There aren’t many consolations to a rainy day– cosy sofa time, soothing sounds of water on the roof, and possibly a rainbow or a puddle-splash afterwards. But you can add yet another by placing a water tank to capture a portion of that downpour: it’ll decrease 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 longer term.
Rainwater tanks are no more just huge, round and ugly; they come in all sizes and shapes that can make efficient use of small or tricky urban spaces.
Water for outdoor or indoor usage?
The absolute most important issue to consider before you acquire and install a rainwater tank is how you intend to use the water.
Applying the water outdoors– for watering the garden and washing the car, as an example– is the simplest way to start, as you probably just need the supplier to install the water tank, instead of a licensed plumber. And it will immediately cut your consumption of mains water.
Save a lot more by sending the water to your toilet, washing machine or hot water system, but you’ll need to have a licensed plumber to connect the water tank to your mains supply.
What size water tank do I need?
The volume you choose will depend on the shapes and size of your household and garden. Round, squat tanks fit adequately 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 area will also need to be considered. To help determine the size and shape that’s appropriate for you, sellers often provide calculators on their web sites, or your water authority may have the capacity to help.
What else do I need to recognize before investing in a rain water tank?
Rainwater tanks normally can be found in the following materials:
Metal tanks are produced from corrugated or flat rolled metal, which may be galvanised or coated. They often include a plastic inner lining (Aquaplate) that will boost the quality of life of the tank and protect the water quality.
Polyethylene (plastic) tanks are prominent as they are reasonably cheap and durable. Because rust isn’t a problem, they are a pretty good option for people living near the sea. Other synthetic materials, such as PVC and geotextile, are used for bladder storage. Bladders are useful for water container storage below a deck or floor; while their material is strong, it’s not intended for outdoor installation.
Fibreglass tanks are rust and chemical-resistant and designed to withstand extreme temps. They’re not the cheapest alternative, and preferable for above-ground installation, while all other styles can also be installed below ground.
Concrete tanks, often used for agricultural and industrial purposes, won’t rust, burn, melt or blow away. They may be bought ready-made, or customized onsite.
Ask your local area 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 policies around drinking rainwater or mosquito breeding prevention, together with 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 refurbishing or building, in lieu of retrofitting, you may have to incorporate energy and water-efficient elements in your plans to satisfy new legislative requirements.
When acquiring quotes, ask if there are any supplementary costs for delivery and installation; extra components (such as pipes, fittings and taps); alternative 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 want to put it on the ground or below it, through which case you’ll need to think about the cost of special ground prep or excavation).
If you intend to connect the tank to your mains water supply, think about the cost of a licensed plumber, and costs for any supplementary work that needs to get done to your roof and/or guttering.
Can you access a water tank rebate?
Contact your local water or government authority to see if you’re entitled to a cash grant 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, 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.