Deciding to install a water tank is only the beginning. In a nation as dry as this one, a tank is almost a necessity, and installing it just before the rainy season is a useful idea. There are other choices that go with it. You have to choose whether you want an in-ground or surface tank and whether you’d prefer plastic, steel, fibreglass, or concrete.
The most significant decision is the size of your tank. Get one that’s too small, and you’ll have a constant deficit in your storage capacity. Buy an overly-large one, and your water is likely to get soiled and rancid before you’ve had a chance to use it. It’s also possible that your tank will never be full if the rainfall in your region is incompatible with your tank size.
Fortunately, there are many guiding factors that can help you pick the right sized tank. Start by figuring out how much water your household uses in a week. There are multiple online calculators that can give you a rough estimate, based on your activities and the number of people in your compound. They’re very easy to use.
A typical calculator indicates the amount of water used per second, minute, or hour. For example, it estimates that a typical shower uses 5 litres a minute, then leaves a tab where you can fill in the number of showers you take in a day, and how long your showers are. This process is repeated for laundry, dish-washing, brushing teeth, flushing toilets, and so on.
The calculator also includes estimates for cooking, machine use, and outdoor activities. This is a good way to judge how much volume is needed, and once you have a weekly estimate, you can conclude how much you require in a month.
Water storage basics recommend that you should always have a month’s worth on hand since that’s more than enough time to find a substitute water source. If you’re running a farm, there are dairy calculators and farm calculators you can to gauge water consumption.
When it’s raining heavily, you may feel like all that water is going to waste since there’s no way to harvest it all. In reality though, no matter how many tanks you buy, you won’t have enough room to store all the abundance of the heavens. But you can easily figure out how much water you can realistically collect.
Look at the amount of roofing on your property. For every square metre of roofing, you can catch about 1-litre water per millimetre of rainfall. However, you can only collect that much water if your roof is effectively connected to a gutter that leads to a tank. The rest of the water will be lost, as it seeps into the building or floods off the sides of the roof.
You can use this estimate to decide how big your tank should be, based on how much rainwater it can hold every time it rains. And if you have multiple roofing strictures, you can choose to have several tanks, each one connected to a different roofing gutter. This multiplies your storage capacity given the same intensity and duration of rainfall.
Another advantage of using more than one tank is they act as their own failsafe. If one of the tanks gets contaminated, pierced, or damaged, you’ll still have other water sources you can use. However, the economics of scale apply. Buying a single large tank can cost half as much as installing smaller tanks of the same capacity.
Of course, your tank size might be decided by a different figure altogether. While you can guesstimate your water use, you’re restricted by the tank sizes that your selected supplier has in stock. The style is a key deciding a factor as well.
If your chosen capacity is only available in above-ground models that you may not have space for, you may have to go underground in another size, and vice versa. To get as close as you can to satisfaction, buy your tank from a supplier that has numerous size, colour, structure, style, and construction material options.