Cladding a 1000 Ltr/250 Gallon IBC Water Tank




About: I live in the UK, and own a small business designing and building: Cargo Carrying Bicycles, Bike Trailers, Pedal Powered Utility Trucks & Vans, Pedal Racing Cars and Human Powered Vehicles, lightweight Pony ...

Last Autumn I obtained a 1000 litre IBC (Intermediate Bulk Container), plastic tank on a galvanised pallet. This had originally been used to transfer diesel fuel from the shore to ship and then to from the ship to various rigs and platforms in the North Sea Energy fields.

I wanted this tank to store rain water from the shed guttering so that we can irrigate the garden through the summer months but it looked unsightly, and Lois wasn't going to allow me to get away with it. A compromise was agreed, and that was the tank, framework and pallet had to be hidden from view. So I chose to clad it with reclaimed Pallet timbers.

I collected the tank from the quayside, and drove 26 miles home with it on the roof rack of my car, including a few miles of the A47 dual carriage way, and then across Norwich city centre; goodness knows what it did to the wind resistance of the car and the fuel consumption.

Step 1:

When I eventually got it into the garden, I stripped it down, degreased and steam cleaned it all (with a domestic carpet/furniture steam cleaner. Then I painted the already galvanised metal pallet and framework with some zinc rich red oxide primer.

A week or two later, I got around to painting the frame work and steel pallet with some corrosion resistant gloss Black tractor enamel:

Then I got my Pallet Dismantling Bar out and stripped a handful of 2 way pallets to obtain the very useful 4" X 2" stringer timbers. Which I painted with the zinc rich red-oxide thinned with cellulose thinners to help the paint sink into the wood. The following day, the undercoated stringers received two coats of gloss black paint.

Step 2:

The painted pieces of pallet stringers were then screwed on to the reassembled pallet and framework, and a few reclaimed pallet planks were used to begin cladding the side that was going to be placed up against the shed. The tank was then turned around, and placed in its final position tight up against the shed

While I was fixing the cladding planks into place, I realised that the tank had gauge markings in both litres and gallons moulded into the plastic, so I made a couple viewing doors so that we could eaisily check the water level.

Step 3:

An access door was made and fitted to cover the discharge valve and the tap that I have now installed. The tap has to be at that angle for the discharge valve handle to clear it: I'll get around to squaring up the discharge valve handle and the tap this winter when I drain the tank for deep cleaning.

Here is the link to to the additional planters that we have fitted to our reclaimed pallet timber cladded IBC's:



    • 1 Hour Challenge

      1 Hour Challenge
    • Fandom Contest

      Fandom Contest
    • Beauty Tips Contest

      Beauty Tips Contest

    9 Discussions


    2 years ago

    How did you attach the outside horizontal pieces around the tank that the green vertical pallet pieces are attached to?

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    By drilling the galvanised steel tube framework and then screwing from inside the frame through the tube and into the timbers.

    thank you, I have been trying to figure out how to integrate some of these and I'm sure I will use some of your techniques.

    Thanks so much for this, I want to put a few of these in my yard but uncladded, it's not going to work- between it being ugly enough to make problems with the spouse, and the harsh Texas sun destroying the plastic, it wasn't going to work out. I think this will work, so thank you very much!


    6 years ago on Step 3

    Very neat Gareth! I was thinking how to protect mine from the sun - bamboo matting etc. But this is much neater and longer lasting.
    I also contemplated getting mine home on the roofrack but chickened out and borrowed a trailor.
    I found that it was better to use the discharge valve tap - with a suitable large diameter hose fitted into the cap - for filling watering cans, as it is much quicker.
    Our garden is higher than the house roof, so I have one tank at the downpipe, and when it is full, I pump the water with a submersible pump to the top tank.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Looks great, I am making one of these into a hot tub heatedet by a wetback fire, I am wondering what was your method of attaching the wooden cladding to to the frame?


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks Gareth! I've been looking at cladding mine to reduce the sun exposure (makes the plastic brittle)

    I have three, joined up, all contained squash from a local factory. I got mine 25 quid each, delivered for 15 (I think!)

    They're all linked up at the top, and I use the taps for levelling. The lowest one has a hozelock water butt pump (lots of complaints about it, but the trick is to turn the pump upside down completely until it completely empties of air before using it).

    I'm thinking of getting another and converting it into a wood fired hot tub. Just bough a arc welder from aldi today for 39 quid and just need a gas bottle and some copper tubing!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    We have endured 450mm of rain (or about 18 inches) so far this year.It rained every day for 92 consecutive days this spring & summer: it's been a very wet year!

    We have 2 X 1000 litre IBC tanks connected to the shed, and each side of the pitched roof is 14.4 sq/mtrs (total of 28.8

    We now have 4 IBC's in total: two connected to the shed, and two connected to the house, along with 5 X 200 ltr plastic barrels, so 5000 litrs or 5cu/mtr of storage capacity in total, although I have not measured the roof area of the house.

    Last year (2011) we only had the one IBC and due to the almost drought conditions of that summer we had to pump over 4 cu/mtr of grey water from the house to irrigate our vegetable plot.


    This is really resourceful. How much rain on average are you able to collect, based on your geographical location?