The Pros and Cons of Rainwater Harvesting

**Please note Versatile Tanks DO NOT repair water tanks**

The latest ‘Water use and Conservation’ report found that 34% of Australian households suitable for a rainwater tank had already installed one. That’s a marked increase from previous years, and one that can be easily explain when you investigate the wide ranging benefits that come with the installation of a rainwater harvesting system.

Pros:

Reduce water costs

Water-tankThe most common reason for installing a rainwater-harvesting tank is to save money. The average garden hose sprays out litres upon litres of water for each minute of use, and you’ll be paying for every drop. The initial investment might seem steep, but it’s one that pays dividends in the long run.

This is especially true if you need to water for purposes other than gardening. Some rainwater harvesting systems can be used to fill swimming pools, flush toilets, and even fill dishwashers and washing machines.

Kinder to the environment

When you install a rainwater harvesting tank, you’re not just going to be saving money, you’re also going to be helping the environment. Studies have shown that switching to a rainwater harvesting tank can reduce a household’s water consumption by up to 100% (depending on tank size and climate).

That’s 50% less water that needs to be gathered and filtered using energy intensive processes, instead using an environmentally-friendly solution to catch rain directly from the sky. Additionally, areas with higher population densities can experience a reduced risk of flooding during heavy rainfall if a sufficient number of inhabitants have installed a plastic or concrete rainwater harvesting tank.

Reduce impact of water restrictions

In order to achieve sustainable water usage, authorities across Australia are becoming committed to the introduction of permanent rules concerning daily water use. These water restrictions invariably occur during long, hot summers, and are rarely welcomed by the residents.

However, if you install a rainwater harvesting tank, you should be able to call upon a significant back-up supply. This can be used after a water restriction level has been reached, or even as a complete alternative.

Cons:

You may need to treat the water

Rainwater can be used in your garden without filtration. In fact, the biological matter suspended in rainwater is likely to be beneficial for your plants.

However, rainwater to be used in internal fixtures will need to be filtered and disinfected. A sediment filter must be used to remove any contaminants, which might clog filters and valves, or cause discoloration. If you plan on drinking your rainwater, or using it for washing yourself, you will also need a high-intensity ultraviolet sterilizer to destroy harmful microorganisms.

It can be difficult to harvest sufficient quantities

Although a rainwater harvesting tank can help you through droughts, the amount of water they store is unlikely to last forever. However, this is why it’s crucial to work with a company who understand your needs. Taking the average rainfall in your area into account, the right size tank can be utilized, meaning you won’t pay for something too large that never fills.

Ultimately, the benefits of rainwater harvesting vastly outweigh the disadvantages, although it’s still worth taking the drawbacks into account when you’re deciding on exactly which type of system you’re going to install.

Useful resources:

How to install a concrete water storage tank

Your definitive guide to underground concrete water tanks

Frequently asked questions

1 thought on “The Pros and Cons of Rainwater Harvesting”

  1. Annie Frances

    I love how much money I could save by installing a water tank. I plan on using mine for my washing machine in addition to my garden, so I’m glad it will pay off in the end. Also, I like the idea of using natural rainwater. It all comes and goes, but I like that it is better for the environment. Thanks for the great article!

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