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Capture every precious drop

Australia is experiencing increasing pressure on its finite water resources and a greater community interest in water conservation. This has led to rainwater tanks becoming a mainstay of new homes and major renovations in keeping with the push for green building practices and more sustainable living.

waterThe 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% 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 residential development applications.

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

This is roughly broken down as follows:

  • Garden and lawn – 105,000-150,000L
  • Laundry – 75,000-150,000L
  • Bathroom – 60,000-90,000L
  • Toilets – 30,000-60,000L
  • Kitchen – 15,000L
  • Drinking water – 3,000L

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.

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 1m2 = 1 litre of rainwater.

Tankworks Australia is a leading manufacturer of precision engineered corrugated steel water tanks and accessories. The company is 100 per cent Australian owned, has operated for over 75 years and is able to offer a 20-year warranty on its products.

Stuart Heldon, Tankworks Australia director, says there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all water tank. “We offer tailor-made solutions for your water storage needs allowing for greater design flexibility with smart-looking tanks that can be both bigger and skinnier.”

Each material type has its strengths and weaknesses but Stuart 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,” Stuart said. “In addition this strength will not deteriorate over time under the harsh Australian sun as with other materials.”

“Also our tanks are made from Australian-made steel comprising 30 per cent recycled material and at the end of their life they are fully recyclable.”

Stuart 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.

“With over 20 Colorbond colours to choose from, your rainwater tank from Tankworks will complement your home beautifully,” he added.