Permastore Tanks & Silos

Permastore is the industry technical leader in the design, development and manufacture of Modular Bolted
Glass-Fused-to-Steel, Fusion Bonded Epoxy Coated and Stainless Steel containment storage solutions.

PCI Africa and Permastore containment solutions provide rural communities in Africa with crucial water access

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO)¹, in 2020 5.8 billion people used “safely managed drinking-water services” – that is, they used improved water sources located on premises, available when needed, and free from contamination. 2 billion however still live with no safely managed service. This was the case for two villages in Africa – one located in Gumare, Botswana and the other located in Otuocha, Nigeria.


PCI Africa Image 1
Photo Credit: PCI Africa

With no viable access to existing municipal drinking water infrastructure a local, durable tank containment solution was required to collect, treat and store much needed water for these two village areas. The funding for each project was obtained, in Gumare’s case, from the Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) and for Otuocha from the European Development Fund (EDF). Both funders demanded a low cost, low maintenance and optimal solution from PCI Africa, Permastore’s supplier of tanks in the region.


PCI Africa work with municipal and public sector clients to provide permanent water treatment plant facilities in English-speaking regions of Africa. Both Gumare and Otuocha were very rural and economically challenged villages in desperate need of sustainable, reliable and ‘on the spot’ access to a clean water supply.

Botswana’s water sources consist primarily of surface water, rivers, river-pans and eight dams of various sizes, plus aquifers. All of Botswana’s perennial rivers are shared with neighbouring countries and flow across a very flat topography. It is this combination of features that result in Botswana having the lowest water storage capacities in this part of Africa.

Gumare Village
Despite being located near to the Okavango River in the north-west region of Botswana, Gumare’s villagers were unable to drink the river water due to high levels of organic content and odour. Appointed by the WUC, a government-owned corporation that provides water and waste management service in Botswana, PCI Africa’s role was to act as the specialist water sub-contractor, working with the main civil contractor. PCI Africa’s brief was to install and commission the plant to treat water pumped from the Okavango River. In addition to Gumare, the plant was also designed to provide clean water to five further villages, including Tubu, Etsha 1, Etsha 6, Xurube and Xanxana.

Despite having abundant water resources in nearly every part of the country, a large proportion of Nigerians still struggle to gain access to clean drinking water. It was calculated that only 19% of Nigeria’s population had access to potable water. This appears to be due to a lack of investment in water infrastructure outside the wealthier conurbations, with there being a wide disparity between the wealthy and the poor in cities and villages in Nigeria.

Otuocha Village
Located in the Anambra State of east central Nigeria, Otuocha’s water infrastructure project was funded by EDF, who focus on providing aid to African, Caribbean and Pacific countries. PCI Africa acted as the main treatment plant contractor for the scheme, but also partnered with local civil contractors who install the distribution network to Otuocha villagers and surrounding areas, none of which were previously served by drinkable, piped water. The initial phase of this project involved scoping out springs and rivers to find a way of treating and then distributing drinking water to this large community.

The Common Challenges For Both Villages
Adhering to WHO guidelines: The installation and design of the water treatment plant had to meet stringent guidelines set out by WHO, to protect public health.

Longevity: Storage tanks represent a substantial and therefore critical part of the water plant. The tank technology chosen needed to be durable and long-lasting to provide the respective rural communities with a safe, reliable water supply.

Affordability: Given that the projects were for public sector clients, long-term affordability was front of mind. A high-performing, functional tank solution was required to deliver a safe reliable water supply that was also exceptionally low maintenance.

Site Construction: The two water treatment solutions needed to fit within the tight site constraints allocated to both plants.

For both projects, PCI Africa recommended a ‘package solution’ with a view to keeping down costs and reducing build time. The ‘packages’ installed were specifically designed to accommodate Permastore’s tanks, whose durable technology offered rapid installation combined with quality. The complete treatment plants for both villages were almost identical except for the differences in plant throughput capacities (Gumare being 130m3/hr and Otuocha: 400m3/hr).
Both packages included:

• 2 clarification tanks
• 2 sand filtration tanks
• 1 wash water holding tank
• 1 potable water distribution holding tank

Tank Coating
Permastore’s epoxy coating technology was chosen for the tanks as it is a good affordable solution for conventional water treatment. This option provides a durable external protection against the African sun with the internal coating being compliant with strict drinking water regulations.

Tank Technology
Delivered on site in the form of a modular kit, the PERMASTORE® tanks for both projects were transported quickly and easily to their respective village locations which reduced project times and costs. The modular style of PERMASTORE® tanks make them quick to install which is another factor that helped keep the project costs down.

David Knight, Sales Engineer at PCI Africa, says: “In a permanent water treatment plant, one of the main objectives is that it needs to last for many years. Permastore’s Epoxy coated containment solutions have good tank durability and it is for this reason our water plants are specifically designed around Permastore’s tank diameters plus other parameters.”

Knight continues: “Using Permastore’s epoxy coating and modular build technology enables commercial savings to be made in areas such as build-time and cost. More importantly for the customer the technology requires little maintenance throughout the operational life of each tank. The tank solutions will contribute to each water plant’s long-term viability – ensuring that the two villages will have consistent access to clean drinking water for many more years to come.”


Photo Credit: PCI Africa
Photo Credit: PCI Africa


1 World Health Organisation, Drinking-water 21 March 2022.