In some areas around the world, the idea of having your own water tank at home might seem a little strange. When there is a constant water supply, readily available, why would you want to collect rainwater? How could this help you? What benefits and advantages could collecting water yourself have? Why would it ever be worth the effort? Yet, in Australia, rainwater tanks are becoming a standard feature in homes. Many new-build homes and commercial properties are built with water tanks ready to use. Older home owners are considering buying their own tank, and people find that even a small capacity tank can have a positive effect on their lives. So, why do you need a water tank at home?
We don’t all have that constant and readily available water supply and with growing populations and environmental damage, some water supplies are are no longer a reliable source. In fact, in many areas around the globe, water is in short supply. Harsh weather conditions mean that less water is available because more is needed to keep crops and farms alive and growing. Having your own supply of water is insurance against Mother Nature's harshness, for one.
Even if your home has access to a water supply which is efficient and constant, you might find that you face hosepipe bans and restrictions over harsh summers. Climate change means that in the future, these summers might be getting hotter, drier and more uncomfortable. The signs are already there, and harsh weather the world over might become the norm in the coming years. A water tank means that even in times of great water shortages, you’ll have access to your own private supply. Even a small container can give a family all that they need for basic hygiene with plenty left over to cool down in a splash pool.
When you hear 'water tank' you might think of massive industrial water collection points that are unsightly and ruin the appearance of your home and garden. But, rainwater tanks aren’t all the same. Rainwater tanks come in a vast range of styles, sizes, colours and capacities. Slimline tanks are a great option and are easy to hide in your existing space. Or you can choose a colour that compliments your outdoor décor and exterior design style of your home. And surrounding it with shrubs or cladding can create an attractive feature in your garden. If your space is severely limited, consider the option of installing an underground tank which takes up very little space above ground.
Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.
- W. H. Auden
Home water consumption can be costly. If you’ve got a big family, you use water every day on baths and showers, toilet flushing and hand washing, cooking, cleaning, washing clothes and dishes and then some. We drink water and use it to make hot drinks. We use water to brush our teeth and to wash our cars. We fill pools and clean windows. We use water all day, every day. This can lead to exceptionally high utility bills. Making an effort to take shorter showers and turn the taps off while we brush our teeth, can cut our bills and help with water waste. But, incorporating the use of rainwater into your everyday life can cut costs quite drastically. Within a few years, your water tank will more than pay for itself, even if you only use it minimally.
Save the Planet
Our planet's resources are depleting. We are past the point of being able to argue this or to undo the damage, but we can reduce it. We are running out of all of our resources but water is one of the fastest to deplete. We are, without a doubt, draining our clean water supply. Try for a second, to imagine a life without clean water. Sure, we already have the odd shortage or ban, but it’s not the same as never having access to clean, fresh water ever again. Of course, all of those small changes that we are making to save money and resources are fantastic and if we all continue to do our bit, we will make progress in keeping clean water supplies clean and saving unnecessary waste. But, it’s not enough. We also have to collect more from the best natural source - rain - as we can as individuals and households, and a rainwater tank will help us do just that.
To Save Water
Rainwater is usually wholly safe to drink and can be filtered. But, most collected rainwater is used for jobs like watering the plants and washing the car, for filling the kid's water pistols, or even cleaning windows. But, even without being used as drinking water, having a rainwater collecting tank can mean that you use a lot less from your traditional water supply. If your supply is restricted or short, then this investment can make a massive difference to your life. It will mean that even during limited water times, you’ll have alternative access for your everyday use and enjoyment.
When water is readily available, it can be hard to imagine ever needing a tank. (This is why those of us that don’t have them keep putting it off.) Then - just like heating or cooling in your home - when we need more, it’s too late. When it's hardly raining there is nothing to collect. But a rainwater tank isn’t just for the here and now. If you don’t need the water right away, you can store it until you do. Your tank will hold and protect the water until you are in need. So, don’t put it off, get a tank and be well prepared when the water supply is short (especially if you have a pool - please consider it your environmental duty)!
Here's to water - glorious water!
Have you got a tank? Are you absolutely getting one now?
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