Under South Australian building rules, every new home requires the installation of a minimum 1000L rainwater tank as an addition to mains water supply.
Under building rules, rainwater tanks in SA must be connected to one of the following; a household toilet, a water heater or cold-water laundry outlets. As homeowners we have the option to choose the capacity of our rainwater tank and how we use the captured water in our home. We discuss how rainwater can be used as an alternative to mains water, this is not only has a positive environmental impact but also can save households money on their quarterly water bill.
Drinking and Cooking
With the installation of a quality tank and filtration system rainwater can be safe option for drinking water in all Australian households. Typically, rainwater does not contain added chlorine which is used to sanitise mains water however, with the right system it is possible to filter, disinfect and add fluoride to your drinking and cooking water derived from your rain water tank.
Toilet / Washing Machine / Hot Water System
Rainwater can be a great alternative to mains water for use in your household toilet, washing machine and hot water systems. With the correct filtration system, this can be a great way to make use of your home rainwater tank catchment.
Outdoor Garden Use
During our hot summers using rainwater to water your garden and lawns is a great option to take pressure off the mains water systems. Household tanks have a garden tap attachment which allows easy connection to your household sprinkler / watering hose. Rainwater can also be used for an underground irrigation system, allowing you to rest assured your garden will be tended to in the most sustainable way.
When building a new home, it is important to consider how you would like to utilise your catchment during the early stages of a build. There are a number of rainwater tank types which should be considered in addition to filtration systems, monthly and annual maintenance which should be considered.
Whilst there may be initial higher costs to ensure the correct tank, pump, plumbing and filtration systems are in place, the long term investment is positive for both your household finances and our environmental impact.
To learn more about the use of domestic rainwater tanks the SA department of Energy and Environment have provided a resource for all consumers. We encourage our clients to consult with their builder and plumbing contractor to discuss how their rainwater tank can become a great addition to their new home.
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