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As leading developers and manufacturers of liquid storage tanks in line with all-encompassing client needs, Tuffa certainly have the ingenuity to provide solutions of many different sizes and applications. Indeed, the company’s water tanks can be specified in capacities up to 20,000 litres. However, when this ingenuity is combined with the best in British eccentricity, it seems that something even more wonderful can result, as a Plymouth family are eager to demonstrate.

The Jackson family are not the usual water tank customers. They have hit the headlines in recent days after it emerged that on failing to find an affordable home in the countryside, they have decided to convert… an old underground water tank. The tank, which is located at St Anne’s Chapel in Devon and once had a capacity of 300 cubic metres, was sold to the Jacksons by South West Water (SWW) for £76,000. The family did not have planning permission at the time of the purchase last November, but nonetheless hope that they can convert the tank into a single-storey home with three bedrooms.

Advances in technology have left such water tanks redundant in recent years, but they have won improbable favour with a growing number of self-builders like the Jacksons. Known as a “bucket tank”, the old concrete water tank had the purpose of providing emergency supplies in the event of the main pipes rupturing. However, with local pipework now more reliable, the last year has seen SWW selling seven of what have been dubbed “des res”, or desirable reservoirs, for holiday or residential use. From the outside, all that can be seen is a grass mound, along with a few air vent pipes and some manhole covers that lead down into the tank.

There will still be water supplied to the tank from the mains once the conversion work is done, thanks to improved pipework, but otherwise, the end result could be quite unlike what almost any water tank has looked like before. Mr Jackson is seemingly well-placed to make the project a success, having previously worked on building sites, and he hopes that with airtight construction and solar power, he can reduce heating costs to almost nothing. He aims to finish the project at a total cost of £250,000 and avoid the burden of a mortgage.

Meanwhile, for those who have slightly more traditional reasons to acquire a water tank, Tuffa is happy to oblige. The firm supplies a vast range of plastic potable, process and rainwater harvesting tanks known for their strength and durability, as well as bespoke steel water tanks, manufactured to the most exact specifications. With more than 20 years’ experience of manufacturing water storage tank solutions, the company knows how to provide the most up-to-date and functional tanks for the broadest range of domestic, commercial, agricultural, horticultural, irrigation and industrial applications.