A rainwater tank is becoming a necessity for many homes due to the water shortages felt in many areas around the world.
If you are one of the people that have yet to install a water tank, you want to make sure that you have one that is suitable for your needs. Here’s our guide on selecting the right size rainwater tank for you.
One of the first things that you need to consider when making your water tank choice is how much space you have for it. Tanks range in size from a couple of hundred litres to thousands of litres. Obviously, the more water the tank holds, the more space it will need. If you have plenty of space, then you can install the water tank wherever it is convenient for you. However, if your space is more limited, you will have to opt for a smaller water tank, or a water tank that can be easily concealed such as a bladder tank (that can go under the house or under a deck), or a tank that is suitable for underground installation (see underground water storage tank).
Another thing that you have to think about is how you plan to use the water that will be collected by the rainwater tank. If you are not on mains water and the water tank is your only source of water, it will need to be large enough to carry out everyday tasks such as showering, washing clothes, watering the lawn, drinking and so on. If the rainwater tank is intended to be a secondary water source, think about how you’ll use it. Will it be plumbed into the toilet and washing machine (thus necessitating a larger water tank), or will you use it as supplementary water for the garden or pool?
You will also need to consider how much water you expect to flow into the water tank. This is determined by how large the catchment surface – your roof – is. The larger the roof, the more water will flow from it into the water tank. Also think about how much rainfall you get in your area.
There is a formula that you can use to help you work out how large your water tank should be. This is your roof area times the amount of average annual rainfall that you receive in your area. This gives you the maximum amount of water you can expect to capture. You can then calculate the most days without rain that you can expect and multiply that by the average daily amount of water used from the water tank. This gives you how much water you will need at the start of a dry spell. For example, if you have a dry spell lasting for 60 days, and you use 500 litres of water a day, you will need a water tank capacity of 30,000 litres. However, if you only use 100 litres of water a day, you’ll only need a water tank capacity of 6,000 litres.
Source: homeimprovementpages.com.au by Jaclyn Fitzgerald (edited)
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