There aren’t many consolations to a rainy day– cosy couch time, soothing sounds of drops on the roof, and perhaps a rainbow or a puddle-splash afterwards. But you can add yet another by attaching a water tank to capture a portion of that downpour: it’ll reduce your environmental footprint by decreasing your demand on mains water and the volume of stormwater runoff into rivers and oceans, and can also reduce your water bill in the long-term.
Rainwater tanks are no longer just huge, round and ugly; they come in all sizes and shapes that can make efficient use of tiny or tricky urban spaces.
Water for outdoor or indoor use?
The absolute most important issue to consider before you buy and install a water tank is how you would like to use the water.
Employing the water outdoors– for watering the garden and washing the car, for instance– is the best way to start, as you possibly just need the supplier to install the water tank, as opposed to a licensed plumber. And it will promptly cut your usage of mains water.
Save a lot more by sending the water to your toilet, washing machine or water system, but you’ll need a licensed plumber to connect the rainwater tank to your mains supply.
What size tank do I really need?
The volume you choose will be dependent on the shapes and size of your household and garden. Round, squat tanks fit well under a deck, while slimline tanks are good for narrow spaces. An underfloor tank or bladder storage system is a good out-of-sight space saver, although is more expensive.
Your roof area and the annual rainfall in your location will also have to be considered. To help determine the size and shape that’s best for you, sellers often provide calculators on their internet sites, or your water authority may be able to help.
What else do I need to know before acquiring a water tank?
Rainwater tanks generally are available in the following materials:
Metal tanks are manufactured from corrugated or flat rolled metal, which may be galvanised or coated. They often come with a plastic inner lining (Aquaplate) that will boost the life of the tank and safeguard the water quality.
Polyethylene (plastic) tanks are popular as they are comparatively cheap and durable. Because rust isn’t a conern, they are a very good option for people living near the coast. Other synthetic materials, such as PVC and geotextile, are used for bladder storage. Bladders are useful for water storage below a deck or floor; while their material is tough, it’s not intended for outdoor installation.
Fibreglass tanks are rust and chemical-resistant and manufactured to withstand extreme heat levels. They’re not the cheapest solution, and more suitable for above-ground installation, while all other types can also be set up below ground.
Concrete tanks, more often used for agricultural and industrial purposes, won’t rust, burn, melt or blow away. They might be bought ready-made, or customized onsite.
Ask your regional council and water tank price supplier which rules and regulations are applicable in your local area. You may need to submit a development or building application, and there may be rules around drinking rainwater or mosquito breeding prevention, along with restrictions on the tank’s location, colour, height and labelling or noise regulations for a pump.
Are you renovating, building new or retrofitting?
If you are refurbishing or building, rather than retrofitting, you may have to incorporate energy and water-efficient features in your plans to satisfy new legislative requirements.
When securing quotes, ask if there are any additional costs for delivery and installation; extra products (such as pipes, fittings and taps); optional extras (such as a first-flush or backflow-prevention device); a pump (unless you can utilize gravity for water pressure); and a stand (unless you wish to put it on the ground or below it, through which case you’ll need to factor in the cost of special ground prep or excavation).
If you intend to connect the tank to your mains supply of water, look into the cost of a licensed plumber, and expenses for any additional work that needs to be done to your roof and/or guttering.
Can you obtain a water tank rebate?
Talk to your local water or government authority to see if you’re entitled to a cash discount or bill reduction– the answer may depend upon the size of the tank and whether it’s connected to a toilet and/or washing machine.
Rainwater tanks can vary from around $700 to $2000, starting from a small, freestanding model without pump or extras, to large, custom-built models. Costs vary depending on the size, material, finish and strength of the tank.