Last Updated Nov 8, 2016 · Written by Rob Schneider
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:
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:
Before you buy a rainwater tank, consider:
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
So how much do you need to budget for a rainwater tank?
There are a few factors that will influence the cost, namely:
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:
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.
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:
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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