Water tank

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Water tank

One of the first jobs in the new house was to organise the installation of a rainwater tank. The main goal was ensuring that we could have the garden we wanted, watered when we wanted, regardless of drought conditions.

A water tank would also reduce our overall water usage, and plumbing into the washing machine and toilet was a possibility.

I received three quotes, one from a major business and two from local companies. Prices ranged greatly, and the big supplier was the costliest and provided the least (not a surprise).

What was a surprise was how few of the tank installers were prepared to work “off script”. They had a standard tank type (metal or plastic), standard tank sizes, and were uncomfortable with connecting to the plumbing.

Thankfully, the Marrickville-based supplier was great, asked heaps of to-the-point questions, and was comfortable with everything that we wanted to do.

The tank itself was cheap, only $1,600 for a 5,110L round Colourbond tank. We had it painted to match the colour of our roof (Manor Red). Having space beside the house was a huge advantage here, as it allowed us to install a round tank rather than the ‘narrowline’ (and more expensive) tanks.

We were also able to get away with a bed of “crusher dust” instead of a concrete slab, due to the flat space beside the house. (This saved us at least $1,000.)

Doing a proper job, however, the costs added up, including:

  • Hookup to two downpipes with first flush and leafeaters = $800
  • In-tank sump pump (powerful model for front and back gardens) = $800
  • Connection to toilet and washing machine = $600
  • Filters = $300

All up, the cost was $6,200 including GST. Not cheap!

Thankfully there are plenty of rebates on offer at the moment, and we’re expecting to receive the following:

So that’s a net cost of $3,400 after all the rebates.

It’s a great tank, and the installer did a wonderful job. It’s big enough to serve our needs well, and the recent heavy rains are rapidly filling the tank up.

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Letting our house speak for itself

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We’re very pleased with our new house in Lewisham, nestled in  inner-city Sydney. A turn-of-the-century Federation house, it sits in a quiet street with a large enough block for gardening and more.

The two of us have a strong interest in the environment and sustainability, and this blog shares our experiences of doing our bit for the world. We’re not fanatics, and won’t be dropping off the grid anytime in the future.

We will, however, do what we can. These things bring us pleasure, and satisfaction at helping the world. We share our activities on this blog to encourage others in the inner city, and to show that concrete steps can be taken even when in a densely populated residential suburb.