FAQs - Water

As a leading storage tank supplier, tanks.ie receives enquiries about safe, secure and environmentally responsible fuel storage. To find answers to some of the most Frequently Asked Questions... just click the relevant category to your need. If however, you have a question we haven't answered then please do not hesitate to contact us for further assistance


IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Every effort is made to keep this area of the site up to date. However, Tanks.ie cannot be held liable for errors or omissions. Compliance with statutory requirements is the responsibility of the person(s) who install, use and maintain products supplied by Tanks.ie. If you have concerns over compliance, you must seek professional advice, contact your local Building Control Officer, your local environmental authority or OFTEC. Tanks.ie strongly advises that all oil storage installations should be installed and maintained only by an OFTEC Registered Technician. Tanks.ie will not be responsible for installations which do not comply with prevailing statutory requirements.


UV Disinfection Units

How does the UV light work?

UV light kills microorganisms in the water by penetrating the cell walls of bacteria, virus and protozoa and permanently alters the DNA making them unable to infect and reproduce.

Water Softeners

Is it OK to drink softened water?

Generally, yes, softened water is okay to drink by healthy people but does contain a small amount of sodium. The harder the water that was softened, the higher the sodium content. People who are on a low sodium diet and babies should not drink softened water. If installed correctly, there should be one tap that is from the mains directly and not run through the water softener.

What is a water softener?

Home water softeners, also called ion exchange units, are appliances that remove calcium, magnesium, and other minerals from drinking water. Resin beads inside the softener trap the calcium and magnesium and exchange them for sodium or potassium. Once the resin beads become full of calcium and magnesium, a highly concentrated salt solution removes the calcium and magnesium from the beads. After passing through the beads, the resulting chloride solution becomes a waste stream that goes down the drain and ultimately into the environment.

How does a water softener work?

Put simply, hard water enters the water softener through the main water pipes. The hard water flows into the water softener and into a mineral tank containing resin beads. The resin beads collect the minerals and substitute them with sodium ions that soften water. Captured minerals cling to the beads, leaving soft water to flow into the plumbing system. Salt is then used in a brine solution to clean the beads of the mineral and regenerate, flushing the minerals down the drain.

Which types of salt are sold for application in a water softener?

You can only use salt designed for water softeners. These come in crystals, blocks or pellets. The type of water softener will determine the type of salt that is to be used.

How often should one add salt to a softener?

Because newer water softener models are more efficient with salt use, typically you only will need to add salt every 6-8 weeks. It is a good idea to check the salt tank regularly to make sure that it is full.

Reverse Osmosis Systems

How does reverse osmosis work?

In reverse osmosis, an applied pressure is used to push the water from high concentration of contaminants to low concentration of contaminants. Water is forced in reverse and the contaminated water is trying to move into the pure water, but because it must pass through a filter first, the contaminants get trapped and only the pure water passes through; resulting in the cleanest possible drinking water.

Where do you put the reverse osmosis system?

Typically used in kitchens to remove impurities and give pure water. A modern tap and fittings are also supplied. 

Why would I install a reverse osmosis system in my home?

Not only does our drinking water have contaminants in it, but fluoride and chlorine are also added. This can make our drinking water smell strongly and distasteful. By installing a reverse osmosis system you have great tasting drinking water. This means no more bottles water, better tasting food, tea and coffee. This can be used for baby making formula also.

How do I maintain my reverse osmosis system?

To keep your water as pure as possible, the filters in the system will need to be changed on average every 6-12 months, depending on usage.

To buy your replacement filters please go to Reverse Osmosis Systems

How long will a reverse osmosis system last?

If your reverse osmosis system is regularly serviced and the filters are changed on a regular basis, the system should last up to 10 years.

UV Disinfection Units

What is a UV Disinfection Unit?

UV Disinfection is an economical, chemical-free and environmental way to safeguard drinking water against harmful bacteria. These units are designed to provide years of trouble-free operation with minimal maintenance, other than the recommended annual replacement of the UV lamps which Tanks.ie supply here.

Where can you use the UV disinfection unit?

This UV disinfection unit can be used on both mains water which may have bacterial contamination and well water which may become contaminated during different times of the year due to rainfall, septic tank and sewage leakage and animal waste.

Why would I install a UV disinfection unit?

If the water supply to your home is contaminated or not biologically safe, a UV disinfection unit may be the answer. As there are no chemicals such as chlorine used, there water tastes better also. The unit removes the harmful bacteria from your water making it safe to use.

Reverse Osmosis Systems

What is a reverse osmosis water filter?

Reverse osmosis is a water purification process that uses a semi-permeable membrane (synthetic lining) to filter out unwanted molecules and large particles such as contaminants and sediments like chlorine, salt, and dirt from drinking water. In addition to removing contaminants and sediments, reverse osmosis can also remove microorganisms – which you certainly do not want to drink. It gets water clean down to a molecular level, leaving only pure water behind.

UV Disinfection Units

What are the advantages of using a UV Disinfection Unit?

  • Safe and simple to install and use
  • Instant treatment, no processing time
  • No chlorine or other dangerous chemicals used and no residue left in the treated water
  • Low maintenance and operating costs
  • More environmentally friendly than harsh disinfection methods
  • No change to the water properties
  • Effective for destroying 99% of microorganisms

To see our full range of UV water treatment units click UV Disinfection Units

What are the disadvantages of UV Water Treatment?

While there are many benefits, there are a few challenges to UV water treatment. UV light is only able to remove microorganisms but does not remove other contaminants like heavy metal, salts, chlorine, or man-made contaminants. To counteract these issues a UV disinfection unit should be used in conjunction with filtration to remove these contaminants.

How often should I change the UV lamp?

UV lamps should be replaced every 12 months. UV lamps have a lifespan of around 9000 hours. As they are used, they slowly lose their effectiveness and will no longer kill the bacteria as required.

The replacement UV lamps can also be purchased on Tanks.ie – Replacement UV Lamps

How effective is UV water treatment?

UV light is normally effective against all viruses, bacteria and protozoa and kills 99% of water born microorganisms. However, some microorganisms such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia have protective or thick cell walls that some low power UV light systems are not able to penetrate.

Water Bowsers

What different types of water bowsers are available?

There are three types of water bowsers: highways water bowsers, site water bowsers, and plant watering bowsers.

When you're responsible for maintaining the highways, a highway water bowser is an essential piece of equipment. These purpose-built water tanks are designed to efficiently store and transport large volumes of water, making them ideal for dust suppression and road surface maintenance. With their robust construction and manoeuvrability, highway water bowsers can easily access different areas of road to keep them in optimal condition.

Site water bowsers are portable water tanks designed to provide a steady and reliable water supply on site – right where you need it most. With their compact and manoeuvrable design, site water bowsers can be easily positioned in tight spaces or moved around the site as the project progresses. Their sturdy construction ensures durability, even in demanding environments, making them a dependable tool for dust suppression, concrete mixing, and equipment cleaning.

Perfect for tending to a garden, nursery, or any green space that demands consistent watering, plant watering bowsers are specialised water tanks that are purpose-built to meet the unique needs of plant irrigation and nurturing. With their large water capacities and precision dispensing systems, plant watering bowsers allow you to deliver the right amount of water directly to your plants, promoting healthy growth and minimising water wastage. Their easy-to-use features, such as adjustable nozzles and spray patterns, ensure you can tailor the watering process to suit different plant types and sizes.

What are the benefits of a water bowser?

Water bowsers provide a reliable and portable water supply wherever you need it. Whether you're on a construction site, agricultural field, or at a remote location, water bowsers ensure access to water without the need for a fixed water connection. Their mobility and ease of transportation make them essential for emergency situations and disaster relief efforts, ensuring a water source is readily available when it's most needed.

Water bowsers contribute to water conservation and efficient water usage. Equipped with high-quality valves and outlets, they enable controlled dispensing of water, minimising wastage, and optimising water distribution. This feature is particularly beneficial during water scarcity, where every drop counts. Additionally, water bowsers can be fitted with various accessories, such as spray nozzles or hoses, making them suitable for a wide range of applications, from dust suppression and irrigation to equipment cleaning.

Furthermore, investing in a water bowser can lead to cost savings and increased productivity. By having your own water supply on-site, you can avoid the expense of water deliveries or the inconvenience of relying on external sources. For agricultural purposes, water bowsers ensure timely and efficient irrigation, leading to healthier crops and improved yields. In construction and industrial settings, having a readily available water source can enhance operational efficiency and reduce downtime.

Underground Water Tanks

Do I need planning permission for an underground water tank?

The need for planning permission for an underground water tank depends on various factors, and it's important to be aware of the specific regulations in your area. Typically, if the underground water tank is considered a "permitted development" you may not require planning permission. However, there are key considerations to keep in mind.

If your property is in a designated area, such as a conservation area or national park, there may be stricter regulations regarding construction, which could affect installing your underground water tanks. It's advisable to check with your local planning authority to determine if there are any specific rules or restrictions that apply to your property.

Smaller tanks for personal use are less likely to require planning permission, while larger tanks that could significantly impact your property or the surrounding area may trigger the need for approval. The specific size thresholds can vary by region, so it's crucial to consult with local authorities or planning experts.

Tanks used for rainwater harvesting, garden irrigation, or other non-commercial, non-industrial purposes are generally subject to fewer regulations than tanks used for more extensive operations or purposes. If you plan to use the tank for commercial or industrial applications, additional permits and regulations may apply.

How much does is typically cost to put in an underground water tank?

The cost of installing an underground water tank can vary significantly depending on several factors. Smaller tanks designed for residential use will generally cost less than larger tanks intended for commercial or industrial applications. The material and type of tank you choose will also play a significant role in cost. Expect to pay more for high-quality, long-lasting tanks.

The method and complexity of installation can greatly affect the cost. Installing an underground tank may require excavation, additional site preparation, backfilling, and proper sealing. If you're planning to install the tank yourself, you might save on labour costs, but it's essential to ensure that the work meets safety and environmental standards. If your property has challenging terrain, rocky soil, or other obstacles, the installation cost may increase. Access to your property, as well as any necessary permits or inspections, can also contribute to the overall expense.

Additional features, such as filtration systems, pumps, and monitoring equipment, can add to the cost too. These components can enhance the functionality and efficiency of your underground water tank but come with their own price tags.

We’d advise obtaining multiple quotes from reputable installers and account for any additional costs such as maintenance, ongoing water quality testing, and compliance with local regulations. By doing so, you can get a more accurate estimate of the total cost to install an underground water tank that meets your requirements.

Where is the best place to install an underground water tank on your property?

Placing the tank close to where you'll need the water reduces the need for extensive piping and minimises energy loss from pumping water over long distances. The tank should be installed in an area where it can be reached easily for any necessary repairs, inspections, or routine maintenance, and its location should allow for proper ventilation and access points to ensure safe entry when required.

Consider the water table level, as you'll want to avoid placing the tank in an area prone to flooding. Additionally, in areas with frost or extreme cold temperatures, it's advisable to install the tank below the frost line to prevent freezing. The soil type can also influence the tank's installation, as some soils may require more significant reinforcement to support the tank's weight.

Be sure to check with your local planning authority for any building or environmental regulations that might dictate where the tank can be placed. There may be specific setback requirements from property lines or structures, which could affect the tank's location on your property.

How deep should an underground water tank be?

The ideal depth for an underground water tank depends on several factors, including local climate conditions and the purpose of the tank. In general, underground water tanks are typically installed at a depth substantial enough to help protect the tank from temperature fluctuations, prevent freezing in colder climates, and ensure stability. It is crucial to install the tank below the frost line to prevent the water from freezing. The frost line varies by location, so it's essential to consult with local authorities and professionals to determine the correct depth for your area. Installing the tank below this level ensures that the water remains unfrozen, maintaining the tank's integrity and preventing potential damage. If the water table is high in your area, it's important to ensure the tank is installed deep enough to prevent it from floating during periods of high groundwater. Additionally, the soil type may influence the tank's installation, as certain soils might require more reinforcement to support the tank's weight at a specific depth.

For rainwater harvesting or irrigation purposes, the tank can often be placed shallower, while tanks used for potable water may require deeper installation to meet water quality standards and ensure water safety.


Water Tanks

How long do cold water storage tanks last?

Typically, well-maintained cold water storage tanks crafted from durable materials like polyethylene can last anywhere from 20 to 30 years. The high-quality construction of the tanks sold at Tanks.ie contributes significantly to their longevity, with resistance to corrosion and wear-and-tear ensuring reliable performance over an extended period.

Your proactive involvement in regular maintenance plays a crucial role in determining the lifespan of the tank. Timely inspections for signs of damage, leaks, or structural issues can significantly prolong the tank's functionality. Regularly checking fittings, valves, and the integrity of the tank structure is essential to catch and address potential issues before they escalate.

Exposure to extreme temperatures, UV radiation, or harsh chemicals can accelerate wear. Proper installation and placement in a sheltered, well-ventilated area contribute to the tank's overall resilience.

Do I need to insulate my cold-water storage tanks?

Insulating your cold-water storage tank is a wise decision with several benefits. The primary reason to insulate is to prevent heat loss from the water inside the tank. During colder seasons, especially in the Irish climate, uninsulated tanks can experience a drop in temperature, potentially leading to issues like freezing. Insulating your cold-water storage tank helps to maintain a more stable water temperature, reducing the risk of freezing and ensuring a reliable water supply.

By minimising heat loss, you can reduce the energy required to heat the water, which is particularly important if you have a water heating system connected to the tank. This energy-saving aspect not only promotes sustainability but also reflects positively on your utility bills, providing a cost-effective solution in the long run. Regulations often recommend or mandate specific insulation measures to enhance energy efficiency and prevent common issues associated with cold water storage. Ensuring your tank meets these regulations not only keeps you in compliance but also guarantees that your water system operates efficiently and safely.


Water Softeners

What are the benefits of installing a water softener?

By installing a water softener in your home you will see the following benefits:

  • 100% limescale removed
  • Washing machine works better with less detergent
  • Hair and skin is softer
  • Longer life on appliances such as kettles, dishwashers, washing machines and electric showers
  • Helps saves on energy bills as water pipes are not clogged and hot water cylinders last longer. Also saves money on soaps and detergents as less are needed with soft water.

To see our range of water softeners please click Water Softeners

Can I test for hard water?

Yes, you can now buy home water tests to see how hard your water is. Generally, the following table will tell you how hard your water is:



0 – 17.1 Mg/L or ppm / 0 – 1 Grains per Gallon (gpg)

Slightly hard

17.1 – 60 Mg/L or ppm/ 1 – 3.5 Grains per Gallon (gpg)

Moderately hard

61 – 120 Mg/L or ppm/ 3.5 – 7.0 Grains per Gallon (gpg)


121 – 180 Mg/L or ppm/ 7.0 – 10.5 Grains per Gallon (gpg)

Very hard

180+ Mg/L or ppm/ 10.5+ Grains per Gallon (gpg)

What is hard water?

Hard water is water that has a high mineral content while percolating through rock which has deposits of limestone, chalk or gypsum. The higher level the mineral content, the harder the water. Hard water is very common in Ireland.

How do I know if I need a water softener?

If the area you live in has hard water then, the chances are , you will benefit by installing a water softener. Some signs of hard water are staining on your sinks, toilets and bathtubs, limescale buildup on shower heads, kettles along with inside your washing machine, dishwasher and shower pumps. This can also lead to pipes and radiators clogging making your heating system work harder to push water through which in turn affects the efficiency of the boiler. Hard water makes soap and laundry detergent less effective and can make your skin and hair dry.

To see our range of water softeners click Water Softeners.

Water Tanks

How much does it cost to install a water storage tank?

Water tank installation and replacement costs can vary greatly based on several factors. 

First, you’ll want to consider the cost of the tank itself. The bigger the tank, the bigger the price tag. The material the tank is made of will also impact the cost, with metal water tanks costing slightly more than plastic ones.

When it comes to the installation, underground water tanks generally cost more to install than above ground water tanks. Underground water tanks need an excavation crew to dig out the area where the tank will go, so you will need to factor in the cost of labour to do this. If you are installing a cold-water storage tank in an attic, the biggest challenge is getting the tank inside the loft through the loft hatch and removing the old tank. Ease and accessibility will play an enormous factor in the final cost.

Finally, you will need to consider the cost of a plumber to connect the pipes. If you’re wanting any additional add-ons for your water tank, such as booster pumps to increase the water pressure, there may be additional costs to consider.

We recommend consulting your local council and homeowners' association to ensure that your water tank installation meets all the required guidelines.

How long should a water storage tank last?

There are many factors that can affect how long a water tank should last:

  • Usage

The purer the water you’re storing in your tank, the longer your tank is likely to last. For example, if you’re storing salt water, there is a much higher risk of corrosion and damage to the tank. Clean water is much less likely to damage your tank.

  • Materials

Most water tanks will be made from either plastic or metal. Plastic tanks are non-biodegradable so it shouldn’t break down over time. For this reason, you should use a specialist waste disposal company at the end of your tank’s life. A good quality polymer plastic water tank should last between ten and twenty years. Metal water tanks are usually made from steel which can be melted down and recycled at the end of its life. A steel tank should last over 30 years.

  • Location

Where your tank is located could also affect its lifespan. If your water tank is stood in water, it could damage it, so try to ensure your tank is placed on a solid foundation. The UV treatment on plastic tanks can also be reduced if exposed to long hours of direct sunlight.

What type of water tank do I need?

At Tanks.ie, we stock a range of different water tanks. From rainwater harvesting to wastewater treatment, there are water tanks designed for all types of water storage. The type of water tank you need will depend on what you plan to use it for.

If you are storing drinking water, you will need a potable water tank, like these GRP tanks. They are suitable for storing clean water that is fit for human consumption, prepping food and cleaning dishes. They meet government approved standards and regulations for the safe storage of drinking water. Non-potable water tanks store water that can be used for other purposes like flushing toilets and watering plants but is not safe for human consumption.

If you’re storing hazardous materials or liquids, check out our range of IBCs (Intermediate Bulk Containers) or if you’re working in the agricultural, farming or horticulture sector, you may want to have a look at our agricultural water tanks that are built to withstand the changeable outdoor environment. Our rainwater harvesting tanks are great for collecting and storing rainwater, that can then be used to flush your toilets and wash your clothes.

We have many more types of water tanks available at Tanks.ie. If you’d like any help and advice choosing your water tank, don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team.

Water Softeners

How long do water softeners last?

The average life expectancy is about 10 – 15 years depending on the system you purchase.

Water Tanks

What’s a potable water tank?

Water tanks can be classified as ‘potable’ and ‘non potable’. If you are storing clean water for human consumption, whether it be for drinking, prepping food or cleaning dishes etc, then a potable water tank is what you are after. All potable tanks must conform to the WRAS (Water Regulations Advisory Scheme) so that the liquid is safe for human consumption.

Non-potable tanks are for the safe storage of non-drinking water or for ‘not suitable’ for human consumption, in many different environments and applications. Non-potable tanks can be used in applications like rainwater harvesting, irrigation, agriculture & horticulture and commercial purposes where mains water is not available.

The difference in classification between the two comes from the materials used during the manufacturing process, specifically the type of plastic used to line the inside of the tank which comes into contact with the contained water. Non potable tanks are more porous, making it easier for the bacteria to grow and can sometimes let off gases which can contaminate the water. The WRAS approved material lines the inside of the tank, making the tank fit for human consumption, either ingested or used on the skin.

What is the difference between Potable and Non-Potable water tanks?

potable water tank is suitable for storing drinking water and must adhere to specific government regulations. A non-potable water tank stores water that can be used for other purposes like flushing toilets and watering plants but is not safe for human consumption.

All potable water tanks, like these GRP tanks, must be submitted to the WRAS for testing, approval and accreditation and be approved in line with the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999. Potable water tanks are usually constructed from food-grade polyethene and finished with a smooth interior to protect against bacteria growth. Our potable water tanks come in a wide range of capacities, from 4 litre to 250,000 litre.

Non-potable tanks store water that can be used for plumbing purposes, such as flushing the toilet and in washing machines, as well as for gardening. They are often used in industrial and commercial premises, horticultural and market garden applications, agricultural irrigation and civil engineering situations where mains water is not available. In fact, non-potable water tanks are suitable for any application where the water or liquid stored will not be consumed by humans or animals.



What materials are the plastic tanks manufactured from?

Plastic water tanks can be made of lots of different materials, however the majority of tanks we offer are made from either a medium density polyethylene (MDPE) or a high density polyethylene.

What outlet do I require?

The majority of our water tanks come with an outlet as standard. We can offer a range of water tanks where the tanks can either ‘Drilled’ or ‘Undrilled’. ‘Drilled’ meaning allowing water to escape from the tank via the outlet, whereas ‘Undrilled’ is when the outlet will remain sealed, preventing liquid from coming out and ensuring the contents of the tank is only touching plastic.

If the position of the outlet is required in an alternative position to the standard one offered or extra to the one positioned, we can offer a plastic Fusion socket. This can be welded anywhere on the tank using a drawing supplied by us, positions marked out by you, then fitted by the manufacturer.   

Plain tanks (with no outlets) can also be offered.

If you require a plastic fusion socket or a plain tank, then please contact our Customer Service Team, who will be happy to help with your requirements.

Tap or hose tail kits, what’s the difference and when would I need one?

We offer a range of tap kits, each displaying the size of the hosetail and the outlet size the kit will suit. Tap Kit 5 (TPK5) is the best solution if you require a garden hose to be fitted. Our range of Hosetail kits allows you to attach a hose or pipe to the tank, leak-free. They are designed for continuous flow and come in varying sizes depending on the outlet.

All our tap kits come with a Jubilee clip and PDFE tape for that secure fit.

What’s a standard hose pipe size?

UK hose pipe diameters range from ½” to ¾” inch diameters. The majority of standard size garden hoses are 3/4” BSP, however we do offer accessories for the ½” hose, if required.

Baffled Water tanks, what are they and when are they recommended?

Baffled water tanks are tanks with an intergral wall system, which is primarily designed to strengthen and support the structure of the tank, when the tank is full of water.

Due to the structure of the baffles they can also be used for transporting water. The Baffles distrupt the movement of water, from surging from one side to the other. However, if you are transporting water, water tanks can be extremely hazardous when transporting large volumes of water. Please make sure the water tanks are installed and secured correctly, by a suitable qualified person before transportation. Baffled water tanks are an ideal solutions for car valeters, window cleaners or anyone who has to transport liquids using plastic water storage tanks and containers.

Bladder Tanks

What is the purpose of a bladder tank?

Bladder tanks are designed to provide a flexible and collapsible solution for storing and transporting water in a space-efficient and convenient manner. Bladder tanks are particularly valuable in situations where rapid deployment and mobility are crucial. The flexible bladder within the tank allows it to expand or contract based on the volume of water stored inside, ensuring efficient use of space. This makes bladder tanks ideal for emergency response scenarios, remote construction sites, agriculture, and firefighting efforts, where a quick and temporary liquid storage solution is necessary.

The sealed, flexible bladder serves as a barrier between the stored water and external elements, reducing the risk of contaminants entering the liquid. This makes bladder tanks suitable for applications where maintaining the purity and integrity of the water is essential, such as in drinking water storage. Their lightweight construction allows for convenient mobility, making them an excellent choice for temporary liquid storage needs in diverse environments. Whether it's establishing a temporary water supply for emergency response or transporting water to remote locations, bladder tanks provide a quick and efficient solution that can be easily moved and set up as needed.

How long do bladder tanks last?

A well-maintained bladder tank can last anywhere from five to ten years or more. The flexible bladder, often made from materials like PVC, polyurethane, or rubber, is resilient and designed to withstand repeated expansions and contractions without compromising its integrity. Regular inspections for signs of wear, tear, or damage, such as punctures or leaks, is crucial for identifying issues early on. Following proper cleaning procedures between uses helps prevent the accumulation of debris or contaminants that could affect the bladder's material over time.

Exposure to extreme temperatures, harsh chemicals, or prolonged sunlight can accelerate the deterioration of the materials. Proper storage, away from direct sunlight and in a controlled environment, contributes to preserving the tank's overall quality. Similarly, adhering to recommended usage guidelines and avoiding overfilling the tank helps prevent unnecessary stress on the bladder and extends its operational life. Tanks with reinforced seams, reinforced corners, and durable outer shells are more likely to withstand the demands of frequent use and challenging environments. When considering bladder tanks for your specific application, be sure to consult with manufacturers or suppliers to understand the expected lifespan based on your usage requirements and to receive guidance on proper maintenance practices.

What liquids cannot be stored in a bladder tank?

PVC bladder tanks can store most liquids except fuels and certain acids, this requires a special material so please inquire. We can manufacture a bladder tank to store pretty much any liquid but please check with us regarding your specific application

What ground preparation is needed for bladder tanks?

A flat well-drained location is the ideal choice of a site that should be free from rocks, stones, tree stumps or any other sharp objects that may chafe or puncture the tank. On rough or stony ground sharp objects should be removed and ideally a layer of sand laid to provide a base. Maximum care must be taken to avoid placing tanks on ground having a cross slope as the tank is liable to “roll away” when being filled.

Do I need a ground sheet?

Not always, if the ground is free from debris and sharps then you can use these tanks without a ground sheet however, we do recommend using a ground sheet to prolong the life of the bladder tank

How do I fill the bladder tank?

This can be done from the water mains or through a pump with the relevant connector fitted to attach to the bladder tank. This must start slowly (up to max 490 litres per minute) then increased to a maximum of 1,000 litres per minute dependent on tank capacity

How do I empty the bladder tank?

This can be done by gravity or pumped, the tank may have to be lifted slightly to empty any remaining liquid

How do I maintain the bladder tank?

Our bladder tanks are quite easy to maintain. The surface should kept clean of debris and washed down occasionally. The inside can be cleaned through a small hatch using a hose pipe then drained away

Can the bladder tanks be prepaired?

Small cuts and abrasions can be repaired using our repair kit. Larger cuts/splits may have to be repaired at our factory (for a fee)

Water Butts

How long can you keep water in a water butt?

The length of time you can keep water in a water butt depends on various factors, such as the size and material of the water butt and the quality of the collected rainwater. In general, rainwater stored in a properly maintained water butt can be kept for several weeks to several months. However, it's important to note that rainwater is not treated or purified, and over time, it may become stagnant or develop algae, which can affect its quality.

The quality of the rainwater collected in a water butt can vary depending on factors such as air pollution, debris, and contaminants from the roof or gutters. It's recommended to use a water butt with a built-in filter or add a filter attachment to the downpipe to help minimise debris and contaminants from entering the water butt. Regularly checking and cleaning the water butt, including the filter, can help maintain water quality.

If you use the stored rainwater in your water butt regularly for watering plants or other purposes, the water turnover will be higher, and the water is less likely to stagnate. Using the collected rainwater regularly can help ensure that the water remains fresh and reduces the risk of water quality issues.

Regular maintenance of the water butt is important to ensure the water remains clean and fresh. This includes checking the water butt for debris or sediment build-up, cleaning the container and filter as needed, and ensuring that the tap or hose attachment is in good working condition. Following the manufacturer's instructions for maintenance and cleaning is recommended.

It's generally recommended to use up the stored rainwater in a water butt within a few weeks to a few months to ensure optimal water quality. If you have concerns about water quality or if the water in your water butt appears discoloured, has an odour, or shows signs of contamination, it's best to discard the water and clean the water butt thoroughly before collecting new rainwater.

Can you drink rainwater from a water butt?

While rainwater is generally considered safe for many uses, including watering plants and cleaning outdoor spaces, it's not recommended to drink rainwater from a water butt without proper treatment. Rainwater collected in a water butt is not typically treated or purified and may contain various contaminants that can pose health risks if ingested.

Rainwater can pick up contaminants from the roof, gutters, and other surfaces as it flows into the water butt, including dust, pollen, bird droppings, leaves, and other debris. In addition, air pollution and environmental contaminants can also be present in rainwater, especially in urban areas. These contaminants can potentially affect the quality of the collected rainwater and make it unsafe for drinking without proper treatment.

How to install a water butt?

Installing a water butt involves several steps to ensure proper setup and functionality.

  1. Select a location for your water butt that is close to a downpipe or a rainwater source, such as a roof or gutter. The area should be level and stable to support the weight of the water butt when full. Consider accessibility for maintenance and ease of use, such as attaching a hose or filling watering cans.
  2. Clear the area of any debris, vegetation, or obstacles that may interfere with the installation or use of the water butt. Ensure that the ground is level and stable.
  3. Install a rainwater diverter to divert water from a downpipe into the water butt. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to install the diverter, which typically involves cutting a section of the downpipe and attaching the diverter using screws or clips. Make sure the diverter is securely fitted and positioned properly to direct water into the water butt.
  4. Place the water butt in the chosen location and ensure that it is level and stable. If the water butt has a stand or pedestal, assemble it according to the manufacturer's instructions. Some water butts may also require additional brackets or supports for stability.
  5. Connect the hose or pipe from the rainwater diverter to the inlet of the water butt. Make sure the connection is tight and secure to prevent leaks.
  6. If the water butt has an overflow port, it's important to install an overflow pipe or hose to direct excess water away from the water butt and prevent overflow. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to attach the overflow pipe or hose securely and direct it to a suitable drainage area.
  7. Install a tap or hose attachment at the base of the water butt to allow for easy access to the stored rainwater. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to install the tap or hose attachment securely and ensure that it is positioned properly for convenient use.
  8. Once the water butt is installed, fill it with water to check for any leaks or drips. Fix any leaks or issues before using the water butt.


You will need to ensure your water butt is properly maintained by regularly checking for debris, cleaning filters or screens, and ensuring that the tap or hose attachment is in good working condition. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for maintenance and cleaning to ensure optimal performance.

What are the benefits of having a water butt?

A water butt, also known as a rain barrel, is a container used to collect and store rainwater that falls on rooftops. There are several benefits to having a water butt. Collecting rainwater in a water butt allows you to reuse it for various purposes, such as watering your plants, washing your car, or cleaning outdoor spaces. This reduces your reliance on tap water, which is often treated and requires energy for purification and distribution. Using rainwater from a water butt can help conserve water and reduce your overall water usage, leading to cost savings on your water bill.

Rainwater is naturally soft and free from the chemicals commonly found in tap water, such as chlorine and fluorine. Using rainwater collected in a water butt for watering your plants provides them with natural, untreated water, which can be healthier for their growth and development.

During periods of water scarcity or drought, having a water butt can provide you with a stored source of water for essential outdoor tasks, such as watering your garden or washing your car, even when water restrictions may be in place. This can help you maintain your outdoor spaces and reduce your impact on local water resources during times of water shortage.

How does a water butt work?

A water butt is typically positioned under a downpipe or gutter on your roof. When it rains, water from the roof flows into the gutter and down the downpipe, and then into the water butt through a diverter or downpipe connector. Some water butts may also have a built-in filter to prevent debris, such as leaves and twigs, from entering the water butt and contaminating the stored water.

Once the rainwater enters the water butt, it is stored in the container until you are ready to use it. At Tanks Direct, we offer a range of water butts in various sizes, from 110 to 340 litres. Water butts are typically equipped with a tap or a hose attachment near the bottom of the container, allowing you to access the collected water easily. Some water butts may also have an overflow outlet near the top to prevent overflow during heavy rainfall.

You can use the stored rainwater in your water butt for various purposes, such as watering your plants, washing your car, or cleaning outdoor spaces. Depending on the design of your water butt, you can either use a tap to fill watering cans or connect a hose to the hose attachment to distribute the water directly to your garden or other areas.

What size water tank do I need for my garden?

The size of your water tank really depends on what you want to use the rainwater for. If it is just for watering the garden, your water butt should be reletive to the size of garden you want to water. As a rule of thumb, you will use 8-10 litres of water for every square meter of garden bed and 5 litres for every establishing fruit tree in the summer period everytime you water. However you do not need to store all this water at one as we have usually have a plentiful supply of rainwater in Ireland. 

Our range of water butts ranges from 200 litres to 750 litres. If you are looking for a larger storage tank you can check out our range of Titan water tanks.

What do I need to connect my water butt to the drain pipe?

You can use a downpipe filter or diverter to connect a water butt to your drain pipe. To see our range of filters and diverters go to Filters & Siphons.

Rainwater Harvesting

Are there any disadvantages to collecting rainwater?

While rainwater harvesting offers numerous benefits, it's essential to consider the potential disadvantages. Installing rain barrels, storage tanks, gutters, and filters can require a significant upfront investment. Additionally, the maintenance of these systems, including cleaning filters and ensuring proper functioning, can be time-consuming and may involve ongoing expenses. During dry spells, there might not be enough rainwater to meet your needs, which can be a concern if you rely on it for gardening or other non-potable uses. In such cases, you may still need to use tap water, resulting in reduced cost savings. The quality of collected rainwater can be affected by various factors, such as the cleanliness of your roof and gutters. Dust, bird droppings, or pollutants from the environment can contaminate the water and, if not properly filtered and treated, this can limit the usability of the collected rainwater. To ensure safe and clean rainwater, you might need to invest in additional filtration or purification systems. In some regions, there may be regulations or restrictions on rainwater harvesting. You may need to check with local authorities to ensure that you comply with any relevant laws. The space required for rainwater storage tanks or barrels can also be a disadvantage, especially if you have limited outdoor space, while the aesthetics of rain storage tanks might not align with your landscaping preferences.

What can I use rainwater for?

Rainwater can be used for all outdoor uses; watering the garden, washing cars, cleaning down patios, driveways, walls etc, and ornamental ponds. It can also be used inside the house to flush toilets and feed washing machines. Rainwater use means less build-up of calcium deposits in appliances.

Rainwater is not suitable for drinking or for use in showers and baths. Rainwater is generally free of harmful minerals and in most cases chemicals but can be adversely effected by air pollutants and/0r contamination by animals in the catchment area. The only way rainwater can be used for drinking water is if it is treated by ultra-violet filters which are not practical in domestic use as generally a rainwater tank will not store enough water for total consumption in a domestic situation.

Can harvesting rainwater save you money?

Rainwater harvesting can lead to savings on energy bills as when you use rainwater, you reduce the demand on your water heater, as you won't need to heat the tap water for these non-potable uses. This can result in lower electricity or gas bills, especially if you have a water heating system that operates continuously. Rainwater harvesting can also contribute to reduced maintenance costs. By diverting rainwater away from your home's foundation, you can prevent potential water-related damage, such as flooding or structural issues so you'll save money on repairs and maintenance that might be required due to water damage.

Having a well-designed and functional rainwater collection system can make your home more appealing to eco-conscious buyers, potentially increasing its value. It's an environmentally friendly feature that can set your property apart from others in the real estate market. By using rainwater instead of tap water for non-potable purposes, you reduce the overall demand on your local water supply, which is not only a cost-saving measure but also a socially responsible choice that conserves water resources and helps protect the environment.

Is collecting rainwater legal in Ireland?

Collecting rainwater in Ireland is generally legal, and it is encouraged for certain uses, such as gardening, flushing toilets, and washing vehicles. However, there are some regulations and guidelines to keep in mind. In most cases, you can collect rainwater from your roof without obtaining any special permits or permissions. This practice is known as rainwater harvesting, and it is seen as an eco-friendly way to conserve water resources and reduce your environmental impact.

While it is legal to collect rainwater for personal use, you should be aware of a few key points. First, the rainwater you collect should be used for non-potable purposes, such as irrigation and cleaning. It's not intended for drinking or cooking. Second, if you plan to install a large rainwater harvesting system that may significantly impact local water drainage patterns, you might need to consult with local authorities, such as the Environment Protection Agency in Ireland, to ensure your system doesn't cause flooding or other environmental issues. Finally, if you live in a listed building or a conservation area, there may be additional restrictions, so it's advisable to check with your local planning authority. Always ensure you are complying with the specific rules in your area to enjoy the benefits of rainwater harvesting while respecting local regulations.

What size rainwater harvesting tanks do I need?

The size of a rainwater holding tank must match the demand for water with it’s availability as closely as possible.

BS 8515:2009 provides an authoritative and industry-approved means of calculating the optimum size of tank for household water use.

Unlike other industries it is better to reduce the size of the tank rather than over size it if in doubt as to the requirement. This is due to the benefit of allowing the tank to overflow at least twice a year to flush out floating debris. The tank chosen must therefore be a balance between rainwater supply and water demand.

In order to correctly size the tank, the capacity should be the lesser of either the rainwater supply or the water demand. A worked example demonstrating this principle is shown below:-


Are rainwater tanks worth it?

There are many reasons why using a water butt is a good idea. By collecting rainwater a water butt,  you are using a free natural resource. This puts less pressure on an already under pressure water system and reduces the demand put on the public water system. By collecting rainwater, less water goes down the storm drains and eliviates pressur on the public drainage system and help to prevent flooding. An added bonus to using rainwater for watering your plants is that the plants love natural rainwater with no chemicals added.