How to prepare a Base for Aquaplate Steel Water Tanks
As with poly tanks, correct preparation of the site for your aquaplate
tank is essential for its trouble free operation and to ensure compliance
with manufacturers’ warranties.
The base of steel tanks supplied by Rain Water Tanks Direct are made with double sided Aquaplate® so that the inside and outside of the tank base is coated with a polymer film to prevent corrosion. because of this design feature, the bottom of the tank may be in direct contact with the tank base and the tank will not corrode. Hence there is no reason to elevate the tank above ground level even though the owners of some steel tanks like this traditional installation.
Assuming you intend to install your steel tank on the ground, you have a number of alternatives open to you. You can sit your slimline Aquaplate® steel tank on a concrete slab or a base of concrete pavers. If you are buying a round Aquaplate® steel tank then in addition to using a concrete slab or concrete pavers, you can sit it on a base of crusher dust.
A concrete slab base is the most suitable base for your Aquaplate® rainwater
tank. The concrete base needs to be a minimum of 100mm thick, 25mpa concrete
with F62 mesh placed at about the midpoint of the slab ie 50mm below the top of
the base. The base has to be placed on a on a flat level area. If the tank is to
be positioned in an area that is on a slope then the thickness of the slab
should be increased and the mesh may need to be of a higher grade. With sloping
sites we would recommend you obtain an engineer’s advice. The slab must be flat,
smooth and level. Slabs must be large enough to support all edges of the tank,
and should be at least 100mm longer and wider than the tank. Slabs must be
allowed to cure for at least five days prior to placing tank on slab.
If you decide to use a concrete paver base for your slimline Aquaplate® rainwater tank, you need to excavate the surface area to ensure the base is placed on good firm ground. Once the site has been excavated you should spread a 75mm thick sand and cement mix over the entire area of the base. This sand and cement mix must then be leveled before the concrete pavers can be placed in position. Once laid, the pavers should be lightly watered to set off the sand and cement base. The paver base needs to be at least 100mm longer and wider than the tank and has to be large enough to support all edges of the tank. Preferably complete the preparation at least 2 days before the tank is placed onto the paver base.
Use of crusher dust is only suitable for larger diameter round Aquaplate® rainwater tanks. The base must be at least 500 mm wider than the diameter of the water tank. The crusher dust base should be a mix of 3 parts crusher dust and one part dry cement powder thoroughly mixed together and then spread over the area of the base. This must then be thoroughly compacted by using suitable compacting equipment. Once compacted, the surface must be thoroughly screeded. It is essential that the surface of this base is free of stones, tree roots, and any other objects which could damage the base of the tank, and has no particles larger than 5mm in diameter. It must be flat and level. You should not water the base to set the cement powder as natural moisture from the ground will do this when your tank is in position. To prevent erosion by water or burrowing animals the installation of a suitable border around the edges of the base is generally advisable. When positioning the tank on a crusher dust base care must be taken to ensure it does not dig in and create an uneven surface.