The key to maximising your rainwater tank investment starts with proper installation and regular maintenance. These are key to ensuring your water tank will give you trouble-free service for years to come. The site you select and the foundation you prepare are both critical to your tank’s performance as in the rare incidence of tank deterioration or failure, the cause of most cases traces back to an unstable base which voids the warranty. Here’s is a guide to selecting a site and preparing it for tank installation:
Choose a Site with Adequate, Stable Ground
Site selection cannot be compromised, regardless of whether you’re installing a small or large rainwater tank and when deciding on where to place your tank, find a stable area that is not vulnerable to erosion or landslides. Check that the site you’ve chosen follows your local council’s regulations for boundaries and any relevant building codes – more details available here.
When measuring the ground area, take into account that the base should be slightly bigger than the tank. For round poly tanks, the base has to be at least 500mm greater than the tank diameter, while for slimline water tanks allow 100mm space around each side. You also have to check if the site can sustain the relevant loading: allow 1000 kg for every 1000 litre tank capacity.
Consider Water Catchment and Accessibility
Accessibility and optimal rainwater harvesting capacity are two equally important considerations in selecting a site. If you have multiple buildings on your site, opt for the structure with the steepest roof pitch, and preferably made of sheet metal, since the discharge of water and any contaminants is quicker. For accessibility, consider placing the tank near to where a vehicle can park for easy connection, whether to use the water for a sprayer as a premix bowser around the farm or in an emergency to extinguish a fire. Harvested rainwater is suitable for many domestic uses as well as livestock drinking water, pressure washing and dairy washdown.
Give Your Tank a Strong and Safe Base
The best tank bases for plastic water tanks are a level, concrete slab. Before pouring the concrete, ensure that the soil is suitably compacted and consider a layer of hardcore underneath. The base must be free of any sharp objects such as rocks. Preparing the site before your tank arrives contributes to a smoother installation. If you employ a contractor, clearly explain the specification and your requirements for the tank’s base before they start work.
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