Water Bowser Guide

What is a water bowser?

A water bowser is a mobile water tank that can be towed by a vehicle or fastened to a vehicle's bed or body. They are used to transport and dispense water or other chemicals such as liquid fertiliser, milk or wine for various purposes. By fitting an appropriate pump, the bowser becomes a versatile piece of equipment for tasks including:

  • Plant watering
  • Pressure washing
  • Dust suppression and control
  • Firefighting and fire suppression
  • Drinking water
  • Livestock watering

Highway Tow Water Bowsers.

Highway tow bowsers are designed to be towed on public roads. They are typically 500L to 2700L capacity to meet the 3.5Ton towing limit for UK roads. Construction companies, municipalities, and other organisations often use highway tow bowsers when needing to transport large amounts of water over long distances.

Highway Water bowser

Site Tow Bowsers.

Site tow water bowsers are smaller and more manoeuvrable than highway tow bowsers. They are typically used on construction sites and other work areas where an ample water supply is needed, but no mains water supply is available. Site tow bowsers can also be used for plant watering and other applications. Site tow bowsers can also be larger, and generally, these large-capacity bowsers are used for agriculture, large road construction projects and quarries.

Site Tow Water Bowser

Skid Bowsers.

Skid bowsers are a type of mobile bowser that is mounted on a skid frame. This makes them easy to move around and set up. Skid bowsers are often used by landscapers, farmers, and other businesses that need a portable water supply. The skid frame can have forklift pockets for easy handling. The frame usually has a pump plate to mount a water pump or pressure washer.

All the above water bowsers can be equipped with pumps and ancillary equipment to enhance their functionality further. This includes the following common uses:

Skid Water Bowser

Plant Watering Bowsers.

Plant watering bowsers are explicitly designed for watering plants and irrigation. They typically have a low-pressure pump that allows for gentle watering. Plant watering bowsers are often used by municipalities, golf courses, plant nurseries and other organisations that need to water large areas of plants and trees.

Plant Watering Bowser

Pressure Washer Bowsers.

Pressure washer water bowsers are designed to power pressure washers. They typically have a high-pressure pump that can generate high-pressure water streams. Pressure washer bowsers are often used by construction companies, cleaning companies, and other businesses that need to clean surfaces with high-pressure water.

Pressure Washer Water Bowser

Dust Suppression Bowsers.

Dust suppression bowsers control and suppress dust on construction sites and other areas where dust can be problematic. They typically have a low-pressure pump that sprays water droplets into a fan pattern. The water droplets help to keep the dust particles damped down and on the ground, keeping the environment cleaner and particles out of the air.

Dust suppression water Bowser in action

Drinking Water Bowsers.

Drinking water bowsers are designed to connect to a temporary mains water supply. This allows them to provide drinking water, livestock water, and other applications that require a clean water supply. Drinking water bowsers are often used by construction companies, municipalities, and festival and event organisers that need a reliable source of clean water.

Choosing a Water Bowser.

When choosing a water bowser, there are several factors to consider, including the tank's size, the pump's capacity, the type of water supply, and the intended use. Ensuring the water bowser complies with all applicable safety regulations is also essential.

Water Bowser Safety.

Water bowsers can be dangerous if they are not used properly. It is essential to follow all safety precautions when using a water bowser and associated equipment, including:

  • Never overload the tank.
  • Always drain the water tank when the bowser is not going to be used for a period of time.
  • Drain the tank, any pumps and equipment If the weather forecast includes freezing conditions.
  • Make sure the pump is correctly rated for the work required.
  • Use the correct type of water supply. (Potable water for drinking)
  • Inspect the water bowser regularly for leaks or damage.
  • Follow all applicable safety regulations and the manufacturers' instructions.
  • Ensure the trailer chassis is maintained and checked periodically.
  • Check the safe towing weight limit of the vehicle used to tow the water bowser. Water weighs 1kg per litre plus the weight of the bowser unit. 


Water bowsers are a versatile and valuable tool for a variety of applications. You can get the most out of this useful piece of equipment by choosing the right water bowser and using it safely.