Installing a rainwater tank, no matter what size, is a small step that you could take to become self-reliant. Generally, the larger the tank the more water you can collect and use. If you wanted to use rainwater to flush toilets and provide water to the laundry, then you would probably need at least a 9,000 L tank. It is not uncommon to install 30,000 to 50,000 L tanks for this purpose.
What are the benefits of rainwater tanks?
- Making fresh water available to flush toilets or to provide a laundry source.
- Using rainwater for drinking purposes.
- Supplementing the watering of garden areas.
- Reducing our use of mains (scheme) water - a very valuable, limited resource.
- Saving some money – buying less water from a service provider.
- Providing a water source which has reduced levels of salts and other substances.
Types of tanks
Connections to the house
What happens when I run out of rainwater?
Water Installations installs rainwater tanks that integrate the mains (scheme) water source with the rainwater source. Ross Mars, Managing Director of Water Installations, explains that an automatic top-up device enables mains water to enter the system when the rainwater is depleted. “There are several ways to achieve this, from manually changing valves to fully automated switching devices. It is important to always have water to flush toilets and to provide a source to the laundry” he said.
What you should also consider
First-flush device. This enables the first rains to be directed away from the tank. This water may contain dust and decayed matter, and it is best not to collect this and pollute the tank water.
- Vermin proofing. This is often necessary for steel and steel-liner tanks to prevent insects, frogs and small rodents from finding their way into the tank.
- Garden overflow. Either a subsurface piped trench or a simple gravity-fed dripper system is installed to direct overflow more effectively to garden areas or beds.
- Leaf eater. This is a screen which filters rainwater and allows leaves to be shed from the system.