After decades of neglect, rainwater tanks are in vogue again. The reason is simple: we all need to do our part to preserve our water resources and millions of litres of useable water are lost every time it rains. How much does a rainwater tank cost? Is it a good investment?
How Much Does a Rainwater Tank Cost?
The cost of rainwater tanks vary according to their size, the materials they're made of and other factors. As a rough guide:
- A 1,000 litre rainwater tank can cost around $300.
- For a 5,000 litre tank, expect to pay approximately $1,500.
- A 100,000 litre tank costs about $8,000.
These prices* may not include delivery and do not include installation, plumbing or a pump, if needed. 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 supplier to find out if approval is required in your area.
Factors to Consider
Before you buy a rainwater tank, consider:
- How much rainfall your area gets.
- How frequently rain falls in your area.
- How much of your collected rainwater you will use.
- How you need to dispense your rainwater.
If your area gets a great deal of rainfall, you wouldn't have any trouble at all keeping a large tank full, but if you have limited use for the water, a tank that large wouldn't make practical sense. 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, you might want to consider also installing a pump and/or a drip irrigation system. Pumps range in price* from around $200 for a basic home use pump to $800 for farming.
Is a Rainwater Tank a Good Investment?
Like solar panels, government incentives are in place that can save you money on your initial investment. Also like solar panels, rainwater tanks can pay for themselves over time by reducing your water bills. Estimates vary, but it will probably take ten years or more to recoup the cost.
A rainwater tank is a good investment in ways other than saving money. Many of our dams have not been full to capacity for over a decade because of increased demand, drought and other factors. Government authorities started offering rebates on rainwater tanks as an incentive to buyers because they are the simplest solution to water shortages, but only if a large percentage of home owners and businesses make use of them.
*Cost and prices in this article are indicative and should only be used as a guide. They also vary locally and are subject to market forces.