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Installing a Rainwater Tank

Have already visited 229407/30/2016  

A tractor can make installing a rainwater tank a lot easier

Every rural property needs a new water tank at some point. This story shows how an old leaky tank was removed, a new base was constructed and new tank installed.

Plumbing was disconnected from the old tank


The old tank was removed with the 4 in 1 bucket

This property has all of the rainwater from the house roof directed to a small catchment tank which is then pumped to larger storage tanks. When the old catchment tank rusted out it was decided to replace it with a larger one.

The first step was to disconnect the plumbing so the tank could be removed. All tanks have 3 plumbing points – an inlet where the rainwater flows in, an outlet which would generally be connected to a pump and an overflow which allows excess water to run out.               

The little tank could have been removed by

The little tank could have been removed by hand but using the 4 in 1 bucket on the front end loader to grab the edge of the tank and take it away was a breeze.

It was handy to crush the tank with the bucket

The front end loader was then used to crush the old tank to make it easier to dispose of. Warning – be careful when pushing down on objects not to raise the front wheels of the tractor off the ground.

Next the old concrete base had to be removed without disturbing the plumbing. The backhoe was used to gently loosen it. Then the 4 in 1 bucket was used again to grab the concrete pad and drag it out of harms way.


The backhoe was used to loosen the old pad


Then the pad was dragged away with the 4 in 1

Work on the new base could then start. Opening the bucket and using the cutting edge enabled a flat pad to be cut out of the soil. 

A flat pad was cut with the 4 in1 bucket


A simple box frame was made                

Then a box frame was made out of redgum sleepers to contain the sand. It was simply put together with 150mm nails – pre-drilling the timber makes life much easier. Diagonal braces were nailed on the inside of the frame to help strengthen it. On this site it was determined that backfilling soil around the outside of the frame would be enough to hold it all together. If in  doubt, steel stakes could be driven into the ground  on the outside of the frame.



Sand was placed with the 4 in 1 bucket

The sand was compacted

Sand was put in place with the front end loader – which would have otherwise been done with several wheel barrow trips! Sand is used to create a protective layer from any sharp objects which may be looming under the tank that could cause a leak. The manufacturer recommended a depth of 75mm of sand. The sand was then leveled and compacted with a compacting plate.

Then the pad was dragged away with the 4 in 1

The new tank was placed into position using the front end loader as a crane! Warning – it is very important that suitably rated chains or ropes are used when lifting objects. An object with a large surface area such as this tank should only be moved in conditions with no wind. Lifting with the bucket fully raised can only be done on level ground, operating at low speed with light weights. This 5000 litre plastic tank was in fact very light – it’s just that it would be quite awkward for one person to put in place by hand.

The tank was re-plumbed

The 3 plumbing points were then reconnected and finally a layer of pebbles was placed on top of the exposed sand to prevent it being washed away by rain.

A little rain and it’s good to go!

Safety is always the highest priority. Always use a tractor that complies with Australian Standards, including Roll Over Protective Structure, seat belt and protective covers. Only take on tasks within the capability of the machine and operator. Follow all relevant safety warnings, instructions and regulations. Wear appropriate safety equipment and use common sense.

* This article is a general guide only. Conditions vary from site to site. Judgement relating to your individual conditions must be exercised. East Wind Tractors, Hanmey Implements and refurbished tractors feature in this article.

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