Water Tanks for Drinking

Pioneer Water Tanks - The best water tanks for potable water

Is Rainwater Safe to Drink?

One of the first questions many people ask when installing a rainwater tank for drinking water for their home is if the water they intend to harvest is fit for human consumption, particularly once it has been stored in a rainwater tank.

And it is a fair question, in many parts of the world, high levels of pollution make rainwater high in contaminants, and cover the roofs used for rainwater harvesting in a layer of sediment and chemicals.

The good news is, Australia doesn’t experience these levels of pollutants – particularly in rural areas – and the rainwater in Western Australia is typically deemed safe to drink according to the Department of Health’s Healthy WA website‘s drinking water guidelines.

Provided you are not located near heavy road traffic or any industrial or agricultural site that may be releasing pollutants, it then comes down to having the right rainwater storage device for your needs, and ensuring that your rainwater harvesting systems are kept clean and maintained from roof to tap.

If you are in an urban area, and looking to drink rainwater even if you have access to mains water supply – perhaps because you, like many, prefer the taste of rainwater over tap water – it is important to keep in mind pollutants may be more likely, and that you should play it safe by testing any harvested water before using your water tanks for potable water and human consumption.


Pioneer Water Tanks have provided a service for Western Australia since 1988. Our high quality Australian-made water tanks will provide the long-term water security you’re looking for.

Potable Water Storage

For drinking water alone

If you are looking at rainwater storage for your drinking water supply only – perhaps you already have a large water tank that supplies the rest of the home, or you live in a semi-rural area and have access to mains water for your tap water – then it is likely that you will require a much smaller water tank than someone looking to use their tank as a water source for their entire home, including things like the washing machine, toilet and bathroom, where most of our water is consumed.

The average person consumes around 700 litres of water a year for drinking purposes, and even people who drink considerably more than average would be hard-pressed to drink more than 1000 litres in a year, so even a family of five would be unlikely to require more than 5,000 to 10,000 litres of potable water storage. It is in this range where poly water tanks and slimline tanks (which are also available as galvanised steel tanks) are the best options, as they are smaller, can fit in places out of the way such as down a dog-run down the side of a house, and are significantly easier to install. 

It is only if you intend to extend your storage tank’s water use beyond drinking water supply, and into household supply where large steel water tanks become a better option for water storage, being not only available in larger sizes than poly water tanks, but also more affordable per litre of water storage the larger they get.

For drinking water and home water supply

When it comes to installing a water tank for home water supply that is also suitable for drinking water, one material reigns supreme: steel water tanks. With enough water storage to cover the day to day water use of your home, as well as keeping water quality that is safe to drink, steel liner tanks are the best and most popular option for rural homes with no access to mains water.

Fitted with a food grade water tank liner which helps keep the water quality fit for human consumption, and sacrificial anodes that prevent accelerated corrosion of the tank walls, steel water tanks have long replaced concrete tanks as the best available large rainwater tanks for rural water supply, often lasting more than thirty years and remaining safe for drinking.

With tanks for the home available in sizes up to 500,000L, and able to harvest rainwater from homes and sheds if you require water for your garden as well as your home, steel water tanks provide you with the freedom and security that only comes from a tank large enough and secure enough to meet their water storage needs.

The Best Rainwater Tanks for Fresh Water

The Aqualiner Fresh® water tank liner

A Pioneer Water Tanks exclusive, and going above and beyond when it comes to Australian standards for water storage is the Aqualiner Fresh® antimicrobial water tank liner.

This liner is designed specifically for use in water tanks for drinking water, and helps to stop the growth and spread of bacteria and algae in its tracks, helping prevent illness or contamination.

Utilising Sanitized® technology, the Aqualiner Fresh® has silver ions woven into the five-layer dual-seam welded liner, preventing the growth of microorganisms and helping to keep your water quality just as fresh – if not fresher – as it was when it entered your water tank.

The Aqualiner Fresh® fights bacteria from within your water tank, meaning you won’t need to add any chemicals or compounds such as chlorine or bleach to your water.

Water Tank Accessories

The Aqualiner Fresh® isn’t the only accessory that comes with a Pioneer Water Tank, and many of these accessories also work to keep your water fresh, and your tank strong. The stainless steel leaf filter basket won’t break down like old plastic mesh baskets, and won’t need replacing, while also keeping debris out of your tank. The anodes and 150mm overflow work as both prevention and protection against corrosion, with the anodes sacrificing themselves to prevent oxidisation of the steel, and the 150mm overflow ensures that your rainwater tank doesn’t overflow and let water between the tank wall and Aqualiner Fresh® tank liner.

There are also optional accessories you may choose; like the Smart Water Savers which allow you to harvest water straight from your tank roof, with slots small enough to prevent mosquitos or insects from entering the tank, the SuperSeal foam dustproofing pack, for high wind and dry areas, preventing dirt or debris from sneaking in through the tank roof, and the geotextile underlay, which protects your liner from underneath from any sharp objects that may make their way through your sand pad over time.

Standard Accessories

aqualiner fresh layers example antimicrobial water tank liner

1 x Exclusive Aqualiner Fresh® Water Tank Liner

a 50mm outlet with ball valve fire fitting for steel water tanks

1 x 50mm Outlet & Ball Valve

a pioneer water tanks stainless steel leaf filter basket for steel water tanks

1 x  Stainless Steel Leaf Filter Basket or 50mm Inlet

a galvanised steel ladder for large steel water tanks hook on ladder with bracket

1 x Hook-On Galvanised Ladder with Bracket

pioneer water tanks hinged galvanised steel roof access hatch water tank access hatch

1 x Heavy Duty Hinged Access Hatch

a pioneer water tanks 150mm overflow 150mm bellmouth

1 x 150mm Overflow, Downpipe and Flap Valve

a single annode bag sacrificial anode for steel water tank corrosion protection

1 x Set (2) of Anodes

Optional Accessories

ball valve outlet for steel water tanks

Fire protection valve and fire water reserve to shire standards

an analogue water level indicator with float valve and weight

Digital or traditional water level indicators

four pioneer water tanks smart water savers tank roof gutter system pieces

Gutterless tank roof rainwater harvesting system

a close up photo of water tank liner protection water tank underlay fabric geotextile underlay

Geotextile underlay to protect liner from damage

SuperSeal water tank dustproofing and vermin protection for water tank freshness

SuperSeal dustproofing condensation strip pack

Other ways to ensure your water quality

Some people may still be concerned about the quality of their tank water, even after these steps, and that is understandable considering they will be drinking the water and wouldn’t want any illness to befall themselves or their children, or any pets or other animals who may be drinking the tank water.

One method you may choose is to install a first flush diverter, which can be done by plumbing a first flush diversion system or gate into the pipe leading from your gutters to your water tank, which allows you to flush the first run off of rain after a long dry spell away from the tank, preventing any sediments or debris from your gutters or roof from entering your tank.

At the other end of the system, you can choose – like many Australians – to install a water filtration system either in your kitchen or for your entire home, which will clear any remaining sediment or bacteria from your water before it makes it out of your taps. Or you could even go the old-fashioned way and boil your water before putting it in the fridge, which is a proven method that people have been using for decades to purify their drinking water.

Pioneer Water Tanks for the Home

Pioneer Water Tanks are designed to be the best water tanks for your home, not only thanks to the high quality materials and design, but also in their appearance, size, longevity, and how fresh they are able to keep your water for drinking and food preparation.

With a range of Colorbond ® colours – as well as a standard Zincalume ® finish – sizes from as small as 12,000 litres all the way up to a whopping 500,000 litres, and a 20-year conditional structural warranty, as well as a 20-year conditional warranty against water leakage; Pioneer tanks are designed to be the only, and hopefully last drinking water tank you need to buy for your home.

Water Tank Colours

Using only genuine BlueScope Steel for all of our Colorbond ® and Zincalume ® water tank wall panels and roof sheets, Pioneer ensures that you will be able to install drinking water tanks that match the overall aesthetic of your home or farm.

Whether it be to match your roof, shed, or the environment your home is set in, the below range of Pioneer colours ensures that your drinking water tanks will be products that enhance the appearance of your home, instead of becoming an eyesore. To see an example of your tank colour installed, check Pioneer’s tank colours gallery here.

Standard Colorbond® Water Tank Colour Range



Classic Cream™

Woodland Grey®




Pale Eucalypt®

Non-Standard Colorbond® Water Tank Colour Range

Dover White™

Evening Haze®



Shale Grey™





Night Sky®


Deep Ocean­®

Cottage Green®

Manor Red®

Standard Colorbond® Colours

Non-Standard Colorbond® Colours

Water Tank Sizes

In order to give you the freedom and best experience possible from your water storage, Pioneer Water Tanks are available in a range of sizes from 12,000L to 500,000L, with more than 20 models making up this range, giving customers the benefit of being able to choose a water tank that best suits their needs.

All water tank sizes up to the GTi368 come equipped with the Aqualiner Fresh® antimicrobial water tank liner, and all tank sizes up to the GT280 include Pioneer’s 20/20 warranty. All tank sites must include a pre-prepared sand pad that is 2m wider than the diameter of the tank (1m on all sides), and all models are available in standard zinc or your preferred colour finish.

pioneer water tank sizes and dimensions

The Pioneer Dealer Direct® Network

One major advantage that Pioneer Water Tanks has is the Pioneer Dealer Direct® Network, which is a collection of water tank installers across Australia who are authorised experts when it comes to the installation, maintenance and service of Pioneer Water Tanks, maintaining a high level of safety, professionalism and customer service.

Pioneer’s dealer network is made up of more than 50 tank installers across Australia, mainly family businesses, who are all exclusive installers of Pioneer Water Tanks. We understand that a water tank is only as good as the installation – no matter how well designed or manufactured it is – which is why it is so important that we trust the people who install our tanks.

These dealers will handle your water tank install from quote, to install, and throughout your water tanks service life; providing truly local advice and information regarding the maintenance and upkeep of your water storage tank, as well as being equipped to carry out any repairs, including liner and anode replacements.

Let Pioneer help you find the perfect rainwater storage for your needs

If you find yourself in need of a rainwater tank that doesn’t just provide water for your home, but will also be a source of clean water for you and your family for years to come, contact Pioneer Water Tanks by calling 1800 999 599, or simply clicking here and fill out the attached forms to  request a quote for Australia’s #1 big water tank.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should tank water be filtered?

All guidelines suggest that rainwater in rural areas should be safe to drink, and if your rainwater looks, smells and tastes clear, your chances of getting sick are low, which means that it typically won’t be necessary to filter your tank water, however with the water filtration systems for domestic use becoming cheaper all the time, if it is something that you find to be of concern, it isn’t going to hurt to install a water filter to ensure the water you are using for drinking, cooking and food preparation is healthy, clean water.

How do you keep rainwater from stagnating?

The best way to keep water from stagnating is to ensure that it is ventilated while also being protected from direct sunlight, as UV feeds the bacteria that grows in water. This makes it important to not keep your access hatch or filter basket lid open while not in use, as they can let direct light into the water tank.

The consistent emptying and filling of the tank throughout the year also helps to prevent it from being still for too long, though in a properly designed and maintained water tank should safely hold rainwater for years or even decades without issue.

What is a potable water tank?

A potable water tank is a term that can be used interchangeably with drinking water tank. Potable water is, by definition, any water that is suitable for human consumption, and a potable water tank is any water tank suitable for storing or holding water that is fit for human consumption. Tap water and scheme water are also considered potable water sources.

What size water tank do I need?

This depends on a number of factors, including what you’re using the tank for, how many people live in your home, your available roof or rain harvesting space, and your property’s annual rainfall. A family of four would likely require a 10,000L water tank if it is just for drinking water, and a 150,000L water tank if it is going to be supplying water for the entire home.

What are the tanks made from?

There are a variety of water tank materials available, including polyethylene (or plastic), steel, fibreglass and concrete. The two most popular water tank materials are polyethylene and steel, and all Pioneer Water Tanks are made in Australia from Australian sourced BlueScope Steel.