Last Updated Sep 14, 2018 · Written by Craig Gibson
Australians are the biggest water consumers per capita on earth, but we have fewer water resources than most other industrialised societies.
This is why local councils are encouraging us to install rainwater tanks, so we can all do our part in conserving our resources and saving money. If you are considering installing a rainwater tank on your property you will want to know all the practicalities involved.
This article will help you work out:
Rainwater tanks have many practical advantages. Capable of collecting up to 80% of the water that falls on your roof, they are a good investment even in areas of light to moderate rainfall. A tank can collect up to 800 litres of water from as little as 10 mm of rainfall. For an average family, the water used from tanks can cut their yearly water consumption up to 25 to 30 percent. Moreover, rainwater is less salty than tap water and is said to be better for washing clothes and watering the garden.
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. My Account
Bigger is not necessarily better. If you experience frequent rainfall, a smaller tank will refill itself regularly, but if you need your rainwater tank to supply you with water through longer dry spells, a larger tank might be better. Government rebates are available in many parts of Australia. In Sydney, for example, rebates are available and council approval is not needed to install rainwater tanks with capacities of less than 10,000 litres.
Check with your local council or ask your rainwater tank installer to find out if approval is required in your area. There may also be regulations in place that restrict the size or type of tank you can install.
#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
Rainwater tanks come in all shapes, materials and a wide variety of sizes including:
Aside from traditional round tanks you can also buy slimline tanks that fit neatly against a wall, or tanks and bladders designed to be buried underground.
Find a Local Plumber now
Rainwater tanks vary in price. It all depends on the size of the tank and the material you choose. In terms of installation, an installer will base their quote on materials utilised, ease of access and how complex your installation. Plumbing to your garden/laundry/toilet/bathroom is going to be more involved, and expensive than a simple install.
Expect to pay anywhere from:
|$525 for a 1000 litre||
Slimline poly water tank
|$800 to $1200||
2,000 litre slimline polyethylene tank.
2,000 litre round steel water tank
|$900 to $1200||
2,000 litre under-deck tank.
|$1500 to $1800||4,000 litre polyethylene tank|
|$730||Rain tank to mains pressure pump with switch over device and cover|
*Labour could be anywhere from $350 for a simple install to $1200 or more for an integrated system.
#hiptip: Always get at least three quotes so you can compare price and level of service
It is difficult to know how much it will cost to install a rainwater tank until you have contacted suppliers, discussed your options and received quotes for rainwater tanks.
In most cases, the company that sells you a rainwater tank will also be able to arrange for installation and give you a complete supply and installation quote. Don't skimp on the installation costs. A good rainwater tank will last you for decades and save you money over the years, but only if it's properly installed.