Rainwater Tank Benefits
Did you know that 1 in 4 Australian houses have rainwater tanks installed? In recent years, harvesting rainwater has surged in keeping with households’ conscious efforts to do their part for the environment. The increased adoption is unsurprising given its benefits - reducing water bill costs, lessening flooding, and mitigating water pollution.
How does a rainwater tank work?
A rainwater tank collects rainwater from a catchment area (usually the roof) which flows through the pipes and into the tank. This will funnel into internally connected fixtures, supplying water to parts of the house (or the entire house for some). Once full, the excess water flows into the stormwater drainage system.
What are the benefits?
1. Reduced water bill costs
Having a rainwater tank reduces a reliance on the mains water to supply the household’s water needs. You can very easily lower your water bill costs - especially if you can use it for the most water-consuming tasks. Depending on how much rainwater your roof can capture and tank can store, you can get the best value for money if you use harvested rainwater for flushing toilets, doing your laundry, and gardening.
2. Great for the environment
Harvesting rainwater tanks lessen the strain on waterways which reduces the likelihood of local flooding. This decreased amount of heavy stormwater runoff translates to less damage and pollution to bodies of water.
More people adopting a rainwater tank system also means that less water needs to be taken from reservoirs or dams - extending the general population’s access in dry seasons.
Depending on your state, you may be eligible for a rainwater tank rebate. In South East Queensland, households may be eligible for a $1000 rebate for rainwater tanks, pumps and diverters, and installation. Households that have 3000+ litre tank storage that is internally plumbed to a laundry cold water tap or toilet suite may qualify for a rebate of up to $1500.
How big of a tank do you need?
There are a few factors to consider for tank size: the climate in your area (average rainfall), general usage, roof size, and space/location restrictions.
The general formula to gauge the size of your tank is multiplying the area of your roof by the average rainfall in your area. This then represents the maximum amount of water you can expect to capture.
Amount of water captured = area of your roof x average rainfall in your area
You would also need to calculate how much water your household uses daily to find out how much of your usage can be covered by your captured water. Remember, tanks don’t have to necessarily be bigger, especially if you live in an area with frequent rainfall!
How do you install a rainwater tank?
Some local councils require approval to install a rainwater tank, especially if you plan to use it as your main water supply. Once approved, you would need to hire a licensed plumber to install your rainwater tank. Plumbers cost $75-$90 per hour on average.
Is it worth it?
Given all its benefits, yes! Rainwater tanks are easy on the wallet in the long run and great for the environment. It’s a significant step towards building a sustainable home.