25 July 2024

The importance of water tank placement and installation

In the realm of water management, the placement and installation of water tanks bear significant importance. It impacts not only the functionality and efficiency of the system but also contributes to the durability and maintenance of the tank.

This article aims to shed light on this often-overlooked aspect of water system planning. We will delve into the key considerations for positioning, the nuances of installation, and how these factors collectively contribute to a robust and sustainable water system.

Assess your water needs

How much water do you need to store and for what purpose?

Before placing and installing a water tank, it's crucial to assess your water needs accurately. Start by determining how much water you'll need to store. This will be influenced by several factors, such as the size of your household, and the nature of your usage - is it for drinking, irrigation, or other purposes? - as well as the regularity of your water supply.

For example, if you live in a region that experiences frequent droughts, you may need to store more water than someone who has a consistent water supply. Similarly, an agricultural setup with large irrigation requirements will necessitate a larger tank compared to a small residential garden.

Moreover, understanding your water needs will guide you in selecting an appropriately sized tank, thus optimising your water management system and preventing potential wastage or shortages.

Select a suitable location

Consider the size of the tank, its proximity to plumbing and the surrounding landscape.

Choosing the most suitable location for your water tank involves careful evaluation of various factors. Firstly, the tank's size is a pertinent consideration. Ensure that the chosen location can accommodate the tank comfortably, with sufficient space for any necessary maintenance activities. Additionally, remember to consider the weight of the tank when it is full, as this could have implications for the stability of the ground on which it is positioned.

The proximity to plumbing is another key factor. Ideally, the tank should be located close to the areas where the water will be used or close to your existing plumbing. This minimises the length of the pipe runs between the tank and your plumbing system, reducing costs and the possibility of water losses due to leaks.

The surrounding landscape also plays a crucial role in water tank positioning. It is advisable to locate the tank on a higher point on your property, if possible. This can facilitate gravity-fed water systems, reducing reliance on pumps and thus lowering electricity costs. Furthermore, consider the impact of the sun and wind in the chosen location, as excessive exposure to these elements can cause wear and tear over time.

Lastly, ensure that the chosen site complies with the local council or municipal guidelines for water tank installation. Regulations may dictate certain requirements regarding the tank's distance from buildings, property boundaries, and other infrastructures.

Choose the right type of tank

Consider the material that it is made from, its size, and its shape.

When selecting the type of tank for your rainwater harvesting system, consider the material it is made from; options can range from polyethylene and fibreglass to concrete or steel. Each material has its pros and cons, and the right choice will depend on your specific requirements and preferences. Polyethylene, for instance, is lightweight and relatively inexpensive, but may not be as durable as other materials. Fibreglass tanks are robust and algae-resistant but can be more costly. Concrete tanks are extremely sturdy and can be installed underground, saving space, but require more intensive construction. Steel tanks, although durable, may be susceptible to rust over time.

In terms of size, ensure your tank is large enough to collect and store a meaningful volume of rainwater but also fits within the designated spot in your property. The capacity of water tanks can vary greatly, so having an understanding of your household’s water usage can help determine the right size.

The shape of the tank is another aspect to consider. Some common shapes include round tanks, slimline tanks, or under-deck tanks. Round tanks typically offer more capacity for the same footprint and are often less expensive. Slimline tanks are ideal for urban properties with limited space. Under-deck tanks, as the name suggests, can be installed beneath decks or raised structures, making them a good space-saving option.

Remember, there's no one-size-fits-all solution when choosing a tank for rainwater harvesting. Your decision should align with your household needs, the physical constraints of your property, and your budget.

Evaluate your soil type

The foundation of your water tank must be able to support its weight.

Understanding your soil type is crucial for the successful installation of a water tank. Different soil types have varying degrees of load-bearing capacity. Sandy soils, for instance, have a higher drainage capacity but can shift and may not provide a sturdy base for the tank. Clay soils, on the other hand, have superior load-bearing capabilities, but their high water retention could lead to instability over time. Loamy soil, a mix of sand, silt, and clay, usually provides a good balance of drainage and load-bearing capacity.

A professional soil evaluation can provide insights into your soil's composition and stability. If your soil isn't ideal for tank installation, you might need to consider soil improvement techniques, such as compaction or the use of a concrete slab base. Remember, a poorly supported tank can lead to structural issues and potential damage, so it's worth investing time and resources into this step.

Decide on a level area

Ensure that your water tank is placed in an area that is correctly levelled or tilted with a slight slope for efficient drainage.

Choosing an appropriately levelled area for your water tank is fundamental to its efficient operation and longevity. A tank installed on uneven ground can lead to uneven weight distribution, causing strain on the structure and potentially leading to leaks or other damages.

If you're placing your tank on a slope, it should have a slight tilt that facilitates drainage and prevents water from pooling around its base. However, ensure the slope isn't too steep, as this could destabilise the tank and cause it to shift over time.

There are several ways to level an area for your water tank. You might need to excavate the site, remove any large rocks or other obstacles, or use a layer of gravel or concrete to create a stable base. If you're using a concrete base, it should be slightly larger than the tank's diameter to ensure sufficient support.

Having your tank installation site professionally surveyed can be beneficial. A surveyor can assess the site's suitability, identify any potential issues, and recommend necessary adjustments. While this might increase your initial costs, it could save you from expensive repairs down the line.

Install piping correctly

Ensure that all piping is installed correctly and securely for optimal performance.

Correct and secure installation of piping for your water tank is crucial to its overall performance. It facilitates efficient water flow and minimises the risk of leaks or blockages that can lead to water wastage or damage to the tank and the surrounding area.

The piping process involves several stages, including the fitting of the inlet, outlet, and overflow pipes. The inlet pipe allows water to enter the tank; the outlet pipe enables the water to be drained out for use; and the overflow pipe acts as a safety measure to prevent the tank from overfilling.

The inlet and outlet pipes should be installed at opposite ends of the tank to ensure even water distribution and prevent stagnation. The overflow pipe should be positioned above the maximum water level and directed away from the tank's base to prevent erosion or waterlogging around the tank.

Each of these pipes must be securely fitted and sealed to prevent leaks. The use of quality piping material and fittings is recommended to ensure durability and longevity. It's also crucial to regularly maintain and inspect the pipes for any signs of degradation or blockage.

In conclusion, correct piping installation is key to effective water tank operation. It's advisable to seek professional help for this task to ensure it is done right and to maintain the functionality and efficiency of your water tank.

Connect it to a power source

Connecting your outdoor water tank to an existing or new power source will allow you to use modern technologies such as pumps or pressure switches for enhanced accuracy and control.

Modern Technologies for Tank Operation

Modern technologies such as pumps and pressure switches play vital roles in the smooth operation of your outdoor water tank. Pumps, for instance, facilitate the consistent movement of water into and out of the tank, adjusting the water flow according to your usage patterns. This not only ensures a reliable water supply but also prevents excessive strain on the tank due to rapid changes in water level.

Pressure switches, on the other hand, are integral for maintaining the optimal water pressure within the tank. These switches activate the pump when the water pressure falls below a certain level and turn it off when the pressure reaches the desired level. This mechanism ensures the efficient use of electricity, prolongs the lifespan of the pump, and prevents potential damages caused by over-pressurisation.

In order to utilise these technologies, a reliable power source is required. This could be an existing power line or a new one installed specifically for the tank. It's essential to ensure that the power source is safe, stable, and adequate for the operation of your tank's technologies. As with the installation of the pipes, professional help is recommended for this task to ensure proper setup and safety regulations compliance.

Smart Water, an industry leader in innovative water management solutions, offers state-of-the-art water tank level monitoring systems that add another level of control and efficiency. These systems employ modern wireless technology to provide real-time data on water levels, enabling users to monitor and manage their water usage efficiently.

The user-friendly interface of the Smart Water system allows for easy access to this data from any location, via a smartphone, tablet, or computer. This can help in detecting leaks, planning for water usage during periods of drought, and ensuring that your tank never runs unexpectedly low. The integration of such a system truly epitomises the potential of technology in water management, making it an invaluable addition to any modern outdoor water tank setup.