The rain that falls from the sky is a resource that we can’t live without! We all remember our primary school lessons on the evaporation cycle, and that the human body is mostly water. In fact, we can live for many days without food, but even a day without water is terribly dangerous. Throughout most of history, harvested rainwater has been a primary or secondary source of water. Where ancient humans would collect rainwater in makeshift containers, most of us in the developed world rely on treated mains water, delivered from reservoirs to our taps.
We have about as much freshwater as we’ve always had, but with our rapidly rising populations, there’s less and less water to go around. Fortunately, rainwater is still an abundant source of fresh water; unfortunately, it’s not quite safe to drink if it’s not treated. Rainwater can also have nasty pollutants, but that’s not all. The introduction of water treatment such as chlorination in the early 1900s means that water-borne pathogens causing cholera and dysentry are a thing of the past to much of the human population; here in Australia, all mains water is treated and safe to drink.
But does all of your water need to come from the mains supply, and be safe to drink? No. In fact, as our water reservoirs get lower and lower, and more and more remote towns run dry and rely on bottled water brought in on trucks, we can expect water rates to rise in the future. Australia is on the brink of a freshwater crisis; but there’s plenty that we can do about it if we work together. A slimline water tank offers you an alternative supply of water during water restrictions, and can reduce your mains water use by up to 100%. This is great for sustainability, because it reduces the need for new dams or desalination plants, protects the stock of water we have in our rivers, and reduces the cost of operating infrastructure to get the water from the mains to your home and garden. Another eco-friendly benefit to water tanks is that harvesting rainwater decreases stormwater runoff, which in turn reduces local flooding and erosion.
It might surprise you to find out that less than 10% of the water used in the average Aussie home is used for drinking water; yet all of our mains water is treated. In fact, half of the average Aussie home’s water consumption is actually used outdoors; in particular, our thirsty gardens.
With water restrictions becoming a daily part of life in many parts of Australia, we’re already used to taking short showers (but wouldn’t it be nice to have a long one?), and only watering our gardens on certain days. For many gardens, this is less than ideal, especially in the hot weather!
You’ve probably noticed how great your garden looks after a good soak, though. That’s because rainwater harvested from a water tank is full of various nourishing nutrients (which mains water doesn’t have, because chlorine kills them off). Rainwater is also slightly more acidic than tap water, making it a great choice for your garden. You can also use rainwater harvested from your water tank to wash your car and water your lawn.
What about indoor uses? Well, on average, your washing machine and toilet use up about half of your indoor water use, and neither of these appliances require treated water. You can also supply rainwater to your shower. You’ll just need to get a licensed plumber to do the plumbing work, and you’re ready to save water!
Sustainability is a very strong argument for getting a water tank, but it’s not the only argument: you can also save hundreds of dollars a year by reducing overreliance on water, switching to the natural and free resource of rainwater. It’s a great financial investment, and an investment in Australia’s water future!
Select Water Tanks is a family-owned Australian company based in Logan Village, south of Brisbane