Rainwater is a free resource that, properly harnessed and handled, can help to drastically reduce your water bills and improve sustainability. Usually, homeowners interested in collecting rainwater use gutters and tanks, depending on their needs and abilities. Because lot sizes have become smaller, particularly in urban areas, many homeowners are turning to slimline tanks, which occupy little space while allowing you to benefit from collected water. This article discusses four tips to maximize your tank usage.
1. Choose the right size
The shape and size of your tank will depend on the space you have on your lot and what you want to use the water for. Razor slimline tanks are excellent for narrow spaces around the walls of your house, but there are round slimline tanks if you have a little more space. Underground storage is also possible, but this will be more expensive because of the work involved in excavation. In addition, the amount of rainfall received and roof area are factors to consider; bigger tanks are for bigger roofs or more rainfall.
2. Plan for usage
It is safe to use rainwater directly for non-potable needs like watering plants, doing laundry, cleaning the house and flushing. For kitchen use, however, you must install a filtration system which includes a UV treatment system to kill disease-causing germs in the water. These products are typically easily found from your tank provider.
In addition, before installing any type of tank, talk to your local council to find out if there are any regulations related to rainwater collection. In some places, you may have to submit a building/development application, and there may be rules related to tank location, height, labelling, colour, pump noise levels, water treatment and mosquito breeding prevention.
3. Plan for installation costs
The size and type of tank shouldn't be your only concern when purchasing your tank. Find out whether you'll be charged extra for delivery and how much installation will cost. You'll also be interested in additional material costs, such as pipes, gutters, taps, pumps and other fittings and extras like backflow prevention and first-flush devices. For underground tanks, find out how much excavation and landscaping will cost. If you want the tank connected to the mains supply as well, you'll need a licensed plumber's input, which costs extra.
4. Choose the right location
All tanks should be placed on flat, stable, reinforced surfaces such as concrete pads, specialised tank stands, earth rings and malthoid. Watch out for protrusions which can puncture the tank. Uneven surfaces can cause premature wearing, rutting, tearing and wrinkling.