Livestock water tanks are a mainstay of Australian farms, but more and more often they’re being seen off the back deck of suburban homes. 

Effectively a cheaper version of a plunge pool, the robust and industrial feel of the livestock ‘pool’ fits seamlessly amongst many contemporary-styled backyards. In an interview with the ABC, custom tank builder David Mortimer says the trend started from inquiries made by clients as to whether the metal tanks could become pools.

"We build stainless steel water tanks for residential, commercial, and rural customers," he said.

"But about two years ago we started getting some customers in asking if we could build a tank without a lid on it."

The big selling point of the stock tank is its price. While a pool typically costs around $50,000, a tank is typically considerably less. 

"Then you've got your concrete plunge pools that generally hover around the $12,000 mark, but you need quite a significant crane to get those in,” outlines Mortimer. 

"But the tank pools sit around the $5,000-$7,000 mark."

The tank pools also have the ability to be sat in small backyards and off back decks, which makes them appealing for homeowners in metropolitan areas with restricted space that want to cool off in summer. The Swimming Pool and Spa Association of Australia's (SPASA) CEO, Spiros Dassakis, says the association has seen a number of pools, similar to the livestock tank, be implemented across the country in the recent past.

"We have seen in the last couple of years stock tanks becoming more appealing in rural settings but also in urban settings where you've got a minimalistic feel to the dwelling," he says.

"As the urban dwellings get smaller in space there's a real move to the desire of a smaller type of pool.

"The pools are fully functioning pools — they have filters, chlorinators, pumps, you can get water heaters as well.

"It's an exciting new trend that we think will continue."

While many may believe that the pools themselves may be easy to implement, the industry believes it is imperative that those wanting a tank pool should leave it to the professionals.

"We discourage anyone from doing their own hydraulics, which deals with the pump or the heart of the swimming pool," says Dassakis.

"We don't want someone tackling this on the weekend thinking they can turn any sort of vessel into a swimming pool."

Stock tank plunge pools are able to be built and made for people to swim in. To get one before summer rolls around, David Mortimer’s tank business can be viewed at


Image: Designer Tanks