There aren’t many consolations to a rainy day– cosy couch time, soothing sounds of water on the roof, and possibly a rainbow or a puddle-splash afterwards. But you can add another by installing a water tank to capture a bit of that downpour: it will decrease your environmental footprint by minimizing 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 run.
Rainwater tanks are no more just huge, round and bad-looking; they come in all sizes and shapes that can make efficient use of tiny or tricky urban spaces.
Water for outdoor or indoor application?
The most important issue to consider before you get and install a water tank is how you would like to use the water.
Utilizing the water outdoors– for watering the garden and washing the car, for instance– is the simplest way to start, as you most likely just need the supplier to install the tank, as opposed to a licensed plumber. And it will instantly cut your utilization of mains water.
Save a lot more by sending the water to your toilet, washing machine or hot water system, but you’ll need a licensed plumber to connect the rainwater tank to your mains supply.
What size rain water tank do I require?
The capacity you choose will hinge on the size and shape of your household and garden. Round, squat tanks fit effectively 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 websites, or your water authority may have the opportunity to help.
What else do I need to understand before getting a rain water tank?
Rainwater tanks typically can be found in the following materials:
Metal tanks are made from corrugated or flat rolled metal, which may be galvanised or coated. They often incorporate a plastic inner lining (Aquaplate) that will enhance the quality of life of the tank and shield the water quality.
Polyethylene (plastic) bushman tanks are prominent as they are comparatively cheap and durable. Because rust isn’t a problem, they are a pretty good option for people living near the sea. Other synthetic materials, like PVC and geotextile, are applied for bladder storage. Bladders work for water storage below a deck or floor; while their material is durable, it’s not intended for outdoor installation.
Fibreglass tanks are rust and chemical-resistant and developed to withstand extreme temperature levels. They’re not the cheapest alternative, and preferable for above-ground installation, while all other types can also be installed below ground.
Concrete tanks, more often used for agricultural and industrial objectives, won’t rust, burn, melt or blow away. They can be bought ready-made, or customized onsite.
Ask your regional council and water supplier which rules and regulations apply in your local area. You may need to forward a development or building application, and there may be policies around drinking rainwater or mosquito breeding prevention, together with restrictions on the tank’s placement, colour, height and labelling or noise regulations for a pump.
Are you refurbishing, building new or retrofitting?
If you are renovating or building, rather than retrofitting, you may have to incorporate energy and water-efficient elements in your plans to obey new legislative requirements.
When obtaining quotes, inquire if there are any additional costs for delivery and installation; extra materials (such as pipes, fittings and taps); optional extras (such as a first-flush or backflow-prevention device); a pump (unless you can work with gravity for water pressure); and a stand (unless you would like to put it on the ground or below it, by which case you’ll need to factor in the cost of special ground prep or excavation).
If you would like to connect the tank to your mains supply of water, think about the cost of a licensed plumber, and expenses for any extra work that needs to be done to your roof and/or guttering.
Can you get a water tank rebate?
Consult your local water or government authority to see if you’re entitled to a cash rebate or bill reduction– the answer may depend upon the size of the water tank and whether it’s connected to a toilet and/or washing machine.
Rainwater tanks can vary from around $700 to $2000, beginning with a small, freestanding model without pump or extras, to large, custom-built models. Costs vary depending upon the size, material, finish and strength of the tank.