Water Tanks: What New Home Owners Need to Know

If you are planning to build a new home, it is practical to consider installing a water tank during the construction process. A rain water tank will not only reduce your reliance on municipal water and assist in conserving a valuable resource, but it will also help reduce your utility bills. Follow these tips to guide through the process of selecting a water tank that suits your needs.

Be Aware of Local Building Rules

In some of the drier regions of Australia, it is now mandatory to have an additional water supply installed in a newly built home before it can be occupied. The rule also applies to sizeable additions and alterations to existing dwellings. Your local council is your best guide for the building rules that apply in your area. Whether you need to install a water tank through regulation, or choose to do so of your own accord, you can feel assured that you are making a positive environmental contribution.

Deciding on What Size Tank is Right

Generally, it is best to install the largest size that your available space will accommodate and, of course, what your budget will allow. An ideal water tank installation in the average suburban home would have the following features:

  • Ability to store approximately 2,500 litres of rainwater at a minimum

  • Be connected to more than three-quarters of the total roof area

  • Have an energy efficient pump connected

Further benefits will be gained if the tank is able supply enough water for a toilet and washing machine.

Handy Calculations

It is a good rule of thumb to aim for a tank that can hold about four week's supply of rainwater. So if you estimate that you will use about 1,000 litres of water for the garden, toilet and laundry each week, then something around the 4,000 litre tank would be suitable.

Other factors that you will help you determine the correct size are the size of your roof and the likely amount of rainfall in your area. For every millimetre of rain received, each square metre of your roof (that is connected to the tank) collects 1 millimetre of rain.

Assuming that the average house has a roof area of approximately 160 square metres, and only half of the area is connected to a tank, this is then reduced to around 80 square metres. If 10 mm of rain fall, then the water tank would collect about 800 litres of rainfall. (80 square metres x 10 mm)

Should you need any assistance with your decisions and calculations a local water tank specialist, such as Van Steensel Timbers Pty Ltd, will happily provide their professional advice.