It’s no secret that South Africa is a country with a high potential for water-shortages, from short-term dry-spells to drastic droughts. That’s why it’s not just an advantage to save water, it’s a necessity. One of the most efficient ways of water conservation and making it through dry-spells is to make use of a water tank. More and more business and homeowners are investing in and installing water tanks onto their properties.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
- A rainwater collection system reduces the chances of your garden flooding by up to 60%
- Rainwater is better for your garden as it has a balanced ph and is chemical-free.
- Not to mention harvesting rainwater is a green solution and reduces your carbon footprint.
Before you go out and get the first tank you see, you have to assess your needs & goals for the tank once it will be installed. Here are a few drops of wisdom regarding the various elements to do with water tanks:
- Ensure that the tank you buy is made from food-grade quality materials, if you plan on consuming any of the water stored in the tank. Most reputable tanks have an inner lining that prevents algae growth.
- Tank sizes range from 260 – 20,000 litres. It all depends on where your tank will be installed and what it will be used for. Tank sizes tend to stretch more in width than in height, but it’s always best to measure your intended space long before deciding on what size tank you plan to install.
But on average, most large households rarely use more than 10,000 litre tanks for the purpose of a secondary water source.
When planning a water backup solution for your farm or business, it’s best to consider the following:
- Do a water usage audit on every point of your business where water might be used (machines, plumbing, irrigation, staff ablutions, etc).
- Assess the level of importance that each of those points has to your business, then work your way down from most to least important.
- To estimate the water supply needed for your staff, take the maximum number of employees on site at any given 24-hour period, then multiply that by 40 litres. This should give you an average consumption rate for staff.
1 – The Base:
- Ensure the desired surface for the tank’s base is completely level and flat. Your tank will need to remain sturdy and stationary at all times. Also ensure it is at least 150mm high.
- For concrete surfaces – it’s a good idea to use wire mesh (used in concrete driveways mostly) so the concrete won’t crack over time. Ensure the concrete is completely dry and free of surface debris before placing the tank onto it.
- For other surfaces – it’s a good idea to build a wooden frame around the perimeter of the tank, then fill that frame with pea gravel and place the tank on top (DO NOT USE sand, as it erodes over time). Consult our in-store experts on the best gravel to get for this project.
2 – The Setup:
- When? It’s best to install a water tank when you don’t need it. Fit your water tank before the rainy season starts, so you can gather the maximum amount of water.
- Filtration & Insulation – Ensure the gutters for your rainwater collecting system are all cleaned out, and that you seal all connecting pipes with glue before locking them in place. Utilize add-ons like a leaf-eater attachment, etc.
- Overflow – Ensure that you connect an overflow pipe to your tank, and that it leads securely and is connected properly to the stormwater system.
- Stubborn seals – If you have any trouble connecting elbows or pipes with inner seals, just rub some dishwashing liquid on the rubber to lubricate the seal so it slides on easily.
3 – Optimize with Accessories:
- Pump – Most rainwater collection systems will require a pump to generate adequate pressure, especially if you’re connecting it to fixtures like plumbing & washing machines.
- Tap – If you do decide to add a tap to your water tank, try and opt for a Dezincification-resistant (DZR) brass tap, as it doesn’t require a 40/20 reducer and is safe for drinking water.
- First flush diverters & Vent caps – Most roofs have lead flashing which can be toxic if mixed into your drinking water, a flush diverter will divert the first 20 litres of rainwater carrying these toxic chemicals from your roof, so that it doesn’t enter the tank. And once the water is collected, a vent cap will allow the collected water to “breathe” & oxygenate.
BUCO supplies a number of drainage system and water tank solutions visit our experts in store for advice on a solution tailored to your needs.