There aren’t many consolations to a rainy day– cosy sofa time, soothing sounds of water on the roof, and maybe a rainbow or a puddle-splash afterwards. But you can add one more by installing a water tank to capture a portion of that downpour: it will reduce your environmental footprint by lessening your demand on mains water and the quantity of stormwater runoff into rivers and oceans, and can also trim your water bill in the long run.
Rainwater tanks are no longer just huge, round and bad-looking; they can be found in all sizes and shapes that can make efficient use of modest or tricky urban spaces.
Water for outdoor or indoor usage?
Easily the most important issue to consider before you buy and install a rainwater tank is how you want to use the water.
Employing the grey water tank outdoors– for watering the garden and washing the car, for example– is the fastest way to start, as you possibly just need the supplier to install the water tank, as opposed to a licensed plumber. And it will instantly cut your consumption of mains water.
Save even 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 rainwater tank to your mains supply.
What size rainwater tank do I require?
The storage capacity you choose will rely on the size and shape 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, but 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 perfect for you, sellers often provide calculators on their web sites, or your water authority may have the opportunity to help.
What else do I need to understand before buying a rain water tank?
Water tanks typically are available in the following materials:
Metal tanks are created 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 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 a conern, they are a good option for people living near the sea. Other synthetic materials, such as PVC and geotextile, are utilized 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 created to withstand extreme temperatures. They’re not the cheapest option, and more suitable for above-ground installation, while all other styles can also be installed below ground.
Concrete tanks, often used for agricultural and industrial reasons, won’t rust, burn, melt or blow away. They might be bought ready-made, or custom made onsite.
Ask your local area council and water supplier which rules and regulations apply in your area. You may need to forward a development or building application, and there may be regulations 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 restoring or building, as opposed to retrofitting, you may have to incorporate energy and water-efficient elements in your plans to fulfill new legislative requirements.
When getting quotes, ask 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 utilize gravity for water pressure); and a stand (unless you wish to put it on the ground or below it, in 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 water supply, look into the cost of a licensed plumber, and costs for any additional work that needs to be done to your roof and/or guttering.
Can you access a water tank rebate?
Check with 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 water 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 on the size, material, finish and strength of the tank.