Benefits of a Multi-tank Rainwater Harvesting System
PUBLISHED 23 DEC 2016
Before investing in a new rainwater harvesting tank, you need to carefully consider your household water requirements, and how much water you will need to store to meet these requirements. You can either invest in one large water tank, or multiple smaller tanks that collectively hold a higher volume of water. A linked multiple-tank rainwater harvesting setup offers several benefits, as outlined below.
Limits water loss due to leaks or contamination
As mentioned before, planning and foresight is key to successful rainwater harvesting, especially if you plan to go off-grid and it will be your only source of water. Therefore, one thing you need to consider is how you would cope in the event of a water storage tank failing or if the water stored within the tank becomes contaminated. Having multiple tanks can reduce the amount of water lost in the event of a leak in the tank or if the tank needs to be flushed due to water contamination. This not only minimizes the risk of losing your precious water supply, but also alleviates the stress associated with such an experience, and will help you sleep easier at night.
If you only have one water tank and for some reason it has to be replaced due to damage, where would you transfer the water stored inside to? Also, consider how much rainwater you could be collecting before the replacement tank is delivered. Having multiple tanks provides a backup in case of such eventualities, providing you with an uninterrupted supply of water should one tank fail for whatever reason.
If you live in an outlying rural area that is not supplied with municipal water, a multiple tank rainwater harvesting system is crucial as you need to have a backup supply of water, and you need to capture as much rainwater as possible during the rainy season. Consequently, if you are self-sufficient with water, a multiple tank system offers a practical solution for overcoming these obstacles.
Smaller water tanks can make more efficient use of space
While you may think that installing one large water tank will take up less space in your garden than two or three smaller tanks offering the same storage volume, this may not necessarily be the case. If your garden has limited space or narrow, awkward areas that would not accommodate a large water tank, a multi-tank systems comprising a series of smaller tanks could possibly make more efficient use of the available space.
While water tanks are available in a range of aesthetic colours and designs, smaller water tanks are easier to camouflage, and blend in better with existing landscaping or structures. Depending on where you live, it may not be acceptable to install a large unsightly water tank if it is visible from the road in front of your property. Installing a series of smaller water tanks will help you work around these issues.
Multi-tank setup offers an expandable water storage solution
Having a multi-tank rainwater harvesting system offers a flexible solution that allows you to expand or reduce the number of tanks according to your water requirements. Although rainfall collection and the cost of additional pipes and water diverters need to be factored in, it is typically much easier and more cost effective to simply add another tank than to replace a small tank with a bigger one.
While the initial installation of a multi-tank system may be a little more involved than simply installing a single tank, the flexibility and advantages such a system provides makes it well worth the extra hassle. However, there are a few things you need to consider when designing a linked tank rainwater harvesting system, which we will cover in the next article.