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Rainwater Harvesting: A Beginner’s Guide

In Australia, the average family uses between 250,000 to 300,000 litres of water yearly, with more than 50% flushed down the toilet and used for garden watering. That’s a lot of potable water that can actually be replaced by rainwater, potentially saving millions of litres a year. It is for this reason that many families are now opting to harvest rainwater in durable water tanks.

What is Rainwater Harvesting?

Rainwater Harvesting Beginner's Guide

Rainwater harvesting is the process of collecting rainwater from an impervious surface and directing it to a location where it shall be used or stored for later use. It can be classified into two: passive and active. The process wherein it is stored in tanks for residential or commercial use is active rainwater harvesting.

An active rainwater harvesting system typically consists of:

  • A collection surface – an impermeable surface, such as the roof of a home
  • Conveyance system – this includes gutters and downspouts that lead the water from the collection surface to the storage container
  • Diverters and filters – these keep leaves and other unwanted particles from entering the storage tank with the water
  • Storage container – this may be a watertight, aboveground or underground water tank and varies greatly in size, shape and composition depending upon the specific needs and available resources of the user. It should be light-, animal-, and insect-proof.
  • Water treatments – depending upon the intended use for the water, this can consist of drip irrigation, carbon filtration and other treatment techniques.
  • Distribution system – this transports the water from the storage container to the location where it shall be used. It can be powered by gravity or a pump.

Where Do I Start?

One of the most common questions that people ask when planning to harvest rainwater is, ‘where do I start?’ The first thing that you should do is to evaluate your site. You need to know where rainwater flows, drains and pools around your premises. You need to know the size of your property, its boundaries and the location of sewer lines, electric lines and other utility lines. Also determine where your storage tank should be located. These will help you better determine how and where you are to integrate a harvesting system into your property.

The next step you need to take is to determine the type of components you’ll need for your system. You will have to consider your tank size, tank location, the size of your collection surface, quality treatment methods, and method of distribution. For more guidance on how to select the most suitable water storage solution, click here. You could also consult a professional tank or systems installer.

Once you’ve decided on what your system will include and its ideal location, it’s time to select an installer. Make sure that the installer you choose is licensed, experienced and knowledgeable of all installation requirements.

After your system has been installed, make sure to keep it safe and well-maintained so you can make use of it for years and years to come.

If you need high quality water storage solutions for your system, please take a look at our selection. At Waterplex, we offer the most expansive range of water tanks, including transportable Flexitanks and tank liners. Call us on 1300 72 66 70 for more information.

Why Waterplex

The Waterplex Group are specialists in producing innovative solutions for storing & harvesting water without taking up all of your valuable space around the home. Waterplex are a leading provider of water tanks in Australia and we have been part of the Australian water industry for over 10 years. We have built up a reliable national network of resellers and highly experienced installers that deliver a "supply and install" solution that is second to none.

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