The general rule is to install the largest tank possible as the bigger the tank, the less it costs you per litre of water harvested. However, the optimum size of a water tank will be determined by a number of factors:
Cycle of Usage
This refers to how often the harvested water in a rainwater tank is used and replenished by rain events. The most efficient use of rainwater, from a conservation perspective, is to use it as a complementary water source for flushing toilets and filling up washing machines. This can account for a large portion of the water used inside your house. By using the rainwater in this way your water tank is constantly being depleted then topped up each time it rains. If rainwater is not used frequently it will just overflow to the storm water drain at each rain event.
The size of the catchment area will determine the amount of rainwater harvested with each rain event. One mm of rain will harvest one litre of rainwater for every one square meter of catchment area (roof space). For example, if you have a catchment area of 50 square meters, you will catch 500 liters of rainwater whenever you receive 10mm of rain. (Keep in mind we generally experience about 10-20% loss, so it might actually be about 400L per 10mm of rain).
Again, this is determined by a number of factors:
The most appropriate base for a water tank is a concrete slab. Ideally this would be a minimum of 100mmin depth and 100mm larger than the width and length (or diameter) of the water tank. Reinforcing steel mesh should be used in the slab.
Another method of constructing a base is with pre-cast concrete slabs on a bed of crusher dust. It is a good idea to seal the crusher dust in with concrete pointing or treated pine railings so it doesn’t wash away.
Compacted crusher dust bases can be used for round water tanks. The crusher dust should be retained to prevent erosion. Over time, it may be necessary to augment a crusher dust base.
You can find more detail about tank base preparation here.
Wherever there is a town supply of mains water it is not recommended that you drink the water from your tank. Tankworks water tanks are made from a food grade AS4020 certified material, so they can be used for storage of potable water. There are filtration devices available that can help to ensure that your tank water safer for drinking. Please Ask an Expert if you have more specific questions about water filtration.
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