Our third (and final) water tank went in this week

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A grey, rainy day … and perfect timing to get our last tank installed.

One of the first things we did when we purchased the house was to put in a water tank, to allow us to grow our own food despite the water restrictions in place at the time.

The renovation gave us an opportunity to expand our water capacity. The easy step was putting in a second 3,100L water tank in beside the first, at the side of the house. Since this one could just be connected to the existing tank, it’s pretty cheap (no pumps, plumbing, etc).

The last water tank was a slimline tank, put in to address our overflowing gutters. With the extension finished, we had 150 square metres of roof feeding the back gutter, and with a single downpipe, it would get overwhelmed in heavy rain.

The slimline tank on the other side of the house allowed us to put in another downpipe. By connecting the new tank to the existing tanks, the water level equalises between them, adding 1,500L to the total capacity.

So that’s 9,700L of water capacity, split across three tanks in two different locations, with just one pump. Not too bad!

This diagram shows how it all fits together (click to see a larger version).

Plenty of rain, but to no avail

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It’s very frustrating. It’s absolutely pouring down at the moment, flooding the street and the garden, but the water tank is barely filling up.

So we’ve spent the money, and put in a great tank. What it now highlights  is the problems with the existing house.

In particular:

  • The side gutter is hanging off the house at a funny angle, and is full of holes. So more water goes off the edge of the gutter than into the tank.
  • At the back of the house, the gutter consistently fills up with leaves, due to the poor design.
  • Some madman also put in two right-angle joints to the downpipe, which almost immediately block with leaves.

We’ll have to tackle this in two stages. The first step is to replace the side gutter with a new Smartflo gutter, must get this done in the next few weeks.

I have fewer options at the back. With a planned extension in the pipeline, it doesn’t make financial sense to replace the gutter. So I think I’ll:

  • get some cheap leaf guards
  • get our handyman to bodge some new downpipes, getting rid of the crazy right-angles

It all seems so simple in the brochure, just another thing to be aware of when retrofitting a water tank…