It has often been claimed that when you install a rainwater tank in your home, you will be reducing your water bills. And now, the amount of savings is quantifiable. A new study has shown that households can save hundreds of dollars a year on their water bills just by harvesting rain off their rooftops.
Analysis by the Office of Living Victoria shows the amount of rain that hit some homes last year was the equivalent of almost $400 in drinking water if it had come out of the tap. The analysis is based on a typical single-storey, three-bedroom house in 2013.
Figures show that the amount of rain that fell in the Melbourne suburb of Cranbourne last year meant families would have had 172,000 litres hit their rooftops. And even in suburbs that may have seen less rain, rainwater harvested into rainwater tanks would still have saved families more than $200 a year.
With heatwaves and droughts a constant reality in Australia, collecting rainwater when it’s available and storing it for future use will no doubt save households more and more money in the future. This is especially true with governments in major Australian capital cities currently investigating ways to meet the increasing demand for water, which will no doubt translate to an increase in costs to the taxpayer, in the forms of tax and rates increases.
Melbourne is looking at the possibility of installing at least two additional desalination plants at a total cost of $6 billion, and authorities are considering pumping water from Brisbane’s Wivenhoe Dam or to start looking at alternative measures. Such is the urgency to keep up with water demands and sustainability that in the Queensland town of Toowoomba, council has requested that rainwater tanks be mandatory in all new homes.
Installing a rainwater tank in your home will make you less dependent on water storage dams and mains water supply, and harvesting rain water is an extremely easy and uncomplicated process. The rain water that falls on your roof is funneled along your gutters and into downpipes connected to your rainwater tank.
You can then use the free collected rain water to do a variety of things that you would normally have had to pay for using the drinking water that comes from the mains water supply. Things such as watering the garden and washing the car. Even better, plumbing your rainwater tank to your toilet and laundry will mean you no longer need to flush the toilet and wash your clothes using precious drinking water. This consistent use of your harvested rain water all year round will also allow for continuous and optimal rainfall collection.