Pioneer Water Tanks - Uses for Rainwater Tanks
Different Types of Water Tanks
There are many types of water tanks available on the market – for both residential and commercial use – and they all have their pros and cons. Not just limited to the large steel rainwater tanks offered by Pioneer Water Tanks and used in rural settings across Australia, but also include the common poly water tank- or plastic water tanks – often used for smaller uses, either to supplement mains water or to water gardens, in the form of a larger poly tank or smaller tanks, such as slimline tanks or underground water tanks.
Other tanks you may see include concrete tanks – typically for town water – or smaller, prefabricated steel tanks, made from corrugated iron to catch water for lawns or gardens, or sometimes even for drinking water.
With this range of water tank materials and sizes comes an equally large – if not larger – range of water tanks uses, some of which are detailed below.
More on Water Tanks Uses
How water tanks are used
Residential water supply
The most common use for the larger rainwater tanks is for residential water supply, for homes in rural areas that use their stored water for drinking water, showering, laundry, gardens and any other uses they may require water for.
Typically these homes have no access to mains water, and rely on rainwater tanks and rainwater harvesting for their homes entire water supply, however exceptions exist where people are looking to become more self sufficient and move their home off grid.
The reason a large steel tank is often best for this is the amount of water storage required for adequate water supply for an entire home – some of which family homes – is too large for a single poly tank. Also liner tanks are great for clean water, particularly when they include the Pioneer Water Tanks exclusive Aqualiner Fresh® antimicrobial water tank liner, which is designed to keep your water fresher for longer, preventing the growth or build up of algae and bacteria without the use of chemicals.
Gardens and Laundry
Where there is reliable access to water supply, some people look to install water tanks in order to have more freedom watering their gardens, or simply to save money on their water bill in the part of the home water is used most; the laundry.
Installing a rainwater tank takes the stress out of water use and frees up your water around the home – particularly in states like Western Australia with strict water restrictions in the summer months, which can lead to brown and dead gardens.
Plastic tanks are quite common for this in residential areas, as their smaller profile allows them to fit in places such as down dog runs and under awnings, while still storing several thousand litres of rainwater.
This kind of use also typically extends past the washing machine and front lawn, and includes other high water use areas, such as flushing toilets.
Many people who grew up in rural or semi rural areas on rainwater aren’t huge fans of tap water as a drinking water source, and choose to install rainwater tanks for their potable drinking water.
Provided that you live in an area without too much pollution, and have a clean water catchment area, your water quality should be good enough to drink, and shouldn’t require water filtration – particularly with an antimicrobial tank liner – however many still choose to use a water filter to be safe.
Using rainwater for drinking water typically doesn’t require quite as large rainwater tanks as residential supply or laundry use does, as the average person drinks between 600L and 1000L a year.
A less common use for water tanks, but still reasonably popular in semi rural areas, is using water storage for swimming pools. In the Australian summer, swimming pools can lose quite a bit of water – particularly if they don’t have a cover on them, and a rainwater tank is a great way to store a little additional water so that you’re not breaking the budget.
While water tanks are frequently used for fire protection in industrial or commercial circumstances, such as hospitals, shopping centres and mine sites, they are also important in rural areas for fire fighting purposes.
When it comes to bushfire protection, a water storage tank could make all the difference when fighting to protect your property. A steel water tank is the best choice in these circumstances, and outperformed all others in a CSIRO test performed in 2006.
It is crucial that fire fighting teams have access to water at all times to fight bushfires, and in a nation like Australia, bushfire protection has never been more important.
Irrigation and Crops
Much of Western Australia’s population is based in rural areas, along with much of the economy. These areas often require several water tanks located across the property in order to supply water with high enough water pressure to all corners of the operation.
Some irrigation operations require rainwater tanks simply to store water to prevent it from evaporating, and harvest their water from dams, bores or creeks into a large above ground tank.
Having a number of tanks eases the pressure of the overall operation, and allows for consistent watering of crops, orchards and other plants.
Agriculture and Farming
As well as all of the crops and orchards that need a high quality rainwater tank in order to deliver adequate water storage, herds of cattle, sheep and other livestock also require water storage to survive.
A rainwater storage tank can be fitted with a float valve, allowing for trough filling at the right moment, or simply place around the property to reduce the need for pumping while maintaining adequate water pressure.
The large steel water storage tank is particularly popular on cattle stations, which require significant amounts of water storage to provide enough drinking water to their large herds of cattle.
While these are some of the more common water tanks uses, rainwater tanks are also used in other operations such as wineries, breweries and mining sites, for process water, cooling or filtration.
Water Tank Maintenance
How to properly maintain a water tank
The most important aspects of water tank maintenance are reasonably simple. Ensure that any gutters or rainwater harvesting areas that lead to the tank are clean and free from debris or vermin. Ensure there are no trees or objects hanging over or interfering with the rainwater tank. Ensure that the water tank is being filled and emptied each year. It is also a good idea to check the leaf filter basket at the inlet of your water tank from time to time in order to maintain the cleanliness of your tank water.
Many large steel water tanks come with sacrificial anodes which need to be replaced over time, to ensure that your rainwater tank lasts its full service life by preventing corrosion.
Do you need to clean a water tank?
Typically no, for large tanks, or any tanks with food safe interiors or liners, as long as the rainwater harvesting areas are kept free of major debris. If you do need to clean your water tank, it is best to contact a professional to do so, in order to reduce the risk of damaging your rainwater tank.
Government agency Healthy WA suggests to inspect your tank every 2-3 years for the accumulation of sludge on the tank floor.
If your rainwater tank is used for non potable applications, such as watering your garden or aquaculture including fish, then you’re significantly less likely to need to clean your storage tanks.
Water Storage for your farm and your home
Pioneer Water Tanks are designed to not only comply with, but exceed Australian standards for water storage, ensuring that your water tank is durable and long lasting, but also keeps your water fresh and clean for your family, pets and animals.
If you’re interested in a water tank for your farm or home, or want some information or advice on how a rainwater tank could improve your household; give get in touch with us on 1800 999 599, or by simply clicking here to request a quote for a rainwater tank today, and one of our dealers will be in touch with your customised water tank pricing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you drink tank water?
According to the Department of Health in Western Australia, it is safe to drink tank water in rural areas, provided that it is free from contamination, and has not been collected from a roof or roofs containing preservative treated wood, bituminous products or lead based paint, and should not be collected from parts of the roof with a chimney, discharge pipes from air-conditioners or chemically treated timbers.
For many rural properties in Western Australia where mains water is not available, rainwater tanks are an important resource for providing drinking water to homes and families. A properly maintained water tank provides clean healthy water which can be far fresher and more natural tasting than scheme water.
Is rainwater good for your laundry?
Not only is rainwater good for your laundry, due to its lack of minerals when compared to bore water or scheme water, it is typically softer on your clothes your washing machine. Not only that, as it is very slightly acidic – fluctuating around 5.6 on the pH scale – it actively works to remove these types of minerals from your clothes in the rinse cycle.
So while rainwater won’t make doing your laundry any easier, it certainly might help your clothes remain a little bit softer and cleaner when compared to scheme water, and especially bore water.
What are the benefits of using water tanks?
For many Western Australians, there is no alternative to using water tanks on their property, as they have no access to mains water, and rely on rainwater tanks for their way of life.
For those with access to mains water, however, there are many benefits. Rainwater is marginally better for your laundry, allows you to water your gardens and lawns year round, can reduce water bills and help save you money, and if thousands of rural folk across the state are to be believed; tastes far better than tap water.
Who do I contact if I have a problem with my water tank?
Depending on the problem, the best person to contact is the manufacturer of your water tank, as they have the knowledge and expertise of their product to point you in the right direction. Pioneer Water Tanks’ team of dealers across the state can assist with many water tank issues, including those on non-Pioneer products, including cleaning, relining and repairs.
What is the average lifespan of a water tank?
This is different for all water tanks, however most poly water tanks last upward of 10 years and up to 20, while most steel water tanks last upward of 20 years and up to 30. When purchasing a water tank, look at the included warranty to see how confident the company is that their product will last you in the long run.
Most of the water tanks installed by Pioneer Water Tanks back in 1988 still stand and function as well today as they did in the first year of the business, and all new Pioneer Water Tanks include a 20 year warranty.