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Rainwater Tanks The Way To The Future

Jun 16, 2008
The rainwater tank craze that has swept across the globe has been in full swing for more than 5 years now and is showing no signs of slowing down. With so much talk around the world about global warming over the last few years many home owners are only just starting to notice the effects.

Many home owners are now commenting that in 25 years they have never run out of rain water in their existing water tanks and are now buying larger water tanks as a backup supply to complement their current supplies.

For example Australia has only just recently come out of an extended drought period and many parts are still suffering the effects. The effects of the drought in rural areas have filtered down to the urban areas with many of Australia's major cities now affected by water restrictions.

Water restrictions are now something every consumer will have to get accustomed to as population growth and global warming stretch our precious water reserves. A few years ago many local governments introduced a water tank rebate which still continues today.

The rebate was introduced to try to encourage the consumer to take responsibility of their own non essential use of potable water. It is far easier and cheaper for the government to make everyone get rainwater tanks than for them to build new dams, not to mention better for our environment not flooding so much land and trees and altering the natural flow of rivers.

The introduction of the water tank rebates sparked a boom in the rainwater tank industry with many now "global warming conscious" people jumping on the eco band wagon and installing a water tank. This has seen a huge rise in water tank manufacturing companies on the east coast of Australia trying to cope with the demand driven by the new urban market.

The water tanks market has now been flooded (no pun intended) with tanks and under cutting within the market is now prevalent. Great for the consumer but not for struggling manufactures. Many manufacturers and resellers have now closed the doors due to too much competition and only the astute businesses are rising to the top to take their share of the water tank boom.

The rainwater tanks boom has also been great for the plumbing industry as it is law to have your tank installed by a licensed plumbing contractor if you wish to connect your tanks supplies to your house for the flushing of toilets and washing of clothes etc.

It is also necessary to have a plumber sign off on the tanks installation in order to receive the maximum rebate offered by the government.

The other windfall for the rainwater tanks industry has been the introduction of BASIX. BASIX is the building sustainability index, which is an evaluation tool developed by the NSW Government, to ensure that natural resources such as energy and water are conserved.

Simply, BASIX is designed to reduce the impacts of new housing on the environment. The BASIX tool currently assesses the potential performance of proposed new housing against various sustainability indices, including landscape, stormwater, water, thermal comfort and energy.

As a minimum, a new development must be able to demonstrate the commitments selected will use 40% less mains water, and 25% less energy than conventional buildings of a similar type.

All new development now have to comply with BASIX regulations which means in part water tanks for everyone building a new house or doing major renovations.

This has injected a whole new line of prospects for the water tank reseller and manufactures alike. Builders are now lining up to purchase rainwater tanks in order to have their building passed off by the building inspectors.

What a lot of builders are fast finding out is that due to high demand the availability of rainwater tanks is not as easy as picking up some timber from the hardware store.

Many tank manufactures are so in demand that a wait of up to 12 weeks is common for some tanks. This is time frame varies from time to time and is to the extreme but a wait of 3 to 4 weeks is normal.

You can get off the rack tanks faster if you know where to shop but in these cases you don't get a choice of where you fittings are positioned and get a limited choice of colors.

If you are building a house or are just thinking of getting a rainwater tank make sure to order your tank well before you need it to avoid disappointment.

Rainwater tanks are here to stay, not a passing fad and something you are going to see more and more in the suburban back yard from now on. They are great for the environment and it's a great feeling to be able to do what you want, whenever you want with the water you collect off you roof without fear of being reported by nosy passersby and prosecution by the water police.
About the Author
Darrell Young is a third generation master plumber running his own plumbing
company since 2001. For more information on how to save water and money visit his web site at
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