Rainwater tanks - what to ask before you buy
If you're looking to buy a rainwater tank, but you're not sure what to ask before you buy, theses questions will help you make the right decision when deciding which type of rainwater tank is best for you.
Click on a question below for more information.
- Need: Why do I need a rainwater tank?
- Size: What size tank do I need?
- Access: Is there access for installation?
- Cost: How much will it cost?
- Regulations: What council and other government regulations apply?
- Rebates: Are there any rebates available?
- Type: Above-ground or underground?
- Placement: Where will I put the tank?
- Buying: Where will I buy my tank?
In these days of global warming, all water saving techniques should be considered. Whether you're thinking about a small rain water tank for drinking water only, or a huge one to supply all your needs from showers to washing to drinking and garden maintenance, every drop of rain that you collect reduces the demands on town water.
If you have the space, and can afford even a small rain water tank, you'll be helping the environment and ultimately saving money by reducing your reliance on increasingly expensive town water.
Work out how big a tank you'll need. This will be determined by:
- how many people live in your dwelling, and
- the purpose for which you use the rainwater.
If you live in a small cottage and only require the tank to provide drinking water, you will obviously require a lot less than a large family home where the water is used for everything including watering the garden.
Do you have easy access? Or will placement of the tank involve removing a fence, or using a crane?
Add any access costs for placement of the tank to your estimates when comparing tank costs.
- Purchase and Installation The cost of the tank and its installation is a one-off cost, and will reduce your usage of town water. However, take into account any associated costs such as delivery, constrcution of a stand or excavation for underground tanks.
- Maintenance Some maintenance may be required, but this should be minimal if you are buying a modern tank.
- Subsidies Investigate any subsidies or tax breaks that may be available in your area. LINK
- Before you go too far, identify any regulations to which you may be subject.
- Is there a maximum/minimum size limit?
- What rules apply to the construction/installation?
- Do you need to submit the proposed tank installation to your local council for approval?
Ask about what rebates are available for installing a rainwater tank, and what conditions may apply (e.g. when does the rebate offer expire? how much is it? who qualifies?).
In most cases, the tank you choose will be above-ground, made of galvanised metal, plastic, or concrete. It will need to have a secure base, which may be in the form of a timber stand or a concrete slab or a combination of both.
These are usually considered when building a new home, or where there is plenty of space around an existing home for the tank and for the machinery required to excavate for the tank.
If you you're consideting an underground tank, speak to a specialist. They will identify the ground conditions including:
- whether the position of the tank is feasible (taking into account the slope of the land, the flow of stormwater and the possibilities of flood etc.)
- the type of material to be excavated and whether it is practical or cost-effective
- the depth of the water table which may affect the type of tank to be used,
- position of existing pipes/cables, and
- the most suitable type of tank (e.g. plastic or concrete) for the ground conditions.
- Make sure the tank you choose will fit in the space you have available.
- Make sure it is legal to place the tank there, and will not be placed onto any area of land that cannot legally be built upon - for example, your property may have an easement, or limits on how close to a fence any construction may be placed.
- The space you have may also determine the shape of the tank - if you have lots of room, a cylinder shape is likley to be practical, whereas if you have limited space, a more rectangular shape may be better - for example, a tank placed along a wall.
Choose a reputable supplier. Ask around - neighbours and work colleagues can be a mine of information. Check that the supplier is a member of a registered organisation.© 2008-2013 what2ask.com.au | Disclaimer | Feedback