Advanced Plastics And Design

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Concrete vs Plastic for underground Detention / Retention Tanks

May 27th, 2015

What is better? Concrete or Plastic. Read this interesting article which reveals the facts

Storm water Detention Tanks can be made from many materials, such as plastic, concrete, fibreglass and steel. Many residential homeowners are choosing to install underground storm water Detention Tanks so they do not have to look at unsightly above ground tanks and to save valuable space on their properties. For underground tanks the main choice of construction materials is between plastic and concrete.

Many people believe concrete to be strong and durable and therefore an ideal choice for underground storm water Detention or Retention Tanks.  It is clear from the experiences of Christchurch in the last few years that rigid, inflexible underground structures, may not perform well in earthquakes, so as a long term strategy does it really make sense to install concrete tanks underground?
Realistically, the answer to that question must be a resounding No!

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Leaking Concrete Tank

The material of choice for underground Detention or Retention of water, is in fact Polyethylene (or PE for short), the most common plastic because PE, when formed into pipes or tanks is remarkably tough and strong, while maintaining its flexibility, which means it is far more likely to withstand ground movement without failure compared to concrete.

Other Advantages of Polyethylene (PE)

1     PE is not porous so will not allow water loss over time.

2     PE is much lighter than concrete and therefore easier to handle at installation reducing installation costs.

3     PE is 100% recyclable allowing future disposal if required, with minimal impact on the environment.

4     PE will not rust, rot, crack or corrode like other materials and therefore has very low maintenance requirements because regular expensive inspections aren’t required.

5     PE has a very long life span because it is very inert, making it the choice of material for use with storm water, drinking water and chemicals.

APD tanks are made from PE which can easily be worked so Detention Tanks can be fabricated to any desired volume, whereas Detention Tanks made of concrete are restricted to multiples of the volume of the pipes used to form the tank. This is because concrete pipes are pre-formed to certain diameters and lengths and cannot be easily cut to a required length.

For example, if concrete pipes are 1 metre internal diameter and 2.5 metres long, then each pipe can contain a maximum volume of 1.96 cubic metres of water, (1960 Litres) and concrete Detention Tanks made from these pipes, must be multiples of this volume. If a 5 cubic metre Detention Tank is required using concrete, you will require installation of a 5.88 cubic metre tank (1.96 x 3) involving higher initial purchase price and higher installation costs. Contrast that with PE, which can be easily cut and welded to produce a tank of the required volume, minimising the initial purchase price of the tank as well as installation costs.

Call APD today to discuss your requirements .

 

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Flexible Detention Tanks

Concrete pipe

Concrete pipe – bulky and heavy

small concrete pipe

concrete Pipe – hard to lift

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Concrete Pipe – heavy lifting gear required