May 27

The Newest Advancement in Onsite Detention

By Les Green

May 27, 2019

Rarely does the fast-paced nature of the construction industry allow much scope for genuine innovation - a fact that makes Australian Tanks’ newest advancement in on-site detention all the more exciting.

“The Parthenon” Detention System surpasses all expectations of traditional onsite detention (OSD), providing a solution that maximises the utility of available land through the underground detention and controlled discharge of stormwater runoff.

The brainchild of Australian Tanks’ Engineer Michael Spiller, The Parthenon’s unrivalled versatility across various volumes, depths, cost efficiencies and footprint layouts make it an enviable prospect for large-scale operations from 150,000 to 8 Million litres.


Michael’s years of engineering experience and wealth of industry knowledge have led him to design The Parthenon System as a means to efficiently and cost-effectively solve the problems commonly found among traditional, built onsite systems.

Everything about The Parthenon has been engineered to maximise installation and cost efficiencies, while minimising adverse impacts onsite relating to costs, infrastructure, work place health & safety and site down-times due to weather and other external factors.


As a fully certified precast design, The Parthenon offers the many unique benefits associated with off-site manufacture in a controlled environment, negating the time, cost and safety related risks associated with ‘block and slab’ construction.

“During tendering stage, we considered a plastic cell type system and a built onsite option. The Parthenon Detention Tank system was utilised and was a superior system for this site – being able to accommodate the stringent hydraulic design objectives and being more cost effective than our budgeted in-situ construction”.

Hayden Collinge, Project Engineer, Shadforth Civil

In comparison to its built onsite counterparts, The Parthenon System turns potential weeks and months of labour into a matter of days for installation; slashing real comparable costs in the process.

From a design perspective, The Parthenon’s carefully-engineered modular design is based on millennia-old engineering principles, utilising structural platforms and columns for assured quality and durability.

This ageless architectural design combined with the superior quality of precast manufacturing provides an extremely efficient and eminently high-load capable void space for significant OSD storage volume.


Accordingly, the system meets all relevant Australian standards, as well as up to SM1600 Heavy Vehicle Impact loadings. This ensures that the land space saved by The Parthenon is fully accessible and marketable for the likes of vehicle parking or future tenancies.

With OSD increasingly advancing towards precast solutions, site and project managers are finding cost and time efficiencies across multiple avenues – in particular the ATQ Parthenon system can bear traffic and infrastructure weight immediately after being backfilled and covered, and its rapid installation further ensures the surrounding site is never held up by the extended excavation times needed for the older and labour intensive ‘built onsite’ style of OSD options.

“Our track record of satisfied clients and successfully executed installations speak volumes of the relevance this product has in the industry now, and certainly into the future as the industry further matures”.

Michael Spiller, ATO Product Engineer

The Parthenon’s single chamber design also removes the need for complicated systems of parallel chambers, which typically cause headaches for ongoing maintenance and access.

In doing so, the system provides a safer and more flexible solution with minimal internal obstructions and tripping hazards, reducing safety-related risks and making inspections much more manageable.

The utter flexibility of the design is enhanced by the fact that multiple units of The Parthenon modules can be manoeuvred to fit specific project constraints or facilitate sites with shallow excavation requirements.


The typical internal height range for The Parthenon System is 500mm to 3000mm. The size of each component is designed to maximize freight and installation efficiencies.

As is the case with all Australian Tanks products, The Parthenon system utilises extremely durable 50mpa strength concrete and is rated a B2 exposure classification in accordance with Australian Standards AS3735.

Overall, like its namesake in Ancient Greece, The Parthenon is sure to last the test of time: a modern example of ingenuity and durability that provides a cost, time and safety efficient solution to on site detention and land maximisation.

Contact our Sales and Engineering Team to discuss The Parthenon solution today!

Project: Gawthern Drive’, Pimpama QLD
Solution: On Site Detention – 436kL
Specifications: 1600mm internal height, 33 individual modules, 18.3m X 17.1m footprint

Design – The tank required a unique configuration for high-level weir structure for inlet from bio-retention basin and a similar arrangement for low and high level discharge from the tank itself. The manufacturing process for the tank meant that the intricate and specific needs of the structure were accomplished in a simple and effective manner, compared to having to account for the penetrations onsite.

Installation – The site underwent significant bulk earthworks activity during the weeks before and after the installation. Being able to reduce the installation time / time in which the area of the tank was inaccessible to heavy machinery was of critical benefit to the project timeframe. We were able to inspect, deliver, install and complete the tank within a 2 day window, thereby minimising the impact the OSD tank component had on progress elsewhere onsite.

Parthenon carries all the benefits our customers expect from the ATQ range, with added design flexibility - The design flexibility for myriad footprint layouts and configurations is possibly more valuable than purely ‘larger systems’ which itself is implied with the Parthenon system.

Les Green

About the author

Absolute desire, passion and ambition drives Les to continue to build Australian Tanks into a leading water and waste water solutions brand. Much of the product development, innovation and vision for the company originates from Les.

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