Precautions When Installing Rainwater Tanks

Leaf in waterInstalling a rainwater tank is better left to professionals but you, as the owner of the house, must keep an eagle’s eye over the process. If any aspect of the process is overlooked, your rainwater harvest may be contaminated and rendered useless. We have compiled a five-point checklist for you to run your rainwater tank installation by to ensure that it is safe and functional.

1. Catchment Area

Make sure that your catchment area is clear to tap maximum of the water incident on it and is made of concrete or a polymer, not timber. Keep surrounding vegetation or landscaping trimmed. Next, ensure that the catchment area receives water from clouds alone- not any appliances like air conditioners.

2. Tank’s Inlet Pipes

It is always advised that water collected from the catchment area flow in to the tank from the top such that all incoming pipes to the tank face downwards, not upwards. Inlet pipes should be wide enough to handle increased water flow in the rainy season. These must not have many turns and bends because sediments can deposit in these areas, reducing efficiency.

3. Tank Overflow

In case that your rainwater tanks are full, the excess water must be directed to a pool, a reservoir or simply to the garden’s grounds. The overflow must always be directed away from the foundations of your and nearby properties.

4. Tank Coverings

Your rainwater tank must be isolated from intruding pollutants, more so if it is underground. The only entry points should be the inlet pipes and the overflow pipes. The inflow should be filtered with a screen to deny filterable pollutants entry.

5. Connecting Aussie Water Tanks to Main Water Supplies

Most local governments in Australia don’t allow residents to connect their rainwater tanks with the mains. This is done to avoid back-flow created by the difference in pressure in both the systems.

6. Protect Against Water Contamination

When installing rainwater tanks, you must take precautions to safeguard the water from contamination by pollutants.

If your tank is to be housed under the ground, you must take extra precautions to prevent contamination by soil, surface run-off or ground water.

Finally, keep in mind that guidelines for installation vary greatly even within states.