There aren’t many consolations to a rainy day– cosy couch time, soothing sounds of water on the roof, and perhaps a rainbow or a puddle-splash afterwards. But you can add another by building a water tank to capture a bit of that downpour: it’ll decrease your environmental footprint by decreasing your demand on mains water and the amount of stormwater runoff into rivers and oceans, and can also trim your water bill in the long term.
Rainwater tanks are no more just huge, round and hideous; they are available in all shapes and sizes that can make efficient use of small or tricky urban spaces.
Water for outdoor or indoor use?
The absolute most important issue to consider before you purchase and install a rainwater tank is how you wish to use the water.
Applying the water outdoors– for watering the garden and washing the car, as an example– is the fastest way to start, as you most likely just need the supplier to set up the water tank, instead of a licensed plumber. And it will immediately cut your usage of mains water.
Save lots more by sending the water to your toilet, washing machine or hot water system, but you’ll need a licensed plumber to connect the rainwater tank to your mains supply.
What size rain water tank do I need to have?
The capacity you choose will hinge on the shapes and size of your household and garden. Round, squat tanks fit adequately under a deck, while slimline tanks agree with 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 region will also need to be considered. To help determine the size and shape that’s suitable 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 getting a rain water tank?
Water tanks usually can be found in the following materials:
Metal tanks are manufactured from corrugated or flat rolled metal, which can be galvanised or coated. They often include a plastic inner lining (Aquaplate) that will increase the quality of life of the tank and protect the water quality.
Polyethylene (plastic) tanks are well-liked as they are fairly 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 work for water 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 created to withstand extreme temperatures. They’re not the cheapest option, and more suitable for above-ground installation, while all other kinds can also be set up below ground.
Concrete tanks, more often used for agricultural and industrial applications, 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 are applicable in your local area. You may need to provide a development or building application, and there may be regulations around drinking rainwater or mosquito breeding prevention, along with restrictions on the tank’s location, colour, height and labelling or noise regulations for a pump.
Are you refurbishing, building new or retrofitting?
If you are renovating or building, rather than retrofitting, you may need to incorporate energy and water-efficient functions in your plans to adhere to new legislative requirements.
When getting quotes, ask if there are any further 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 make use of 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 look into the cost of special ground prep or excavation).
If you want to connect the tank to your mains supply of water, consider 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 get a water tanks perth tank rebate?
Talk to 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 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.