There is a range of water tanks available in Australia and in this drought prone country it’s wise to get a water tank installed, as part of your eco kit home.
Before buying a rainwater tank find out:
- how much rainfall you get on average in your location. To find out take a look at the Australian Rainfall Analysis Map
- how much water do you use at the moment (look at your water bill)
- how big is the space you have for a tank
It’s a good idea to purchase a tank that can hold at least four times the weekly amount of water that you use right now. The bigger the tank the better! Make sure there’s a plan for when the tank overflows.
The size of your roof determines how much water you’ll collect; 1 millimetre of rainfall results in 1 litre of water per square meter of roof.
A large water tank might need council approval.
Rainwater tanks materials
We have a choice of different materials such as:
- Stainless steel, the most popular rainwater tanks are made of stainless steel as they are:
- strong and durable
- non-flammable and won’t emit toxic fumes during a fire
- 100% recyclable
- available in many shapes, sizes and colours
- UV rays can’t get in which prevents algae growth
- Concrete, the heaviest material for your rain water tank which is:
- strong and suitable for underground installation
- can crack when reinforcing steel corrodes
- excess lime from the concrete can leak into the water, creating a high Ph. Ph is a measure of acidity/basicness in water with a range from 0 to 14. For water to be healthy it should have a Ph between 6 and 8
- costs a lot of energy to produce
- Fibreglass, the most expensive rainwater tanks are made of fibreglass which:
- can let light in, therefore algae growth is a risk
- cheaper quality can be prone to cracking as they are relatively thin and light
- suitable for underground installation
- Polyethylene, the cheapest material for water tanks which is:
- strong and light, easy to install
- made of oil therefore unsustainable
- will melt in a bush fire, emitting toxic fumes
- a health hazard when BPA is used. BPA stands for Bisphenol A, a chemical which can harm reproductive health in children and is linked to breast and prostate cancers