What are the Most Common Tank Designs?

**Please note Versatile Tanks DO NOT repair water tanks**

Many Australian homes and businesses have their own storage tanks – whether that’s for a wine cellar, storing water for dry periods and as a precaution against bush fires, or simply for storage.

If you’re thinking of getting a tank for yourself, it pays to research what suits your needs the most. It varies whether the most common tank designs are the most common for a reason, or actually may not be what you actually need. For example, you could benefit from an alternative shape but the material used has been perfected over the years.

Take the time to speak to experts like our team at Versatile Tanks and find your own, bespoke solution.


The most common tank designs are actually round tanks. Why? Because since around 1910, that was all that builders and consumers knew how to build and therefore, that was all that was built.

Although this time period saw a huge increase in engineering ability, techniques have advanced a lot more since then and our requirements have changed. Back then, there was no real engineering required for the walls and base of the tank, as the stress on all the walls was even.

However, round concrete tanks offer very little in flexibility for domestic, commercial or industrial situations. They have what is commonly called ‘cold joins’. These joins usually leak and move with ground movement, so it’s clear that an alternative for the modern age should be sought, and Versatile Tanks have the solution.

Rectangular tanks, such as the ones we produce, are becoming more popular. The flat surfaced structural walls with no joins have endless usable options: above ground, semi in ground, retaining walls, buried out of sight in the yard, under your garage or driveway.

  • There are flat modular surfaces enabling the tank to sit snuggly in small spaces. Think about the children’s adage about fitting a round peg into a square hole – the same concept applies.
  • The walls are structurally adequate to use them as a retaining wall, should you want to add an elevated feature on your land.
  • They can be placed in the ground with earth over the lids or under your driveway out of sight. This saves an incredible amount of space if storage is a need in your home or business. It also means you can add room to your building – perhaps for that wine cellar you’ve always wanted.


Tanks come in various materials for various uses. Concrete and steel, which we use, is the most popular and this provides the strongest, most long-lasting and safe tank structure.

However, there has been an increasing use of glass-reinforced plastic, thermoplastic and polyethylene tanks. These are cheaper to build and although they must comply by safety standards, we think concrete will always be the better investment. These materials are a good alternative for storage of specialty chemicals because of their resistance to chemicals. If you’re looking for water storage or need a strong, under-ground structure, then opt for concrete.

For water storage, concrete is the most popular way to store it and ensure it is always fresh. So that’s what we use at Versatile Tanks – the concrete used in all our tanks is a high strength concrete and our mix design gains high strength very quickly.

Furthermore, if you store your water underground, the use of concrete eliminates temperature fluctuations, keeping the water at an even temperature. This is another factor to consider as changes in temperature can often cause water to end up contaminated and undrinkable. A large volume of water can be stored, so this would be a huge waste just because you used the incorrect material in your tank.

Our designs

All our square or rectangular concrete tanks are manufactured in a seamless steel pulse mould. This means they have no joins and therefore no leaks. We also protect the tanks from micro cracks as we manufacture them in a closed factory, so they aren’t vulnerable to weather effects.

We use only Australian structural steel, securely welded as per Australian standards, ensuring even concrete coverage over steel.

Our tanks are great to be used for all purposes, including underground uses like wine cellars, because of the way we manufacture them. We’re able to adjust the tank height and lid thickness to make it unique to you.

Remember that your tank needs to work for you. Whether you’re storing water to use in your business or you would like to build a wine cellar that sits underneath your patio drive, square, concrete tanks are the best option.

The most common tank designs may be round but this might not work for your needs, so don’t follow the crowd and look at innovative designs instead. When it comes to materials, stick with what’s been tried and tested and use concrete, rather than choosing a cheaper version. Overall, do your research and you’ll end up with a tank that has been tailored to you.

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