There aren’t many consolations to a rainy day– cosy lounge time, soothing sounds of water on the roof, and maybe 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’ll diminish your environmental footprint by decreasing your demand on mains water and the quantity of stormwater runoff into rivers and oceans, and can also reduce your water bill in the long run.
Rainwater tanks are no longer just huge, round and unsightly; they can be found in all shapes and sizes that can make efficient use of minimal or tricky urban spaces.
Water for outdoor or indoor use?
Using the water outdoors– for watering the garden and washing the car, for instance– is the most convenient way to start, as you most likely just need the supplier to install the tank, instead of a licensed plumber. And it will immediately cut your utilization of mains water.
What size water tank do I need?
The volume you choose will hinge on the shapes and size 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, however is more expensive.
Your roof area and the annual rainfall in your location will also need to be considered. To help determine the size and shape that’s appropriate for you, sellers often provide calculators on their websites, or your water authority may be able to help.
What else do I need to understand before acquiring a rain water tank?
Rainwater tanks generally come in the following materials:
Metal tanks are created from corrugated or flat rolled metal, which can be galvanised or coated. They often come with a plastic inner lining (Aquaplate) that will boost the quality of 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 an issue, they are a pretty good option for people living near the coast. Other synthetic materials, such as PVC and geotextile, are utilized 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 developed to withstand extreme temperatures. They’re not the cheapest option, and more suitable for above-ground installation, while all other kinds can also be installed below ground.
Concrete tanks, more often used for agricultural and industrial intentions, won’t rust, burn, melt or blow away. They can be bought ready-made, or customized onsite.
Ask your community council and water supplier which rules and regulations apply in your region. You may need to hand in a development or building application, and there may be regulations around drinking rainwater or mosquito breeding prevention, in addition to restrictions on the tank’s location, colour, height and labelling or noise regulations for a pump.
Are you remodeling, building new or retrofitting?
If you are restoring or building, instead of retrofitting, you may need to incorporate energy and water-efficient components in your plans to satisfy new legislative requirements.
When getting quotes, inquire if there are any further costs for delivery and installation; extra components (such as pipes, fittings and taps); optional extras (such as a first-flush or backflow-prevention device); a pump (unless you can make use of gravity for water pressure); and a stand (unless you would like to put it on the ground or below it, in which case you’ll need to consider the cost of special ground prep or excavation).
If you intend to connect the tank to your mains supply of water, think about the cost of a licensed plumber, and prices for any additional work that needs to get done to your roof and/or guttering.
Can you acquire a water tank rebate?
Get in touch with your local water or government authority to see if you’re entitled to a cash discount or bill reduction– the answer may hinge on the size of the rainwater tank and whether it’s connected to a toilet and/or washing machine.
Rainwater tanks can fluctuate from around $700 to $2000, starting from 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.