Tank banks replacing dams as farmers struggle through drought

Tank banks replacing dams as farmers struggle through drought

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With parts of the country still struggling with the effects of drought and climate scientists warning the worst may still be to come, an increasing number of farmers are rethinking their approach to water storage.


Story sponsored by Kingspan.

With parts of the country still struggling with the effects of drought, an increasing number of farmers are rethinking their approach to water storage.

Instead of investing in new dams many producers are instead installing large tanks, Kingspan commercial director Peter Jefferies explained.

Most farmers are opting for tanks with a capacity of 270,000 litres or greater, he said, with Kingspan offering storage systems of up to 360,000L.

Mr Jefferies said many farmers were even establishing "tank banks", that's to say they are buying a large tank each year and interconnecting them year-on-year to improve water security.

"There's no evaporation and no seepage with tanks,'' he explained.

"The water quality from a tank is also going to be better (than from a dam).''

With the size of sheds increasing, water harvesting on farms has also driven demand for larger tanks.

"Over the past 12 months the size and number of sheds has really grown, particularly where there's export hay being produced and stored," Mr Jefferies explained.

"Some of these sheds are extraordinary in their size. We're talking about 1000 square metre sheds," he continued.

"Farmers see the clear value in harvesting that water and using it back in their operations and having some additional water security."

Just a few years ago, the average size tank installed by Kingspan was about 130,000L. Now, that has almost doubled to 250,000L.

"Certainly the growth in the average size of tanks is the biggest thing we are seeing,'' he said.

"We've had to adjust our products in line with that. So, (we've had to produce) bigger leaf baskets and overflows.''

Mr Jefferies said drought relief funding and rebates for water infrastructure were playing a role in the changes and growth in the water storage sector.

He also said Kingspan continued to have good relationships with the Country Fire Service, who check their products to ensure they meet fire safety standards.

However, water storage isn't the only thing the company is revolutionising in the bush.

Late last year Kingspan became the first domestic wastewater treatment plant manufacturer in the nation to receive product certification under the latest Australian Standard for its BioFicient Series 1 Wastewater Treatment Plant.

And now, the product has received the necessary accreditations in NSW, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.

"The wastewater plant accreditation process in Australia is now one of the most stringent on the planet," Kingspan Water and Energy Sales Manager Gerry Quinn said.

"It is designed with the environment in mind, by ensuring the standard of effluent discharged is consistently high."

The BioFicient Series 1 Wastewater Treatment Plant is specifically designed for the Australian market and has been stringently tested. In March, Kingspan also launched its new portable diesel tank range, The TruckMaster™.

Specifically designed for the safe transportation of diesel fuel, the new Truckmaster™ range is perfectly suited for remote, on-site re-fuelling and is built from high-quality polyethylene.

The tanks are resistant to structural damage, changing weather conditions and UV radiation and are available in sizes ranging from 200 to 900 litres. They also come with a number of specification and dispensing options.

The Truckmaster™ presents a cost effective, robust and quality fuel storage option for Australia's remote workforce, particularly for those working in agriculture, construction and forestry.

One of the key benefits of the range includes integrated lifting and forklift options so it can even be lifted when a tank is full.

Additionally, all equipment is stored under a lockable lid so it's protected from dust, sun and weather and eliminates the risk of dripping fuel often encountered by an external retrofitted nozzle and hose.

They also have a leak proof design - resulting in a clean vehicles - and stainless steel fittings, including a mesh filter.

Story sponsored by Kingspan.