How to prepare a base for a water tank on the ground

What type of base does a water tank require? 
how to make a base for a jojo tank on the ground

If an elevated tank stand is not required for pressure, there are a few options for tank bases.

Concrete Slab Base
The no-compromise solution to base construction is a reinforced 100mm concrete slab.  A slab can be square or round.  The base should always be 100mm larger than the diameter of the tank. Prior to pouring the slab, ensure the ground has been 100% compacted. Your base will be compromised if soil has not been compacted and will affect your tank guarantee.

Crusher Dust/Sand Base
A crusher dust/sand base is considerably cheaper than a concrete slab, but may need to be augmented over time.  Heavy rain falls can erode a crusher dust base and may cost you extra if it needs to be repaired.
It’s best to use treated pine sleepers, screwed together at the ends to create a retainer for the crusher dust/sand but many other materials are appropriate.  Ensure base is compact and sturdy prior to laying down the crusher dust/sand. Base should be anywhere from 25mm to 50mm high when compacted.  Crusher dust or sand is available from any landscape material suppliers.

Pre-Cast Concrete Slabs

A series of pre-cast concrete slabs or pavers on a sealed bed of sand makes an appropriate base for a slim cylinder tank or a tank stand.

 Prepare a flat area for your tank. Clear an area that is 300mm wider than the diameter of your tank.

  1. Make sure the ground is 100% compacted and that there are no rocks, stumps, tree roots or anything else that could affect/damage the base of your tank and void your guarantee.
  2. Place sand on base. Put in a bed of sand (packing or river sand) about 25mm to 50mm thick. Bluestone dust is also acceptable, just ensure it is well packed down.
  3. Flat & Level. Make sure your base is flat and level so that the base of the tank is fully supported.
  4. Tank delivery. Once the tank is delivered and fitted, put either sleepers, pavers or bricks around your site and box the sand in. This is important, as it keeps your base stable and prevents the sand from washing away.

Source: WaterStore Poly Tanks

So there are a number of ways to make a base for your water tank.  A steel tank stand designed and certified by an engineer (as are all JoJo tank stands) is required if pressure is required (and you do not want to fit a pressure booster pump).  Tank stands are an advantage over tank bases on the ground as they keep the tank away from potential damage (such as fires, vehicles or other accidental bumping).

JoJo Tanks have a recommended procedure when installing tanks on a ground base:

The following tips/guidelines are provided to assist you or your installer.  These tips must be read/used in conjunction with the JoJo Tanks Guarantee, which is available on all JoJo Tanks in the form of a sticker or in document format from the various factories admin departments or Marketing Managers.

  • A robust base of at least 2 cm larger than the base of the tank (no polyethylene tank should “hang” over its base)
  • The base must be smooth, in the sense that no sharp stones or hard objects should be in the concrete mixture where it pushes through the surface (it could push a hole through the tank’s base when it is full)
  • It is recommended that the concrete base be at least 150mm thick ( a 5 000 litre water tank holds 5 tons of water!)
  • Any brick/concrete block type of product used to manufacture the bases should be allowed to set/dry (the mortar between) for at least 36-48 hours before filling-in with the concrete base
  • Rubble or sabunga used to fill in the constructed base must be properly stamped in, using the right tool/compactor/heavy stamper  (human weight is insufficient to compact the rubble/sabunga)
  • The base must be perfectly level (use a spirit level)
  • Should lip-channel or beams be used, ensure that the material is treated with an approved product to prolong its life.  The gaps between the lip-channel or beams should be no larger than 50mm (5 cm)

JoJo Tanks South Africa offer a wide range of plastic water tanks and chemical tanks to suit every household, business or agricultural need, including silo tanks and silo tank stands.  See JoJo Tanks VERTICAL TANKS, HORIZONTAL TANKS (transporter tanks), STEEL TANK STANDS and OTHER JOJO PRODUCTS. Also see JoJo Tanks’ NEW 6000 LITRE UNDERGROUND TANKS. Also see our FAQ and WATER TANK PRICES.

JoJo’s superior polyethylene plastic water tanks and steel water tank stands make JoJo Tanks the leaders in plastic water tank technology and the quality, affordability and guarantee on these water tanks make JoJo products the best choice in South Africa.  JoJo’s water tanks and chemical tanks come standard with a number of features that are often lacking on cheaper/inferior plastic tanks made by other companies in South Africa.

We are authorised JoJo Tanks dealers in South Africa and dispatch orders directly from JoJo Tank depots to save on transport costs. Full range of JoJo Tanks products and JoJo water tanks for sale.  CONTACT US for a quote on the right JoJo water tank or other JoJo product for you.  Special discounts are available on multiple orders of chemical tanks and water tanks and to our commercial and government customers.


(15000 litre and 20000 litre JoJo vertical water tanks also available on order)

Live in the USA and need rainwater harvesting equipment?  Click HERE!


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