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 another by placing a water tank to capture a bit of that downpour: it will reduce your environmental footprint by decreasing your demand on mains water and the quantity of stormwater runoff into rivers and oceans, and can also cut your water bill in the long-term.
Rainwater tanks are no more just huge, round and unsightly; they are available in all shapes and sizes that can make efficient use of small or tricky urban spaces.
Water for outdoor or indoor application?
Easily the most important issue to consider before you purchase and install a rainwater tank is how you want to use the water.
Utilizing the water outdoors– for watering the garden and washing the car, as an example– is the most convenient way to start, as you probably just need the supplier to install the tank, as opposed to a licensed plumber. And it will immediately cut your consumption of mains water.
Save lots more by sending the water to your toilet, washing machine or 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 really need?
The capacity you choose will depend 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, 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 suitable for you, sellers often provide calculators on their online sites, or your water authority may be able to help.
What else do I need to understand before buying a rain water tank?
Rain water tanks normally can be found in the following materials:
Metal tanks are made from corrugated or flat rolled metal, which might be galvanised or coated. They often incorporate a plastic water tanks inner lining (Aquaplate) that will increase the quality of life of the tank and safeguard the water quality.
Polyethylene (plastic) tanks are well-liked as they are relatively cheap and durable. Because rust isn’t a problem, they are a great option for people living near the ocean. 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 temperature levels. They’re not the cheapest possibility, and better for above-ground installation, while all other styles can also be installed below ground.
Concrete tanks, more frequently 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 local council and water supplier which rules and regulations apply in your region. You may need to submit 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 location, colour, height and labelling or noise regulations for a pump.
Are you remodeling, building new or retrofitting?
If you are refurbishing or building, instead of retrofitting, you may have to incorporate energy and water-efficient attributes in your plans to fulfill new legislative requirements.
When obtaining quotes, ask if there are any supplementary costs for delivery and installation; extra products (such as pipes, fittings and taps); alternative extras (such as a first-flush or backflow-prevention device); a pump (unless you can employ gravity for water pressure); and a stand (unless you want 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 wish to connect the tank to your mains supply of water, factor in the cost of a licensed plumber, and charges for any supplementary work that needs to be done to your roof and/or guttering.
Can you acquire 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 depend upon the size of the rain water tank and whether it’s connected to a toilet and/or washing machine.
Rainwater tanks can range 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.