Installing water-efficient appliances and fixtures is a great way to start saving water, but the way you live and use water at home also makes a big difference. The benefit of installing a water-efficient showerhead is greatly reduced if you’re going to take 15 minute showers. Using water from your rainwater tank to hose down your garden path is still a waste of water.
There are many actions you can take to use water efficiently, both inside and outside your home.
The best water tank for you will depend on your budget, the amount of room you have for the tank, local council guidelines and requirements, the size of the tank and your use of the rainwater.
You might be eligible for rebates or other assistance to help with the cost of installing a new rainwater tank.
It's easy to use rainwater on your garden with the right hoses and equipment. If your tank is lower than the area you want to water, you'll need to connect an electric pump. If your tank is higher than the area you want to water you can use gravity to feed the water onto your garden.If you want to use rainwater indoors, you'll need a plumber to connect pipe-work from the tank to your house.
In urban areas it may not be best to drink rainwater because of pollution risks. If you're in a rural area, you may only need to install a water filter. Check the health and safety requirements with your local council.
If you live in an older home with asbestos roof sheeting or lead flashing on the roof, it can be dangerous to drink rainwater collected from the roof.
If you aren’t connected to mains water you will probably need the tank capacity to store between 50,000 and 100,000 litres depending on where you live, your rainfall patterns and how much water you use.
Research the amount of rainfall to expect in your area. The size of your roof will affect how much rain you can collect. If you're only planning to use the water on your garden, you can still save a lot of tap water with a smaller tank. See the savewater! website for more information on selecting a rainwater tank.
Rainwater tanks are made from plastic, concrete, galvanised steel or coated steel. The best spot for your tanks will depend on how you already use the area and the set up of your gutters and downpipes.
Tanks can be positioned next to your home, as storage walls (a line of rectangular tanks) or underground to save space. Bladders are soft-sided water tanks that can be installed under the floor or under a deck.