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Rainwater Benefits

The number one reason for installing a rainwater tank in Australia is to save water according to the latest rainwater tank figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics' (ABS).  

Rain water tanks and collection systems

Rainwater storage tanks have been a highly successful source of harvesting water supplies for isolated properties, small communities and in rural areas of Australia for over 200 years.

However, in Metropolitan areas there are other factors that need to be considered to ensure that the rainwater you harvest can be used to its full potential. Water quality is a potential problem with all roof water systems due to:

  • Atmospheric pollution

  • Bird and possum droppings

  • Insects and other small animals

  • Roofing materials and paints

  • Detergents and other chemicals (ie fibrous cement roofs - lime contamination)


Deciding why you want to install a rainwater tank?
A Plumber can advise how a rainwater tank can:

  • Save you money on water bills

  • Help the environment

  • Collect and conserve water supplies from the rain

  • Help in a fire fighting situation

  • To use rainwater inside your home - Using rainwater indoors (66kb PDF)


4 factors which primarily determine the reliability of rainwater tank supply are:

  • Local rainfall patterns in your area - View the Australian Rainfall Table

  • Roof catchment area and down pipe location (you may only be capturing 1/6 of your roof area)

  • Demand for water (there might be a better year round use for the water such as toilet flushing)

  • Rainwater tank capacity

  • Use H2OmeCalc to calculate your household's portential rainwater harvest


Householder / Plumber Checklist

  • Measures to prevent access to children to reduce the risk of accidental drinking and entry into the tank

  • Ensure that rainwater is not connected to the reticulated supply, (backflow prevention - dual check valve)

for further information visit


Tank Materials
Rainwater tanks can be made from a range of materials including concrete, plastic (polyethylene), or steel. 

In the following video, Stuart Heldon from TankWorks shares some of the benefits of steel rainwater tanks.

Filtration and water treatment



Urban Rainwater Statistical Data Communication 

Proposed Regions


Rainfall month of August


Year to Date (October 2004) YTD


Potable water saved by using rainwater








35mm August








= 45,000 ltrs


Example YTD rainfall 500mm

0.50 x 100m2 x 0.9 x 1000 =45,000 ltrs harvested


A family of 4 would have had enough rainwater harvested during the past 9 months in Sydney  to complete all the laundry washing and toilet flushing use.


Or they could have had 75 hrs of garden watering


SA    Adelaide


35mm August

YTD 300mm

=   27,000ltrs


WA   Perth


150mm August

YTD 600mm

= 54,000 ltrs




Gold Coast



25mm August


YTD 1000mm






75mm August

YTD 500mm

= 45,000 ltrs



Rainfall data sourced from Commonwealth Bureau of Meteorology



Harvested Rainfall data based on 100m2 roof catchment area.

90% runoff into rainwater storage unit.

Toilet Flushing

Based on family of 4 with 6/3 dual flush toilet suite – using 30,000ltrs / year,

2500ltrs / month

Laundry Washing

Based on family of 4 people, 4 loads per week, medium automatic top loader -  using 28,000ltrs / year

2350ltrs / month

Garden Watering / other outdoor use

Based on 1 hour water at 10ltrs/min 600ltrs/hr  (hand held garden hose)

Last Updated on Thursday, 15 May 2014 16:20
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