What’s the Value of a Rainwater Tank?

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A single inch of rain on a 1000 square foot roof yields 623 gallons of water. That’s a lot! Installing a rainwater tank means you can keep all that water around until you need it, thereby reducing your use of mains water, saving you money, and helping the environment. If you receive enough rain, it might even be possible to make yourself independent from the public water supply.

The environmental benefits of installing a rainwater tank in certain arid regions of the country are so great that the local authorities strongly encourage and may even require them. In Victoria, using a water storage tanks to run your flush toilets is good for an additional star to help you reach the required five stars in your house energy rating for new construction. Even when they’re not required, rainwater tanks make a great source of water for gardening, washing cars, flushing toilets, and other situations where purity is not critical. Why waste precious purified water just to wash your car?

It is even possible to use rainwater tanks as sources of drinking water. Many people feel that if it tastes, smells, and looks fine, it probably is. You should still be very careful, and ideally install a reverse osmosis or similar purification system. There are a number of contaminants and pathogens that aren’t detectable by sight, taste, or smell. Using a rainwater tank as a drinking water source therefore takes more care than just using it for washing. It’s necessary to ensure the correct types of paints are used for the roof, the tank pH is kept under control and a variety of other factors taken into account.

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