What does a water tank do?
Used correctly, rainwater tanks are an effective way to take the pressure off our limited water resources, and at the same time, help manage stormwater run-off. By storing rainwater run-off from your roof, rainwater tanks can provide a valuable water source for flushing toilets, in washing machines, watering gardens and washing cars.
Using rainwater appropriately
(and in conjunction with water efficient devices like dual flush toilets, showerheads with at least a AAA-rating, taps, tap aerators, trigger nozzles and tap timers)
can save you money on water bills and help the environment by:
- conserving our valuable drinking water and reducing the demand on our water supply (conserving water also reduces the chemical and energy requirements for treating and transporting water to your home via the mains supply)
- reducing the amount of stormwater leaving your property by minimising flooding (using your rainwater for day-to-day purposes like toilet flushing helps create space in your tank for more water the next time it rains).
While the NSW Department of Health doesn't advise using rainwater for drinking when there's an alternative mains water supply available, we could save millions of litres a year by using rainwater for toilets, in washing machines, and garden and outdoor use.
Getting the most out of your rainwater tank (as a cost and environment investment)
There are key things to remember if you are using your tank for water conservation and stormwater management.
- Tank capacity – generally the larger the tank, the more rainwater can be captured for use during dry periods. However, bigger is not always better. A minimum tank size of tank is dependant on numerous factors including block size, roof collection area, # of bedrooms/occupants of house, uses e.g w.c, laundry and irrigation or combinations of, local rainfall data etc. Refer to www.basix.nsw.gov.au the BASIX website to enter the details about the property where the tank is being used, this is designed to give you a scientifically calculated minimum requirement.
- Water use - its best to use the water in the tank on a regular (daily) basis so there is always storage capacity available in the tank when it rains. By using the tank this way you will maximise the amount of water and money you save and reduce the amount of run-off from your roof to the stormwater system, thus reducing the amount of damage to local creeks which naturally are not big enough to cope with the extra runoff created by new developments.
- Rainwater from your tank is fine for use with garden irrigation systems. However, if you plan to connect your rainwater tank to an irrigation system, you should ensure that you have a filter on your tank. Algae or debris can sometimes be present in rainwater tanks, and a filter will stop blockages occurring in your irrigation sprays. Most irrigation systems come with filters to prevent this occurring.
Connecting your tank to your toilet cistern or your washing machine is a good way to maximise the use of your captured rainwater because unlike garden watering, you will even be using your tank water when it is raining.
- To supply these appliances from your tank you will need to maintain a minimum operating water level in the tank when there is insufficient rainfall. This will require a "top-up" connection from the Mains Water supply (just like a toilet cistern) or and automatic mains water diversion device and therefore some plumbing alterations to your home.
Action Tanks Products & Services