The recent Australian drought familiarised many Australian homes to individual water tanks. Prior to the drought, water tanks were most commonly found on bush properties where drought conditions are an everyday factor.
Water tanks are intended to catch and hold rainwater when it rains onto your property. Depending on the size of the tank and the amount of rainfall, the tank may hold dozens or even hundreds or thousands of litres of water. This water can then be used to water the lawn, for internal use inside the home and more. When looking closer at the advantages in relation to the rain water tanks, you may decide that a water tank might be worth considering as an upgrade to make to your property.
So why should you install a water tank?
The benefits of installing a rainwater tank at your new home are many:
- Rainwater is free and can be stored for use in the garden or the home.
- Installing a tank and its required systems is relatively easy.
- During winter when there is an abundance of water, the tank can be diverted to assist in flushing toilets or in the laundry.
- Rainwater is filtered enough to use to wash the car or in the pool.
- Capturing rainwater reduces the pressure on stormwater systems.
- Water storage means reduced need for governments to construct new water dams.
The benefits of rainwater harvesting.
When you think of a water tank you need to think on the larger scale of the system itself; the tank, downpipes, guttering, occupants of the home and the roof. You should try to install as large a tank as your home can afford, as the more rain saved for a dry day the better. The main benefit is that the rainwater falls just where we need it. There is no need for transport, external pipelines or dams to pump it from an external source. When thinking about your interior design, there are also options for Government grants available in certain states for water tanks to be connected to toilets or laundry.
How much rainwater can I store?
The average home is suitable for close to a 3000-litre water tank. A loose equation is that every square metre of roof area collects 1 litre of water for every 1mm of rainfall.
As an example:
- An average house has a roof area of 160sqms.
- Each square metre of roof collects 1 litre of water per 1mm of rainfall.
- If you have 10mm of rainfall, the water collected by the tank is 800l.
Considering that an average tank is around the 2000l mark, that is almost a half full tank with one decent downpour.
How do I use it?
Almost a third of eligible households currently have a water tank. And that figure will only increase over time. Most slimline water tanks can have a diverter fitted so the tank water can be used to flush the toilets or run the washing machine. Imagine the savings made in a family household by not using town water every time the toilet flushes. And your garden will definitely thank you during those long summer months when you help it stay nice and green.
Do I need to clean the tank?
If the water tank is not cleaned on a regular basis, it can lead to impurities in the water which may consist of many harmful germs. Water can thus get infected with various kinds of diseases including dysentery, cholera, gastro and several others. If the tanks are left unclean, they can also get polluted easily over a period of time and may thus prove harmful for consumption and even for cleaning.
Can I hide the tank?
There are many colours available in modern tanks. Designer panels are available to aesthetically screen the tank along with plants that will create a green screen. New products on the market include water tanks in the shape of retaining walls to truly blend eco house design.
How do I save money with a tank?
There is an initial, up-front investment to install steel tanks, underground tanks and other models of tanks on your property. However, once they are installed, the tanks will continue to provide you with a financial return. The tanks can be installed so that a garden hose can have connected them. Every time you need to water the lawn, you can use water from your free storage supply of rain water stored in your water tank. The tanks can also be installed so that they supply water to your toilets, washing machine and other features in the home. The amount of money that you can save on your water bill with these tanks can be significant.
Investing in a tank that is capable of holding more litres of water may save you more money in the long-term. However, the size of the tank should also be determined by the climate of the location where it will be installed.