Is an Underground Rainwater Tank suitable for You?
New homeowners and property developers are recently integrating rainwater harvesting systems into backyards and gardens to allow for the collection of rainwater during the rainy season to be used as a backup to municipal water or a main water source itself. One ideal system thought to store as much rainwater possible is found in rainwater tanks. Rainwater tanks come in different capacities, designs, materials, and sizes; but all shows the intent of a home or property owner to conserve precious drinking water, which is one of the most pressing issues we must deal with today. There are various above ground and underground rainwater tank available in the market now.
However, property owners have different needs and different uses for rainwater, not to mention different property sizes. Consequently, many suppliers have different rainwater tanks in their product listings so buyers have a myriad of tanks from which to choose. One attractive investment popular among households and property owners now are underground rainwater tanks. But is an underground rainwater tank the right one for you? In this post, let’s examine the components of a rainwater harvesting system and why an underground rainwater tank is for you.
Main Components of a Rainwater Harvesting System
The most integral part of a rainwater harvesting system is the underground rainwater tank, designed to be installed below ground level within the property, as opposed to other types of rainwater tanks built above ground. Depending on how the water will be used and the extent of pollution in an area, a household or a property owner may need to acquire dedicated equipment to filter and purify rainwater, whenever needed, but all systems have all the following features in common:
- Screens and diverters. The leaf guards and screens of the rainwater harvesting system keep debris like leaves, dirt, silt, etc., from blocking the roof gutters that are connected to the rainwater collection pipes. Furthermore, filters as small as 1 mm (1,000 microns) will ideally be installed to keep finer debris and organic matter reaching the tank.
- Rainwater storage tank. This is the underground rainwater tank itself, which could be built immediately below a building or in a separate area around the property. Most models are cast as one-piece designs from high-density polyethylene plastics or fibreglass and encased in compacted stone or concrete. The underground rainwater tank is then buried 1.2 meters below ground. A standard in this rainwater harvesting system is an inspection cover for maintenance or repair, but little human interference is required once the tank is installed.
- Tank overflows. This component diverts excess water to stormwater drainage and prevents flooding in and around the tank area.
- Float switch. The float switch allows owners to monitor the water level inside the tank and prevent it from drying up.
- Water pump. Usually submerged within the tank structure which then feeds water into the property’s outlet pipes to provide water whenever needed.
- Power supply and other controls. These components are located above ground connected to wires and sensors in the tank so owners are able to monitor the water level without having to physically open the tank. Similar systems also allow operators to shut down the system for maintenance work.
Is an underground rainwater tank for you?
If your aim is to conserve drinking water as much as possible, any rainwater tank will do, plainly speaking. However, an underground rainwater tank gives you a distinct flexibility where above-ground tanks cannot.
As the tank is buried deep underground, the free space you have could easily be turned into a garden or an area where an above-ground tank could be installed. Since the rainwater is stored beneath the ground, the water is protected from the elements and can be kept at cool temperatures all year round, even during the hot summer months. The cold temperatures also inhibit the growth of algae, which virtually eliminates any maintenance or cleaning the rainwater and the tank may need. And an additional purification system installed in conjunction with an underground rainwater harvesting system means you have a potential drinking water source separate from your grey water.
Conclusion: Should you get an underground rainwater tank?
No matter which way you look at it, a rainwater harvesting system allows a home or property owner to be independent from municipal water supply. Although the cost of an underground rainwater tank is definitely considerable in the short run, the long-term effects to an owner’s savings and in the environment definitely make an underground rainwater tank a worthwhile investment.