Rainwater Tanks for Urban Residential Properties
People’s attitudes towards harvesting rainwater and the use of rainwater tanks has changed dramatically over the last few years. Australia’s crazy climate and weather conditions (from drought, to torrential storms and flooding), pressure on mains water supplies and infrastructure, and an increase in the awareness of sustainable living practices has seen the popularity of rainwater tanks in urban/suburban areas soar.
Here’s everything you need to know about installing a rainwater tank at your residential property…
How do rainwater tanks work & why should I care?
Rainwater tanks store water collected from a building’s roof. This ‘harvested’ water can be used to reduce mains water usage in urban areas, by supplying water to some (if not all) household needs. This helps minimise dependence on mains water supplies, saves us money on water bills and helps us safeguard this precious resource. Environmentally, harvesting rainwater helps reduce the damage to our creeks, rivers and oceans caused by heavy storm water runoff. Therefore, using rainwater tanks is an excellent way to live a sustainable lifestyle, and have a positive impact on your wallet, home and the local environment!
Who can have a tank?
As a residential homeowner, you can make the choice to integrate a rainwater tank at your property, but each local council and water authority have their own regulations you need to abide by. A development or building application may be required, and there may be rules around your tank’s height, colour and location. There are also rules around drinking rainwater, backflow and mosquito breeding prevention that you must adhere to.
Where do I put my tank?
The location of your rainwater tank is key as it determines its size, shape, material and colour; especially if you want it to seamlessly blend in with its natural surroundings and not be an eyesore on your property!
In most cases, positioning your tank above ground alongside your dwelling is the best solution, and makes the most sense! On urban/suburban properties you can position tanks along the fence, under a deck, tucked against the house, in the back yard or even use it as a retaining wall. Overall, the best place for a rainwater tank is a shady spot, to keep water temperature cool, reduce evaporation and slow down deterioration.
Orion’s Slimline Rainwater Tanks are a perfect solution for urban homes, where space is often limited. With a range of colours and sizes to suit heritage, traditional, contemporary, and ultra-modern residential homes, you're sure to find a rainwater tank that fits your look and space!
If you’re really limited on space or simply prefer to store your rainwater out of sight, Orion also have a range of Underground Water Storage Tanks perfect for inner-city properties. These strong, moulded, polymer tanks are manufactured from food grade polyethylene to ensure that water can be used for drinking if desired!
What size tank do I get?
Factors such as the space you have available on your property, the position you choose for the tank, your region’s amount of rainfall and your planned water usage all affect what size rainwater tank you choose.
The key things to consider are:
- The space you have (size and layout of your home/garden)
- The location of your tank
- Local rainfall patterns (amount of rain in your area)
- Size of your roof (the area of roof draining to the tank)
- Uses to be supplied (e.g., toilet, washing machine, drinking water)
- Expected usage of tank water (areas/appliances to be supplied and average amount of water consumed by these).
Orion’s Water Catchment Calculator can help you find out how much rainwater you can store, to help you find the right size tank for your home!
What type of tank do I choose?
Rainwater tanks come in various materials, colours, shapes and sizes. All of these aspects affect the tank’s price! Two popular options are Steel Tanks and Poly Tanks.
- Steel Tanks: Orion’s Galvanised Steel Rainwater Tanks are extremely strong, durable and lined internally using ‘potable’ water compliant sealant – meaning they can be used for drinking water! These tanks are available in many sizes, in a large range of colours to suit any environment.
- Poly Water Tanks: Orion’s Poly Water Tanks are light-weight, easy to install and come in a variety of shapes, colours and sizes. Manufactured from food grade UV stabilised polyethylene, these tanks are tough and able to withstand the harsh Australian sun. They also don’t rust or corrode!
When choosing a tank, remember to assess the durability of each tank’s material in regard to your property’s location and surrounding environment (e.g. inland vs. coastal regions).
Once you’ve decided on a rainwater tank and reviewed your local council’s requirements and regulations, take time to factor in other potential costs, such as: pumps, site preparation, delivery, pipework, fittings, taps, flush devices, installation, and backflow prevention (if connecting to mains water supply).