If you're thinking of significantly saving on your water bills while contributing to Australia's water future, then a water tank is a great choice both for the planet and your pocket. So, what do you need to know when choosing the best water tank for your needs? Let's talk about that!
Most non-industrial water tanks in Australia are made out of one of three materials: poly (plastic), fibreglass or steel. They each have their own advantages and disadvantages, so what's right for your neighbour might not be right for you, but the main factors to think about are upfront cost, tank longevity (so you'll save on your water bill for longer), and eco-friendliness (recyclability).
Poly is the cheapest, but has the shortest lifespan, particularly as they degrade in the sun. By the time they've deteriorated enough to need replacement, they're also often too far-gone to have any recycling value.
Fibreglass is a bit more expensive, but has a longer lifespan. They're not generally recyclable.
Steel is a particularly economical and eco-friendly choice, balancing initial upfront cost with many decades of lifespan - and recyclability to boot. For example, Select Water Tanks offers up to 30 years warranty on their stainless steel slimline water tanks and round water tanks, so you can enjoy savings on your mains water usage (and your water bills!) for decades to come.
Water tanks can technically be used for any of the purposes you use mains water for, if the water is sufficiently treated using a whole-house filtration system; however, since only a small percentage of your household water goes towards drinking water (or other water requiring treatment, for purposes like washing vegetables), you could consider skipping filtration and just using your harvested tank water for other purposes like doing the laundry, flushing the toilets and so on.
If you'll be using your tank water for household purposes, you'll need to get a licensed plumber to hook your water tank into your household plumbing. On the other hand, outdoors water usage like gardening, watering your lawn, washing your car, etc. takes up around half of the average Aussie household's water consumption - so even if you're only using your tank water outside, you'll still be making great strides towards reducing your bill AND contributing to Australia's water security.
Ideally, your water tank should have enough capacity to meet a significant chunk of your monthly household water needs. If you install your tank during the dry season, it'll be ready and waiting for the wet season, and when the dry season comes around again, you'll be able to supplement your mains water usage with water collected during the wet. Easy!
The best way to figure this out is to look at your recent mains water bills; if you're only planning to use your tank water for outside purposes, you can reasonably divide that figure by half, and that's approximately your monthly outside water usage. A tank with capacity to meet that usage should be just about right for your needs.
Water tanks are an easy, affordable way to make your home more sustainable while saving money at the same time - it's a real win-win for your finances and the environment. Let's keep Australia green!