What Are the Disadvantages of Concrete Storage Tanks?

Concrete storage tanks are frequently used for underground storage of water. However, there are a number of issues common to concrete storage tanks that can compromise the material stored in the tank. Learn about some of the problems found in concrete storage tanks and how storage tank materials like fiberglass and stainless steel present a superior alternative to concrete storage.

The Disadvantages of Concrete Storage Tanks


Concrete is not a flexible material, and is subject to the expansion and contraction cause by freeze thaw cycles. This means that over time, the integrity of the concrete can be weakened, to the point where it will eventually crack and the contents of the tank will leak out.


Leaching can occur in concrete storage tanks. This is because concrete is porous and is made with calcium carbonate. If the water in the tank is acidic, it will leach the calcium from the concrete into the water. This results in hard water. Another disadvantage of porous concrete is that the pores provide bacteria with a place to grab a foothold and grow. The tank can be sealed to reduce the likelihood of leaching and bacteria growth.


Concrete storage tanks are very expensive to install and remove. Repair of concrete storage tanks is also expensive.

The Advantages of Fiberglass and Stainless Steel Storage Tanks

For storage of water, and a number of other liquids, fiberglass and stainless steel offer a smart alternative to concrete.

  • Fiberglass and steel are both non-porous, which means they won’t leach chemicals into the water, and provide no spaces for bacteria growth.
  • Steel and fiberglass are very resistant to corrosion, as well as the effects of the freeze thaw cycle.
  • Steel and fiberglass storage tanks come in single, double, and even triple-walled constructions, in order to ensure maximum protection of the product.
  • Steel and fiberglass are recyclable materials that can be reused after their lives as storage tanks to make other products.

To learn more about the advantages of steel and fiberglass storage tanks, and why you should consider steel or fiberglass over concrete, contact Tanks Direct today.

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