February 19

Snow Loading Water Tanks

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Water Tanks for Snow Loading

While Australia has a reputation for being a hot and arid country, as the sixth largest nation on the planet, and spanning from the 11th to the 43rd parallel south, it is home to a wide range of climates and biomes.


A fact that would surprise most people, is that the Australian Alps receive more snow annually that the Swiss Alps. This is, in part, thanks to Australia being so flat, and the Alps so close to the ocean, and of course, when compared to the whole of Australia, is a very small surface area.


This does mean, however, that many Australians battle with snow falls each year, and will need water tanks that can stand up to the stress of snow loading.

Map of the alpine and sub-alpine regions of Australia

Factors That Determine Snow Loading Calculations

Snow loading has many factors, many of which Pioneer Water Tanks cannot assess or answer, and would require you to determine yourself from your local knowledge.

The micro-climate of each property, the altitude of the property and annual snowfall would help determine overall snow load.

Snow Loading factors:

Does the snow arise from a single fall, or build up from successive falls?

If the snow falls in one, or few falls, typically this means there is less density to the snow, and as such lesser snow loading.

If the snow arises from several falls, this results in icing, and thicker or deeper snow, which means a higher snow load on the roof.


Is the tank location above the Alpine region line?

On the mainland, an alpine region is anywhere more than 1200m above sea level, in Tasmania it is anywhere more than 900m above sea level. If the site is above these levels, our tank roofs are not suitable for the snow loads that can be imposed.


What is the classification of the terrain?

Whether the site for the water tank is exposed or shielded, on a ridge, valley or hillside - and if so which way the slope faces - will all have a bearing on the overall snow loading and eligibility of the site for a water tank.

pioneer snow loading water tanks

What Determines an Alpine region?

As stated above, on the mainland, an alpine region is anywhere more than 1200m above sea level, in Tasmania it is anywhere more than 900m above sea level.


Anywhere above these levels, a Pioneer Water Tank will not be suitable for the snow loading that the water tank roof would be subjected to.

How it works

The following towns have been are in our "OK" category* in regards to snow loading conditions:


  • Orange
  • Guyra
  • Blayney
  • Crookwell
  • Tumbarumba
  • Bombala

*Outside of town limits, assessment should still be done before confirming snow density. Not limited to towns listed, just that outside of these towns, snow loading calculation and independent homework must be done before determining suitability.


In order to determine suitability for snow loading, you must be able to establish that:

  • Snow density is 1/12 that of water or less
  • Snow falls are single falls and do not accumulate
  • Snow falls do not exceed 400mm
  • The site is below the alpine region

If your site fits these criteria and you're ready to get a quote for your new tank, or if you have more questions regarding snow loading, give us a call on 1800 490 488.

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