This is the question we get asked most often, and there are several answers:
- Easy Stainless Steel water Tanks are made from premium food grade stainless steel and have a service life will in excess of 40 years and are designed to withstand the harshest of climatic conditions.
- The reputation of Stainless Steel is a strong, durable and hygienic material is unsurpassed – in fact it is mandatory for food and pharmaceutical processing plants, hospitals and other sterile areas. You will have peace of mind when it comes to the quality of your water.
- Stainless Steel is fully recyclable.
- They look fantastic.
- With an extended service life and reduced maintenance costs, they in fact COST LESS than other comparative tanks over the working life of the tank.
Easy Stainless Steel Water Tanks are manufactured under licensed technology transfer from Stainless Rainwater tanks Pty Ltd, Brisbane Australia (www.stainlesssteelrainwatertanks.com.au) – who has pioneered a unique method of welding the stainless steel corrugated sheets and now offers a premium product at a competitive price. Easy Stainless Steel Water Tanks manufactures an extensive range of reliable, durable, safe and hygienic stainless steel rainwater tanks, with none of the disadvantages of other tank manufacturing styles.
Only 1 or 2 items in the tank are not stainless steel. One is the tank overflow which is a molded PVC fitting. The tanks are sealed with potable water approved silicon.
Provided your tank is clean, mosquito proof and the water is not exposed to light, then the water will last many years even without jeopardizing the drinking quality. This is a qualified statement, assuming your tank is made from stainless steel.
No, stainless steel is not affected by concrete, unlike other steel tanks.
Our recommendation is always to use a concrete base, for the reason that stainless steel on a concrete base will last as long as your house if not longer. It is always a good practice to pipe the overflow away from the tank.
The tanks are not designed to be fitted in-ground, and we have no engineering data to state that in-ground mounting is permissible.
Although a fire cannot harm the stainless steel besides making it black, prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures will eventually destroy the seal depending on how much water is in the tank. The seal is replaceable. Other tanks do not perform well under extreme temperature. Plastic tanks are known to catch fire themselves in such an emergency.
Some authorities make recommendations to chlorinate tank water. We have some reservations to this for the following reasons. Firstly, accurate calculations and measurements have to be carried out to ensure the correct amount of chlorine is added to the tank. From my point of view, due to the toxicity of chlorine and the danger in handling it, plus the potential of overdosing, this is no task for the handyman. Secondly, there are much better and safer products available (UV sterilization) which are more suitable and safe to handle.
All polyethylenes are susceptible to degradation upon long term exposure to sunlight. This deterioration is brought about by chemical changes which occur in the polyethylene as a result of exposure to the ultraviolet (UV) portion of light. The poly becomes brittle and loses strength. To slow down this process UV stabilisers are added to the polyethylene. The UV number indicates the amount of stabiliser added to the poly. For example: UV 4 would mean 4000 hours of continuous outdoor exposure before the polyethylene loses 50% of its original strength. Consequently, UV 16 (this is the maximum amount of stabiliser which can be added) would mean that the poly will last 16000 hours before it loses 50% of its original strength. After this time the poly is spent, and no amount of welding or other repair methods will prolong the service life of your plastic tank. Currently, there is no way to recycle the spent plastic and this may create a real environmental problem when all the plastic tank will start to fail in the years to come.
We are aware of these rumors but so far scientists failed to uncover evidence supporting this claim. But it is appropriate to point out in this context, an article published in the Brisbane Courier Mail (dtd 13/03/06) about contaminated water caused by storage in plastic bottles. The article refers to a study conducted by Dr. William Shotyk, Director of the Institute of Environmental Geochemistry at the University of Heidelberg in Germany. Dr. Shotyk found that a chemical called antimony continuously leaches from the plastic bottle into the bottled drinking water. This study is of major concern if you take in consideration that PET (Polyethylene Terepthalate) bottles were considered absolutely safe for over 15 years (Research google: Shotyk). The unavoidable conclusion is the question, Is it only a matter of time before another study determines that water stored in plastic tanks is not as safe as we were made to believe? Update 25/4/08: Brisbane's Channel 10 news on the 16/4/08 reported that plastic baby bottles leach chemicals (bisphenol) into baby formula, bisphenol is linked to various cancers in later life. This evidence is so strong that on the 22/4/08 the Canadian government banned the importation and sales of plastic baby bottles. Other governments consider similar bans. It is difficult to understand that it would take years after the introduction of plastic baby bottles to make such a discovery!! Update 24/10/08: Further scientific evidence questioning the suitability of plastic in the human food chain: click to read a USA Today article.
What you feel is called a "biofilm", not desirable to have in your water tank. A biofilm is a layer of microorganism contained in a matrix (slime layer), which forms on surfaces in contact with water. Biofilms provide a "safe haven" for organism like listeria, e.coli and legionella, where they can reproduce to levels where contamination of the water becomes unavoidable. The best way to remove this contamination is to get your tank cleaned out and the walls washed down with a water blaster. Chlorination of your tank water will only destroy the top layer of the biofilm and it will regenerate. Unfortunately plastic surfaces are most suitable for biofilms to establish, this is one of the reasons why most containers in hospitals are glass or stainless steel.
Governments are notoriously slow to respond (exceptions to the rule: the Canadian government which banned the sale of plastic baby bottles days after a relevant study proved that bisphenol leaches into the formula). The main reason can be found in the lobbying power of some very influential industries. The best example are cigarettes, the link between smoking and rather serious and terminal diseases has been established decades ago, but tobacco is still for sale. On the other hand, customers are free to make an informed decision.