18 May 2024

Eco-Friendly Water Tank Solutions for Sustainable Living

In our quest for sustainable living, implementing eco-friendly solutions in our daily lives is key, and one such solution is the humble water tank.

Water tanks offer a host of benefits, playing a significant role in energy conservation, water preservation, and reducing dependency on municipal water supply.

This guide will delve into the advantages of having a water tank at home, explore the various types of tanks available on the market, provide insights on factors to consider when choosing a tank and offer tips on installation and maintenance.

Embarking on this journey towards sustainability can start with something as simple as installing a water tank, and this guide aims to equip you with the necessary knowledge to do just that.

Benefits of having a water tank in your home

Introducing a water tank into your home can yield many advantages—both for your household and the environment. Not only can you reduce your reliance on the public water supply, but you can also harness nature's resources more responsibly through rainwater collection. Here's a list of compelling reasons to consider installing a water tank:

  • Cost Efficiency: A water tank can reduce your water bill by collecting and storing free rainwater, proving to be a cost-effective solution in the long run.
  • Environmental Conservation: By collecting rainwater, you reduce the strain on municipal water supplies and contribute to water conservation efforts.
  • Water Security: In drought-prone areas, a water tank serves as a backup water supply, providing a sense of security and resilience.
  • Gardening Benefits: Rainwater is naturally soft and devoid of chemicals, making it ideal for gardening and landscaping needs.
  • Sustainability: Using a water tank is a tangible way to contribute to sustainable living and environmental preservation.

Types of tanks available for purchase

There is a vast array of water tanks available on the market, each tailored to different needs and preferences. These include primarily above-ground or below-ground tanks, which come in a variety of materials such as plastic polyethylene or metal.

Above-Ground Plastic Polyethylene Tanks: These tanks are known for their durability, affordability, and lightweight nature which facilitates easy installation. Constructed from food-grade, UV-stabilised polyethylene, these tanks are safe for potable drinking water and resistant to sun damage. They are typically available in a variety of sizes and colours to suit different preferences.

Below-Ground Plastic Polyethylene Tanks: An excellent choice if you're keen on saving space or maintaining the aesthetic appeal of your property, these tanks are designed to be installed underground. They are structurally robust to withstand the pressure of surrounding soil when buried. However, the installation of these tanks is more complex and may require professional assistance.

Metal Tanks with Corrugated Roofing: These tanks are a popular choice due to their sheer strength and longevity. The corrugated design enhances the structural integrity of the tank, making it resistant to the pressures of water storage. They are usually coated with a food-grade liner to prevent the metal from contaminating the stored water.

Metal Tanks with Flat Steel Roofing: Similar to their corrugated counterparts, these tanks are robust and durable. However, their flat roofing design may require additional reinforcement to prevent warping under the weight of stored water. These tanks also typically come with a food-grade liner for safe water storage.

When deciding on the material and design of your tank, consider factors such as your budget, space availability, and the amount of water you plan to store. Each type of tank has its unique benefits, and your choice should align with your specific needs and circumstances.

You can read more about choosing the right type of water tank for your home in a previous post including other material types such as concrete and stainless steel.

Factors to consider when selecting a tank

When it comes to selecting the right water tank, there are several key factors to consider. The size of the tank should be determined by your household's water usage and the amount of space you have available. Keep in mind that a larger tank will obviously hold more water, but it will also require more space and potentially higher installation costs.

The shape of the tank is another important consideration. Tanks come in a variety of shapes, from slimline models that fit easily into narrow spaces to round tanks that hold larger water volumes.

Lastly, the material of your tank should be chosen based on your individual needs and preferences. Plastic tanks are generally more affordable and easier to install, but they may not be as durable as their metal counterparts. Metal tanks, on the other hand, are more robust and long-lasting, but they often come with higher upfront costs.

Understanding your specific needs and circumstances will help guide you to the most suitable tank.

How to properly install a water tank in your home

Installing a water tank at your home is a process that requires careful planning and execution. The first step is selecting the perfect location. Ideally, it should be a level and stable area that can support the weight of a full tank. The area should also be easily accessible for maintenance and cleaning. If the tank is to collect rainwater, placing it near a downpipe from your roof guttering system would be beneficial.

Next, a base is prepared for the tank. This is often made of concrete or compacted sand and gravel. It is crucial that the base is flat and sturdy, free from any sharp objects that could potentially damage the tank.

The tank is then positioned on the base and connected to the downpipe for rainwater collection. For this step, you might need to hire a plumber to ensure the connections are properly made. Some tanks may require a pump system, particularly if they're being used for whole-house systems or if your garden is on a slope.

Lastly, a first flush diverter is installed. This is an important component that prevents the first flow of water, which may contain roof debris, from entering the tank. It ensures that only clean water is stored in the tank.

After-installation checks are essential to make sure everything is working as it should be. Check for leaks and make sure the diverter is functioning properly. Once your tank is successfully installed, ongoing maintenance is necessary to keep it in optimal working condition.

Tips for maintaining your tank and keeping it clean and free from debris

To ensure the longevity of your rainwater tank and maintain the cleanliness of the water it stores, regular upkeep is essential. The following tips provide a simple guide to maintaining your tank:

  • Regular Inspection: Make a habit of inspecting your tank, particularly after heavy rain. Look for any overflow issues, leaks, or cracks. Also, check the roof and gutters from where the water is collected to make sure they are clean and free of debris.
  • Clean the Tank: Depending on the environmental conditions where you live, you should clean your tank every 2-3 years. This involves removing any sediment that has built up at the bottom.
  • Check the First Flush Diverter: This system ensures that the first flow of rainwater, which might contain debris, doesn't enter the tank. Ensure it's operating correctly.
  • Monitor Water Quality: If you're using the collected rainwater for drinking, regular water quality checks are vital. You can use a basic water testing kit for this.
  • Keep Surroundings Clean: Keep the area around your tank clean to reduce the chances of contamination. Keep vegetation trimmed back to reduce the risk of falling leaves entering the tank.

Advice for using the collected rainwater responsibly

Using the collected rainwater responsibly is paramount to reaping the full benefits of your rainwater harvesting system. One of the most beneficial uses of collected rainwater is for gardening. Rainwater is typically free of the chlorines found in tap water, which can be harmful to plants. This makes it an excellent choice for watering your garden, aiding in plant growth and health. Furthermore, using rainwater for your garden can significantly reduce your domestic water consumption, leading to substantial savings on water bills.

Similarly, rainwater can be an excellent resource for washing your car. Unlike tap water, rainwater doesn't leave streaks or water spots when it dries, making it ideal for car washing. By using rainwater, you can achieve a spotless, professional-looking wash without having to resort to commercial car washes.

Moreover, using rainwater for these purposes is environmentally friendly, as it utilises a renewable resource and reduces the demand on municipal water supplies.

Monitoring the water you collect

If you already have a tank installed or you are thinking of installing a tank, a great addition is a water level meter that will enable you to see how much water is in your tank at any time. These are particularly useful for large tanks that are used as the main source of water for a property, however, they can be installed on a wide range of water tanks.

At Smart Water, we have engineered the most advanced tank level indicator available that now offers full cloud connectivity.

Easy to install yourself, your Smart Water tank indicator provides you with all the information you need from our app or from one of our LCD displays. Find out how much water you consume on average from your tank, accurate pressure data and estimates on when your tank will run out of water based on current usage.

Find out more about our range of products or check out our FAQs for more information.

Summary

By installing a water tank at home, you not only save money and receive environmental advantages, but you also help contribute to the world’s sustainability efforts. Adding a water tank to your property can be a great investment in your future and that of the planet.

From providing clean drinking water for your family and reducing energy bills to helping conserve precious resources and protecting nature from pollutants, there are several advantages associated with having one on-site.

So why not take action today to start saving water? Investing in a rainwater harvesting system plays an essential part in making the world we live in greener, cleaner, and healthier.

Ultimately, it is up to all of us to help restore these environmental resources and protect them for generations to come.