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 another by attaching a water tank to capture a bit of that downpour: it will diminish your environmental footprint by reducing your demand on mains water and the amount of stormwater runoff into rivers and oceans, and can also slash your water bill in the long-term.
Rainwater tanks are no more just huge, round and bad-looking; they are available in all shapes and sizes that can make efficient use of tiny or tricky urban spaces.
Water for outdoor or indoor application?
Easily the most important issue to consider before you get and install a water tank is how you would like to use the water.
Using the water outdoors– for watering the garden and washing the car, as an example– is the easiest way to start, as you most likely just need the supplier to set up the rainwater tank, rather than a licensed plumber. And it will immediately cut your utilization of mains water.
Save much more by sending the rain water to your toilet, washing machine or hot water system, but you’ll need to have a licensed plumber to connect the tank to your mains supply.
What size water tank do I require?
The storage capacity you choose will rely on the shapes and size of your household and garden. Round, squat tanks fit efficiently 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, however, is more expensive.
Your roof area and the annual rainfall in your area will also need to be considered. To help determine the size and shape that’s correct for you, sellers often provide calculators on their sites, or your water authority may be able to help.
What else do I need to recognize before investing in a rainwater tank?
Rainwater tanks usually can be found in the following materials:
Metal tanks are made from corrugated or flat rolled metal, which can be galvanised or coated. They often incorporate a plastic inner lining (Aquaplate) that will increase the quality of life of the tank and shield the water quality.
Polyethylene (plastic) tanks are well-known as they are comparatively cheap and durable. Because rust isn’t an issue, they are a pretty good option for people living near the coast. Other synthetic materials, like PVC and geotextile, are used for bladder storage. Bladders work 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 developed to withstand extreme temperature levels. They’re not the cheapest choice, and better for above-ground installation, while all other kinds can also be set up below ground.
Concrete tanks, more often used for agricultural and industrial reasons, won’t rust, burn, melt or blow away. They can be bought ready-made, or custom made onsite.
Ask your local council and water supplier which rules and regulations are applicable in your region. You may need to hand in a development or building application, and there may be rules around drinking rainwater or mosquito breeding prevention, as well as 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 restoring or building, in lieu of retrofitting, you may have to incorporate energy and water-efficient attributes in your plans to obey new legislative requirements.
When acquiring quotes, inquire if there are any supplementary 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 use gravity for water pressure); and a stand (unless you intend 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 water supply, look into the cost of a licensed plumber, and charges for any additional work that needs to be done to your roof and/or guttering.
Can you Get More a water tank rebate?
Contact your local water or government authority to see if you’re entitled to a cash rebate or bill reduction– the answer may rely on the size of the tank and whether it’s connected to a toilet and/or washing machine.
Rainwater tanks can fluctuate from around $700 to $2000, beginning with 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.