World-First Antimicrobial Water Tank Liner Technology
- 1 World-First Antimicrobial Water Tank Liner Technology
Exclusive to Pioneer Water Tanks
Clean Water Is Our Most Precious Natural Resource
Water tank liners are subject to biofilm formation due to algae, bacteria and moulds. Bacterial contamination is not visible to the naked eye and high numbers of bacteria impair hygiene.
With the incorporation of Sanitized® antimicrobial technology, the Pioneer AQUALINER Fresh® water tank liner offers advanced protection from the colonisation and reproduction of algae, bacteria, and moulds. Sanitized® antimicrobials add an additional layer of defense in the fight against microbes.
Pioneer Water Tanks have partnered with Sanitized® to create the world’s first antimicrobial water tank liner. Our AQUALINER Fresh® tank liner actively reduces growth of biofilm and algae. AQUALINER Fresh® keeps your water fresher for longer.
Sanitized® is the leading worldwide producer of antimicrobial hygiene function and material protection for textiles and polymers. For over 80 years the company has been doing pioneering work and developing innovative, effective and safe technologies for antimicrobial treatment. Pioneer Water Tanks has incorporated this technology into our new AQUALINER Fresh® water tank liner. This world first application increases protection from algae, bacteria, and moulds resulting in your water being fresher for longer.
Where the AQUALINER Fresh® Tank Liner Idea Began
Pioneer Water Tanks has been engaged in a collaborative research and development project with its Australian fabric and tank liner suppliers plus SANITIZED® of Switzerland for the last 3 years, working together on the development of a “next-generation” tank liner fabric.
The objectives were two-fold:
- Create the next generation AQUALINER® with even better flexibility, strength, water proofness and reliability.
- To be the first in the world to introduce antimicrobial technology into a tank liner to improve the health and water quality benefits for our customers.
The result is the new AQUALINER Fresh®, with built-in SANITIZED® antimicrobial technology. The fabric is the next evolution of the very successful and high-performing AQUALINER® fabric, Australia’s best tank liner and exclusive to Pioneer Water Tanks.
World-First Antimicrobial Water Tank Liner
The multi-generational AQUALINER® fabric has been a mainstay of the Pioneer Water Tanks 30-year success story and legendary water holding performance. The new fabric retains the Globally Patented Multi-layered PP/PE textile with a spun-woven multifilament polypropylene (PP) scrim construction (WO 2007/070917).
The use of antimicrobial protection in a tank liner is the world’s first use of this technology in this application, and our Australian manufacturer of the fabric has applied for an additional Patent to protect this innovation. The patent application has been accepted and its current status is “Patent Pending 2017902908”.
Pioneer has back to back exclusivity agreements with everyone in the liner fabric supply chain to ensure exclusive supply of this product to Pioneer, and Pioneer is the only steel liner tank company in the world who has access to this technology for this application.
AQUALINER Fresh® – The Revolutionary Antimicrobial Rain Water Tank Liner FAQ
“Water is a limited natural resource and a public good fundamental for life and health. The human right to water is indispensable for leading a life in human dignity. It is a prerequisite for the realization of other human rights.”
(United Nations – 2002)
What are Microbes and Bacteria?
A microbe, or “microscopic organism,” is a living thing that is too small to be seen with the naked eye. The term is very general. It is used to describe many different types of life forms, with dramatically different sizes and characteristics including bacteria and fungi.
Bacteria are microscopic, single-celled organisms that have no nucleus and a cell wall made of peptidoglycan. Bacteria are the direct descendants of the first organisms that lived on Earth, with fossil evidence going back about 3.5 billion years.
You cannot escape bacteria, they are everywhere! The good thing is that very few bacteria are harmful, but bad bacteria in your water supply aren’t much fun. Bad bacteria like E.coli, Salmonella and Legionella will spoil your water, making it unsafe and making you sick.
Bad bacteria love it when your tank is unhygienic or dirty. Poorly maintained roof catchment areas and gutters, animal faeces on your roof, dead insects and animals in your tank and built up organic matter and debris provide a wonderful breeding environment for bad bacteria. They take any chance they get to take over!
Does my Tank Water Contain Microbes?
The following quote from the Australian Government Department of Health, taken from their 2011 publication “Guidance on Use of Rainwater Tanks” explains that the microbial quality of tank water can be difficult to manage.
“Microbiological quality of tank water is not as reliable as high quality mains water, particularly after rain events that follow long dry spells. The risk of contracting illness from rainwater supplied from well-maintained roof catchments and tanks is very low, although it should be noted that the risk increases with less maintenance and cleaning, and in the absence of a first flush diverter.
The most common hazards in water sources obtained from surface catchments worldwide, including roof run-off, are microbial pathogens of faecal origin (enteric pathogens). In most of Australia, chemical and physical quality of rainwater is relatively easy to maintain, but microbial quality is more difficult to manage.”
Is Rainwater Safe to Drink?
Once again referring to the Australian Government Department of Health “Guidance on Use of Rainwater Tanks”; the advice from the Health Department is that prevention is the most effective way to manage the microbial risk of rain water quality.
“The general public perception is that rainwater is safe to drink. In most areas of Australia, the risk of illness arising from consumption is low, providing it is visually clear, has little taste or smell and, importantly, the storage and collection of rainwater is via a well maintained tank and roof catchment system. While the risk from consuming rainwater is low in most areas of Australia, the water from domestic tanks is not as well treated or managed as the major urban water supplies. The microbial quality of water collected in tanks is not as good as that in urban supplies…a preventive risk management approach is the most effective way of ensuring safe, high quality drinking water.” 
What is Antimicrobial Technology?
Antimicrobial Technology describes the collective knowledge, expertise and methods of using additives to create products that are permanently protected against microbes.
An antimicrobial is an agent that kills microorganisms or stops their growth.
Antimicrobial additives are extremely diverse and control microbes via many different means. When used in the manufacture of products they create surfaces and materials inhospitable to microbes such as bacteria and mould.
Materials that incorporate antimicrobial additives will inhibit or kill bacteria, fungi, algae, and other micro-organisms that come in contact with the materials.
How is the Antimicrobial Additive added to the Tank liner?
The SANITIZED® antimicrobial technology is mixed into the masterbatch of the Black Polyethylene (PE) film used in the construction of the liner fabric. The Black PE film is one of the multiple layers of the liner fabric that provides the superior strength, flexibility, abrasion resistance and water proofness of AQUALINER Fresh®. The treated Black PE film is then laminated to the inside surface of the liner fabric – the side that is in direct contact with the tank water.
What type of Antimicrobial Additive is in AQUALINER Fresh®?
The additive contains silver ions, embedded in an innovative carrier system. The natural antibacterial action of silver has been known for centuries. Egyptians and Greeks and Romans dropped silver coins in fountains and stored drinking water in silver vessels to keep their water fresher for longer. Silver was a popular antimicrobial into the 20th century. One of its most widespread uses was silver nitrate drops placed in the eyes of new-born baby’s to prevent infections that commonly caused blindness. With the discovery of antibiotics in the mid 1900’s, silver was no longer used extensively as a remedy for infection, although it continued to be a primary treatment for serious burns.
Today, in the face of antibiotic-resistant pathogens, silver is re-emerging as an important antimicrobial agent in the field of infection prevention. The remarkable bacteriostatic effects of silver, a natural element, is a technology with a high level of acceptance. The SANTIZED® product and AQUALINER Fresh® does not contain any nano-particles.
Is the Product Safe?
AQUALINER Fresh® has been tested and accredited to all relevant and necessary Australian and International standards for products in contact with drinking water.
- NSF/ANSI 61 by NSF International
- AS/NZS 4020 by Australian Water Quality Centre
What are the Benefits of Antimicrobial Technology?
Protecting the liner surface with an antimicrobial treatment is critical for ensuring a lifetime of performance and value from the liner. Antimicrobial treatment for a water tank liner is effective in the following ways:
- Your Water Stays Fresher for Longer: Antimicrobial technology adds a defence mechanism to a tank liner which helps it fight against the growth of microbes such as bacteria and algae, sometimes referred to as “biofilm”. As biofilm grows thicker on the walls and floor of the tank liner it falls to the bottom of your tank and creates a thick sludge on the floor. Water that is stored in clean tank is much fresher and cleaner than water that has been stored in a dirty tank over a bed of bacterial and algal sludge.
- Better Quality Water and Less Cleaning: A tank with a liner treated with antimicrobial technology requires less frequent cleaning or de-sludging to maintain a healthy tank environment. This saves you time and money, and improves your water quality. When sludge levels are high, the sludge can be drawn out of the tank outlet through the tap or pump and will present as very unattractive brown particles in your water. No-one wants this in their drinking water.
- Keeps Your Tank Smelling Better: It happens to a lot of tanks. Due to a build-up of bad bacteria caused by excess organic matter and debris, your tank water will start to smell foul. By installing an antimicrobial tank liner, we can’t guarantee your tank will stay free of organic matter (that part’s up to you) but the liner will work to resist the growth of that bacteria for as long as possible, keeping it smelling fresh for as long as possible.
- Longer Tank Life: Like any other textile or fabric that gets dirty and covered in mould, algae and bacteria, the build-up of microbes on a tank liner will have an overall detrimental effect on the life of the product. When you have to clean the tank and liner less because it is treated with an antimicrobial, you extend the life of the liner and therefore the life of your tank.
With antimicrobial treatments, products stay fresher and cleaner for longer, increasing the life and maintaining the value of the liner for longer.
Will an Antimicrobial Treated Tank Liner Solve All Water Quality Problems?
No. Proper care and maintenance of your complete rainwater harvesting system (water catchment, transport & storage) is necessary for a clean and healthy tank water supply. The Antimicrobial additive in the tank liner is not capable of treating the entire volume of water in the tank. The antimicrobial treatment in the tank liner can only have an effect on the water in direct contact and close proximity to the tank liner, resisting the growth of bacteria and algae on the tank liner itself. This provides a fantastic benefit to the reduction of biofilm and sludge in your tank, but it wont solve all your problems if you have a dirty and poorly maintained catchment area.
What is the best way to minimise the potential risk of a bacterial infection in my rain water tank?
To once again quote the Australian Government Department of Health Guidance on use of Rainwater Tanks – 2011,
“…the microbial quality of water collected in tanks is not as good as that in urban supplies…a preventive risk management approach is the most effective way of ensuring safe, high quality drinking water.” 
The key preventive actions that should be undertaken by anyone seeking to store tank water for human or animal consumption, to minimise the health risk are:
- Ensure a clean and well maintained water catchment area.
- Always use an antimicrobial tank liner.