You have probably already noticed the changes in our climate over the years, longer, hotter and drier summers, with our rainfall patterns constantly changing. You know your water bills are increasing as the price of water continues to rise, you may even live in an area where water restrictions are in place. If so, it may be time for you to consider having a water tank installed. The average home could easily collect up to 100,000 litres of water from their roof each year – imagine how much this could help you save on those rising water bills?
Installing a rainwater tank – regardless of its size is just a small step you can take to becoming a little less reliant on the water connected to your home. Of course, the larger the tank, the more water you can collect and use. You can have your rainwater connected to flush the toilets, provide water to the laundry, or just use if for the garden and washing the car. You would need to speak to your local rain water tank specialist to find the tank and tank size that’s right for your needs.
What are the benefits of having a rainwater tank?
Collecting rainwater is not only good for the environment, it’s also great for you!
- You can use the rainwater to flush toilets or to wash clothes
- You can use your rainwater to water your garden, or keep your lawn nice and green
- With proper filtration, rainwater is a great source of drinking water
- Saves you money on your water bills, especially during summer
- You can water your garden with water that doesn’t have salts or other substances in it
- Reduces your use of water from the mains, helping keep the dams that little bit fuller
Types of Rainwater tanks
Rainwater tanks today are made from a range of materials and the most popular backyard tank is either made from polyethylene or from steel. Poly tanks come in a range of colours and are UV stabilised. If there is space under a house or veranda there is a bladder tank option, for their size they are more expensive than poly or metal but they are perfect if you have a yard where there is very little room for a regular tank. More and more homeowners are *burying* their water tanks below ground as they build bigger homes on smaller blocks. Below-ground tanks can also be buried under decking as long as there is ample room to service or clean out the tank if required.
Connections to the house
Most people want to use their rainwater tanks for drinking, washing clothes or flushing the toilet, so the rainwater is pumped into the house, although gravity can also be used to direct the rain flow back into the house. Alternatively, a pressure-tank pump, pressure-switch pump or submersible pump is used to supply the rainwater to the house as required. When the toilet flushes or the tap turns on the pump is activated sending water to the kitchen sink, washing machine or toilet cistern.
If you run out of rainwater?
If you only have a small tank installed (less than 20,000L) the chances are good you will run out of water during the summer. This all depends on what the rainwater is being used for – providing full laundry, toilet and kitchen service the water will deplete quickly. How quickly depends on the rainfall where you live and how much water you can collect when it does rain.
You should also consider
Most rainwater tanks come with a basket (leaf) filter, a tap and an overflow pipe. There are several other extras you could also add to your tank.
- First Flush Device – This enables the first rain to be directed away from the tank. This is the water that may have dirt and dust and other decaying matter in it, so it’s best not to be collected in the chance it pollutes the tank
- Vermin Proofing – This is needed for steel tanks to prevent small rodents, frogs and insects from finding their way into your tank
- Garden Overflow – either a trench or gravity fed dripper system that directs overflow to garden beds or other areas
- Leaf eater – a simple screen that filters the rainwater and prevents leaves from entering the system
What are the costs involved?
Rainwater tanks are relatively cheap. If you want to pump water to flush toilets etc. then a pump and irrigation filter is needed and installation would be an added expense. Adding options such as a leaf eater, first flush or overflow is highly recommended