The overhead staged water tanks are susceptible for high lateral forces during earthquakes. Due to which, the failure of beam-columns joints, framing elements and toppling of tanks arise. To avoid such failures, they are analyzed and designed for lateral forced induced by devastating earthquakes assuming the base of the structures are fixed and considering functional needs, response reduction, soil types and severity of ground shaking. In this paper, the flexible base was provided as spring stiffness in order to consider the effect of soil properties on the seismic behaviour of water tanks. A linear time history earthquake analysis was performed using SAP2000. Parametric studies have been carried out based on various types of soils such as soft, medium and hard. The soil stiffness values highly influence the time period and base shear of the structure. The ratios of time period of flexible to fixed base and base shear of flexible to fixed base were observed against capacities of water tank and the overall height of the system. The both responses are found to be increased as the flexibility of soil medium decreases. © Published under licence by IOP Publishing Ltd.