It’s Cistern Season – Here’s What You Need to Know

Understanding the Basics About Poly Cisterns

A cistern tank is primarily used for storing water in rural areas where potable water isn’t available through municipal services. They’re also used as an alternative to well water, which can experience issues with inconsistent yield, or poor groundwater quality. Over the last few years, we’ve had an influx of customers reaching out for cisterns due to their well running dry, or simply not producing enough water to sustain their household. Cisterns are also extremely popular for cottages with seasonal or occasional use, as they’re easy to maintain and can be hassle free. If any of these apply to you, a poly cistern tank may be the solution you’re looking for.


Let’s dive into some common considerations to help guide you through the process.

How to Determine the Right Size

If used efficiently, cistern owners will still consume an average of approximately 30 gallons daily per person. Using this math, a family of four being conservative with their water will use an average of 120 gallons daily, or 3600 gallons monthly. 

Our largest option is a 1700 Gallon Poly Cistern Tank or a 2500 Gallon Low Profile Aquifer Cistern. These tanks would be refilled by a water delivery truck approximately every 10-20 days for a family of four. Depending on your water usage, number of people in your household, and if you have a secondary water source such as rainwater collection, you may be able to use a smaller tank. Water can become stale if stored for too long, so having it filled frequently will create a more enjoyable experience.

Additional Options to Consider – Concrete vs Plastic (Poly)

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Durability: Both concrete and poly cisterns have excellent durability when used in the correct conditions. Factors such as soil type and backfilling material are important aspects of your purchase decision. 

Lifespan: Cisterns can last 30 years or more when given proper ongoing maintenance. 

Cost: Concrete cisterns cost more to purchase and install than poly cistern tanks.

Installation: Concrete is heavier and less maneuverable than plastic which leads to longer installation using heavy machinery.

Corrosion: Unlike poly cistern tanks, concrete tanks may corrode over time or begin cracking with age. Proper maintenance can help reduce the risk of these issues.

Low Profile Aquifer – Manufactured with the same materials as poly cisterns, but designed with a shorter height for areas where digging is less of an option. These are frequently used for storing water under permanent trailers or places with shallow rocks such as Northern Ontario.

Plan your water ordering in advance


Water haulage companies are in high-demand, with many operating at capacity. Cistern owners should plan ahead by becoming a consistent client with a reliable provider to ensure your home always has a sufficient supply of water. 

A great way to plan ahead is by using the PTLevel, which can accurately measure your water level and be tracked on your phone. This allows you to access real-time measurements, and order the exact quantity of water you need. 

Why Choose Poly Cistern tanks

Poly cistern tanks are manufactured to NSF/ANSI Standard 61, meeting requirements for the storage of potable water. Tanks are made from high-density polyethylene with U.V. inhibitors, and can hold liquids up to 1.7 specific gravity. Poly tanks are lighter, easier to install, and more cost effective than concrete alternatives. 

Purchasing a cistern is a large investment that can provide your home with safe drinking water for decades. Remember to always select a reliable professional to help you plan and install your cistern. We hope this guide helps to create an easier and less stressful shopping experience.

When you’re ready to take the next step you can shop online to access blueprints, technical information, and place your order. 

If you have questions our team is always available via phone at (905) 386-1744 or email at to help with your research and make customized recommendations.

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