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How to Build Your Own Water Storage

Rainwater tanks are great to have, but have you ever thought about building your own water storage tank? It’s easy really, if you can find the right materials. Sometimes it can be quite satisfying to save a few hundred dollars and build your own within a hundred dollars, to supplement your store-bought storage tanks.

Visit your local hardware store and get the things you will need (approximate measurements are for a 6400 litre tank): 14-guage 2X4 inch welded wire (3X50 feet roll of this), 3 feet wide thirty-pound asphalt roofing (the kind without the rough pebbled side) and a 20X100 feet roll of 4 mil Visqueen plastic in black. And finally, some washed sand.

Steps to Follow

First, level the area where you’ll place your water tank. This is important, because uneven ground could cause the restraining wire to warp. Next, cut the wire roll in a way that the ends that join can overlap by at least a foot.

When you’ve got your roll for the perimeter of your tank, stand it in as near a perfect circle as you can. You can use wooden stakes as props every few feet or so. Connect the overlapping ends by twisting the free wire fingers remaining at the ends.

Line this cage with one or more layers of asphalt felt. One layer is usually enough for most cases. Again, allow a foot to overlap at the joint. You can hold it snugly against the wire with some more wire formed into a clip.

Push some earth up against the perimeter of the tank where it meets the ground. Clean the area of debris, tamp it down, and spread some sand around. Next, cut out an 11X11 feet roll of Visqueen and pleat it carefully around the inner wall of the tank.

Cut another roll of plastic 17 feet long and original roll width which you will place over the first layer. Begin filling your tank. As you do so, smooth out the wrinkles on the plastic by pulling the overhanging edge from the outside. When the water is about 2 inches deep, push some sand around the outer edge of the tank with medium pressure. As the tank fills, cut of the edge of the overhanging plastic, leaving a skirt of about 2 or 3 inches which you can tuck between the asphalt and the wire or layers of felt.

That’s all there is to it. You have a sturdy tank that can withstand almost any kind of weather and can last quite long. And it can take less than fifty dollars to set up!

Don’t Want To Build Your Own Water Storage?

If you want to be realistic though, while having your own tank might be good for your gardens, it’s quite inexpensive today to invest in a properly manufactured rainwater tank. Poly water tanks in particular can be installed quite inexpensively, and also plumbed into toilets and laundry. You may even be able to tap into rebate schemes offered by your local council.

Three water tank manufacturers I recommend in you live in Australia are Clark Tanks, Team Poly and National Poly Industries. Be sure to check out their websites and compare products.

Is Rainwater Harvesting a Fad or Fab?

Many people wonder if a rainwater tank is really worthwhile. You can save much money paying for your water usage and governments today often want us to meet green efficiency targets. So there are many reasons both practical and fiscal to purchase a water tank.

Of course how much water you collect in your tank will depend on where you stay and the rainfall in the area. But generally, try to have as many downpipes on your roof catchment area to ensure that you can save at least 80 percent of the rainwater that falls on your roof. A small to medium sized home with about 250 sq meters of roof can have 3 downpipes for efficient saving. With Sydney rains, it is possible to harvest as much as 100,000 litres of water in a year!

But your usage pattern will finally decide how efficient your tank is. If you store 100,000 litres in a year before you use it, you will be wasting all that overflowing water the next time it rains.

So in addition to deciding upon your desired style of tank – whether slimline water tanks, round water tanks, underground water tanks or something else – make your measurements, check your area’s rainfall patterns, your own usage patterns and come to a reasonably workable plan for how much water to save in a year. Buy your tank accordingly, and you will be able to make the most of the rains and survive the dry spells quite comfortably.

And remember, harvested water tastes better as it’s less salty and the plants and appliances love it!


May 2013
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