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How Much Does a Rainwater Tank Cost?

Last Updated Nov 8, 2016 · Written by

Rainwater Harvesting|Renovation Costs

Rainwater tanks have always been common on rural properties and farms, but with water restrictions they are a practical addition to urban homes too.

We all need to do our part to preserve our water resources. Millions of litres of perfectly useable water are lost every time it rains, so why not making a difference and reduce your water bills?

But which tank is right for you and how much does a rainwater tank cost? Is it a good investment?

This article will help you work out:

  • The different types of rainwater tanks on the market
  • The relevant regulations
  • Who can install them
  • What it will cost you

© Green House Plumbing & Gas

Is a rainwater tank a good investment?

Yes. If you are looking to save on your water bills, a rainwater tanks can help pay for itself over time. A store of fresh water can be used for a range of jobs around the home, including:

  • Watering your garden
  • Laundry usage
  • Flushing the toilet
  • Topping up the pool or spa
  • Washing your car
  • Supplying your hot water system

Factors to consider

Before you buy a rainwater tank, consider:

  • How much rainfall your area gets
  • How much of your collected rainwater you will use
  • The size tank you need and how much space you have
  • Where you will locate it
  • What plumbing is required
  • What you are going to use the water for
  • Council requirements and regulations

If you get plenty of rain, but it comes sporadically, a larger tank may be a good idea, especially if you use it for watering your garden during the summer months, when water restrictions apply.

In the past, rainwater tanks were fairly low-tech. A hose or pipe was connected to the tank and gravity did most of the rest of the work. Today, they can be connect to a pump, a drip irrigation system and

Rainwater tank regulations

Depending on where you live you may need to get council approval to install a rainwater tank.

Approval is generally required if you are connecting the tank to your mains water supply, for example if you want to use it in your laundry or toilet. You will also need to use a licensed plumber to install a rainwater tank.

In NSW, council approval is required for tanks larger than 10,000 litres. The approval process would be another cost to factor in. Check with your local council or ask your rainwater tank installer to find out if approval is required in your area.

#hiptip: If you connect your tank to the water mains a licensed plumber must do this work for you

Learn more: Council regulations for rainwater tanks

Types of rainwater tanks

There are several types of water tanks, depending on your needs.

Poly water tanks: these tanks are lightweight so are easy to transport and install. They also come in a wide range of shapes, sizes and colours. Make sure your poly tank is food grade (suitable for drinking water) and look for warranties of up to 25 years.

© MFR Plumbing

Steel tanks: metal tanks can be made from galvanized steel, Colorbond or Zincalume. These tanks are robust easy to transport and can be used above or below ground. Metal tanks are often lined with polyethylene to ensure good water quality and to prevent corrosion.

© Coast & Country Water Tanks

Concrete tanks: due to their inherent rigidity concrete tanks are often installed below ground. It is even possible to install them underneath driveways or in a basement, making them unobtrusive and a great space saving option.

© Aquarius Watermaster

Fibreglass tanks: fiberglass tanks do not rust or corrode, can tolerate extreme temperatures and come in a range of sizes and colours. They are easy to transport and last for a long time though they are more expensive than a poly tank.

Learn more: Installing an underground rainwater tank

How much does a rainwater tank cost?

So how much do you need to budget for a rainwater tank?

There are a few factors that will influence the cost, namely:

  • Size of the tank
  • Type of tank
  • Ease of access
  • Type of installation (inground are more expensive)

The cost of rainwater tanks vary according to their size, the materials they're made of and other factors. As a rough guide expect to pay:

  • $525 for a 1000 litre slimline poly water tank
  • $583 for a 1000 litre round poly water tank
  • $656 for a 2000 litre round poly water tank
  • $1,094 for a 2000 litre round steel water tank
  • $730 for a rain tank to mains pressure pump with switch over device and cover

These prices do not include installation/plumbing.

Plumbers usually charge a call-out fee as well as an hourly rate. A call-out fee can cost anything from $60 to $100, with hourly rates anywhere from $100 - $150 depending on where you live and the plumber.

Learn more: How much does a plumber cost?

© Atlantis Corporation

Hiring a rainwater tank installer

When it comes time to hire someone to installer your rainwater tank make sure they are right for your job. Some questions to ask them include:

  • Are you licensed?
  • Are you insured to work in my home?
  • Can you provide a written quote?
  • How long is the warranty on your tank?
  • Do you have references I can follow up?

No matter the size of your job, always request a fully itemised quote including the cost of all materials used.

#hiptip: Get at least three quotes before you commit to hiring anyone, so you can compare price and level of service

The best way of finding out the cost of your project is to get quotes from local rainwater tank installers . This will give you a sense of what market rates currently are.

Looking for inspiration? Browse our photo section for fence design ideas for your project.

* All the costs and prices quoted were sourced at the time this article was written. They are indicative, may vary locally, are subject to market forces and should only be used as a guide.

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