The extreme heat that comes with a bushfire can render even the largest water supplies useless. It is very important to consider the material of your rainwater tank when planning your set-up.
Non-combustible (metal, concrete) rainwater tanks are important in all bushfire zones. Concrete tanks are less common these days, but can be a good above or below ground option – and they are great for bushfire resilience. They can be prefabricated or constructed onsite. Research and Testing undertaken by the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC into the use of both poly and galvanised steel tanks has shown that galvanised steel water storage tanks maintain their structural integrity in a bushfire. Under the stress of radiant heat exposure, combined with the stress of holding water, poly tanks can become unstable, beginning to sag and split.
According to Bushmans, the question of which tank material for firefighting water storage is dependent on location of the tank and the region that the tank is to be installed in. ‘There are some regions that stipulate a steel tank for firefighting due to the landscape and the surrounding vegetation, whereas other areas, poly tanks might be suitable. The local government authorities will generally stipulate what type of material that tank should be made from if they are to be used for fire water storage.’
Stainless steel tanks are fully recyclable and have very long lifespans. They are also easily repaired and are fire-resistant.