by Lori Riddle

welded steel water storage tank, standpipe, potable water storage, lexington water tank, tnemec, Drake MediaWhen making the decision to purchase an above ground storage tank (AST), size and location aren’t the only things to consider. In fact, they’re not even the first. Before you decide how big you want the tank to be or where you want it to go, you need to decide what material it’s to be constructed from. 

While concrete, polyethylene, and bolted steel tanks each have their own benefits; welded steel tanks are the best overall choice. Not only do welded steel tanks last longer than the others, but their lifetime cost is lowest and they require the least maintenance. 

1. Longevity

Stainless steel tanks are highly resistant to the effects of corrosion and other natural elements like heat. In fact, stainless steel is so resistant to rust and corrosion that internal and external coatings aren’t even needed to protect the base metal. Stainless steel also remains ductile through all temperature ranges, is fire resistant, and is unaffected by exposure to UV light, which can damage paint and other coatings. That being said, properly maintained welded steel ASTs can have an expected lifespan of over 100 years, whereas bolted steel tanks only survive around 30.

2. Durability

Going hand in hand with longevity is durability. Unlike concrete tanks that are prone to cracking and leaking, welded steel tanks are leak-free. This is important, because not only can a crack jeopardize the integrity of a tank’s structure and make for an expensive, lengthy repair but, also, if a crack is left untreated, moisture will collect, bacteria can form, and the sanitation of your stored goods is compromised. In addition, bolted steel tanks also pose a danger, as every bolt on the tank represents a potential point of weakness. With welded steel, tanks are stronger, maintenance is lower, and repairs are easier.

3. Cost

With welded steel tanks having a longer life cycle and requiring much less maintenance, the total cost of ownership (TCO) of a welded steel AST is often lower than its bolted steel and concrete counterparts over the long term. Don’t just take our word for it though, check out the Steel Tank Institute’s TCO tool, and see for yourself.

4. Customization

With different jobs requiring tanks in different shapes and sizes, wouldn’t it make sense to build a tank to your own needs, rather than buy one pre-fabricated to someone else’s? With welded steel tanks, you can design ASTs to be virtually any height or diameter, with multiple roof styles, paint schemes, and other architectural elements to choose from as well.

5. Hygienic and Eco-Friendly

As mentioned before, stainless steel is resistant to corrosion and leaking, making it the ideal storage tank for water. While concrete storage tanks can leach calcium into water supplies if not coated correctly, stainless steel tanks will keep the water clean and unaffected. It should come as no surprise that hospitals are required to use stainless steel tanks for this reason. Finally, not only is stainless steel 100% recyclable, but over 50% of new stainless steel comes from re-melted stainless steel scrap, greatly reducing the environmental footprint left behind. 

Before you buy your next AST, consider these points and weigh your options. We’re sure you’ll agree welded steel tanks are a cut above the rest. 

Want to increase your welded steel tank’s longevity AND durability? Check out our free tip sheet, “The #1 Way To Save Your Water Storage Tank’s Interior.”

Free interior water tank tip sheet

welded steel storage tanks tank construction

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