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For a copy of the Gallery Magazine rate card and media kit, please contact Alan Phillips at the Home Option Gallery on 02 8860 9333.

Making the most of the winter rain

A growing number of people are being introduced to rainwater tanks due to regulatory changes that require their installation as part of the building process for new homes and major renovations.

The NSW Government introduced BASIX, a Building Sustainability Index, to ensure homes are designed to use less potable water and are responsible for fewer greenhouse gas emissions by setting energy and water reduction targets.

The BASIX system sets a minimum requirement of a 40 per cent water saving and a 40 per cent energy saving, with most compliant homes having an average 3,000 litre rainwater tank plumbed to toilet and laundry. A compliant BASIX certificate is required with all new development applications.

A consumer guide on rainwater and rainwater products published last year by the Australian Rainwater Industry Development Group (ARID) estimated that on average, family household water consumption is approximately 300,000 litres per year.

This is roughly broken down as follows:

  • Garden and lawn: 105,000-150,000 litres or 35-50%
  • Laundry: 75,000-150,000 litres or 25-50%
  • Bathroom: 60,000-90,000 litres or 20-30%
  • Toilets: 30,000-60,000 litres or 10-20%
  • Kitchen: 15,000 litres or 5%
  • Drinking water: 3,000 litres or 1%

lillies Using rainwater instead of mains water for garden and outdoor use, toilet flushing and laundry alone, can reduce mains water consumption by up to 70 per cent.

According to ARID, rainwater harvesting reduces reservoir water usage in every household. Run-off from the roof to the tank is immediate and efficient. Using rainwater instead of mains water for garden and outdoor use, toilet flushing and laundry alone, can reduce mains water consumption by up to 70 per cent.

It is unfortunate that the demand pattern for garden watering is the opposite of the rainfall pattern. Rainwater tanks are more efficient as water-saving devices when they are used to supply a year-round internal use. Using rainwater for internal use will save two or three times as much water as a tank used for garden watering only.

Upsizing your choice of rainwater tank during the construction of a new home is extremely cost efficient and makes a significant contribution to saving a valuable resource.

The best tank size is proportionate to the roof harvesting area. In most cases, the water from your roof is funnelled along your gutters and into down-pipes connected to your tank. The more down-pipes you can collect from the more water you can harvest when it rains. As a general rule: 1mm of rain over 1mē = 1 litre of rainwater.

Tankworks Australia is a leading manufacturer of precision engineered corrugated steel water tanks and accessories. They are 100% Australian owned and operated and are able to offer a 20 year warranty on their products.

When looking for a water tank you have many options available to you. David Mortimer, Tankworks Australia director, says that each material type has its strengths and weaknesses but he believes the modern steel tank has the best features of all tanks currently available.

“Steel tanks do not bulge or stretch when full and their strength means the tanks comfortably hold the large forces generated by tonnes of water,” David said. “In addition this strength will not deteriorate over time under the harsh Australian sun as with other materials.”

David said modern steel tanks have a long life polymer coating on the inside of the tank walls and on both sides of the base (inside and out) which means the water never touches the steel.

“The steel tank not only looks traditional and Australian but it is less bulky than other alternatives,” he added. “And with over 20 Colorbond colours to choose from, your rainwater tank will complement your home beautifully.”

For more information call Home Option Gallery tankworks_logo
on (02) 8860 9333 or see Rainwater tanks.