Rainwater tanks are popular for saving water. Tanks are easy to use and available in styles to suit most homes. Rainwater tanks can also provide you with free water all year round.

5 reasons to use rainwater?

1. Collecting rainwater allows you to be prepared for times of low rainfall, so you can still maintain your garden, especially if there are water restrictions in your area. Your garden loves rainwater! You can also use it to top up your pool or to wash your car.

2. Using rainwater can reduce your water bills as rainwater is free. You can have your tank connected to your outdoor taps or even plumbed into your toilet or laundry. Toilets use approximately 14 percent of drinking quality water in the house and washing machines use around 16 percent.Tanks plumbed to the toilet and laundry can be used effectively during periods of high rainfall when you don’t need to water your garden. By connecting a tank to the toilet or washing machine with a switching pump you can use your tanks all year round. When tank water is available, the pump uses it and automatically switches to mains water when the tank is empty.

3. Tank water should be used in preference to greywater, especially for herbs and vegetables. Even better, use tank water in conjunction with other recommended water-saving measures like mulch, drip systems and soil additives. If you are in the process of planning a new house think about ensuring the design includes provision for a rainwater tank. At the planning stage you can arrange for a suitable space for your tank, including underground and bladder style tanks for under your decking. You will save water and add considerably to the value and enjoyment of both your house and your garden.

4. Capturing rainwater reduces the load on stormwater systems because roof runoff is not flushed into the drains.

5. Using rainwater reduces the need to build more water storage dams, which may have to be situated in environmentally sensitive areas.

Some quick tank maintenance tips

  • If you have a tank with water in it, use it on your garden - it is the best quality alternative to mains water and should be used in preference to greywater.
  • Using tank water on your garden with other water saving measures such as mulch, drip systems and soil additives will help sustain your garden during periods of hot, dry weather.
  • Have your roof checked to see what it is made of and painted with to ensure that it is safe and not toxic.
  • Cover all openings with mosquito proof mesh.
  • Fit gutters and downpipes with traps to catch litter and twigs.
  • Every few years clean out the inside of the tank.
  • Ensure there are air vents to prevent the water from becoming stagnant.

Factsheet download: