There aren’t many consolations to a rainy day– cosy couch time, soothing sounds of drops on the roof, and maybe a rainbow or a puddle-splash afterwards. But you can add yet another by placing a water tank to capture a bit of that downpour: it’ll reduce your environmental footprint by lessening your demand on mains water and the volume of stormwater runoff into rivers and oceans, and can also reduce your water bill in the long run.
Rainwater tanks are no more just huge, round and uninviting; they can be found in all sizes and shapes that can make efficient use of tiny or tricky urban spaces.
Water for outdoor or indoor application?
The absolute most important issue to consider before you get and install a water tank is how you want to use the water.
Making use of the water outdoors– for watering the garden and washing the car, for instance– is the most convenient way to start, as you possibly just need the supplier to set up the rainwater tank, instead of a licensed plumber. And it will immediately cut your utilization of mains water.
Save much 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 rain water tank do I require?
The storage capacity you choose will depend on the shapes and size of your household and garden. Round, squat tanks fit very well 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 region will also have to be considered. To help determine the size and shape that’s suitable for you, sellers often provide calculators on their internet sites, or your water authority may have the ability to help.
What else do I need to understand before purchasing a rainwater tank?
Rainwater tanks commonly come in the following materials:
Metal tanks are produced from corrugated or flat rolled metal, which can be galvanised or coated. They often include a plastic inner lining (Aquaplate) that will boost the life of the tank and safeguard the water quality.
Polyethylene (plastic) bushman tanks are well-known as they are comparatively cheap and durable. Because rust isn’t a conern, they are a great option for people living near the ocean. Other synthetic materials, such as PVC and geotextile, are applied 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 developed to withstand extreme temperatures. They’re not the cheapest possibility, 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 purposes, won’t rust, burn, melt or blow away. They may be bought ready-made, or customized onsite.
Ask your community council and water supplier which rules and regulations apply in your area. You may need to provide a development or building application, and there may be guidelines around drinking rainwater or mosquito breeding prevention, in addition to restrictions on the tank’s specific location, 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 need to incorporate energy and water-efficient features in your plans to abide by new legislative requirements.
When getting quotes, inquire if there are any additional 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 would like 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 would like to connect the tank to your mains water system, consider the cost of a licensed plumber, and expenses for any supplementary work that needs to be done to your roof and/or guttering.
Can you acquire a water tank rebate?
Consult your local water or government authority to see if you’re entitled to a cash rebate or bill reduction– the answer may hinge on the size of the 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.