in direct contact with the barrel timbers. The double liner system ensures there is no direct contact. The roof timbers are treated ACQ, this is not toxic to humans. The treatment is “fixed” into the timber and does not leach out. (If the treatment did leach out the roof would rot). A lined roof is available if required.
  13. Will harmful chemicals leach out of the liner fabric?
    No, Timbertanks uses only potable grade liner fabrics for all its water storage tanks.
  14. Timbertanks are designed to be used to store potable water. Most Timbertanks are used for this pupose.

    Yes, water froma Timbertanks is safe to drink, possibly more safe than from most other tanks of other materials.

Back to top  Back to top...


Timbertanks – any size, any site!  


More huge tanks than anyone else