How Long Does A Water Storage Tank Last? 21st December 2022

How Long Does A Water Storage Tank Last?

When it comes to a long-term investment, a water tank is a guaranteed one.

And most people do consider water tanks to be a long-term investment. Albeit one that they wish to make and then forget about, with the exception of periodic maintenance. Knowing how long your water storage tank will last you, though, is pretty important we’d say.

The durability of water tanks can depend on quite a lot of variables. Things such as the material of the tank, where it’s located, and what it’s being used for. All things that you need to take into account before making a definitive purchase.

Material of the Tank

Many water tanks are manufactured out of either plastic or steel. Plastic tanks cost far less than steel ones and also require less upkeep. These plastic tanks are, more often than not, made out of a UV-stabilised polymer which is not biodegradable.

Simply, this means that it shouldn’t degrade or break down over time. A polyethylene water tank should typically last you up to 30 years, at least. This lifespan is rivalled by a metal-based water tank which is quite powerful with its tensity, durability, and strength. They last for upwards of 30 years, if only they are very well maintained.

Once they start becoming unstable and break down, steel water tank panels can also be melted down and used for new purposes.

Where a Tank is Located

Another effecting factor is where your water storage tank is located geographically.

In or around coastal areas, where the air is salty, a steel water tank will be prone to some extreme potential corrosion damage. The salty air will even speed up the process of corrosion in a steel water tank, and even in some plastic water tanks and concrete tanks, too.

So to have any metal-based water storage tanks in coastal areas, you need to go above and beyond when it comes to upkeep and management. Steel water tanks would need regular monitoring, treatment, and perhaps even aid like coatings and sheeting to protect against coastal air.

For areas that are typically very sunny, the UV resistance treatment that a plastic tanks has will deteriorate at a faster rate than usual. Prolonged exposure to intense UV light can affect your plastic water tanks and lead to earlier degradation and shorter lifespan.

As well as geographical location, physical location is also a factor, too. For instance, the positioning of a tank on a hill or a bank will affect its stability in a major way.

The Purpose of The Tank

Water tanks have many uses in multiple industries but generally, they will last much, much longer if they’re used to store water that is clean and pure.

Storing salt water or contaminated water of any kind will make your tank more susceptible to problems like corrosion. Tanks that are to be served as potable water storage must have tank liners placed on the walls to extend the general lifespan of the water storage tank.

Along with extending tank life, lining systems are also really great protective measures. They help to protect the tank from oxidisation which lends a hand to corrosion setting in as well as keeping oxidised zinc getting into the water supply. Plastic tanks, however, don’t necessarily need these as they’re already made using a material that is food-safe. But you can still have a coating system applied.


There’s not really a complete definitive answer for the lifespan of tanks, more just a general idea. Like how both plastic and steel tanks can last anywhere from 20 to over 30 years with good maintenance and protective measures.

The minimum amount of years a water tank will last, however, is usually agreed upon as being around 10. Time after this depends on your care for the tanks. Quite simply, the better care you take of your tank, the longer it will last you.

Cold Water Storage’s Services

A variety of expert services for cold water tanks are provided by Cold Water Storage. Our devoted staff is able to offer the finest solution for our customers thank to our combined 30 years’ expertise in the water hygiene and legionella sector.

In accordance with your water management system and business, we provide specialised cold water tank services. These services include Legionella Management Services, Mechanical Engineering, Cold Water Tank Repairs & Relines, Installations and Replacements, and more.

Please get in touch with the CWS team right away if you’re any of our professional services. You can send us an inbox message via

Or you can phone us on 01943 872 311 for more direct contact.