As with many purchases in the modern world we live in, where everything has an alternative, there are a wide range of rainwater tank and water storage tank options available on the market.
This often makes the purchasing process longer, more difficult, and more stressful than it needs to be. While we can’t tell you what type of water tank is best for you, as everyone has different requirements around water consumption, available space, rainwater harvesting capacity and water usage.
However, this guide seeks to give you a few pointers in regards to your water storage requirements that will help you find the best rainwater tank company for your needs.
Figure out what style of water tank you need
The first step, which will narrow down your list of rainwater tank installers, is to figure out what type of water tank you are after. The most common varieties are poly water tanks and steel water tanks, as the old concrete tank has gone out of vogue, particularly for residential purposes and fibreglass tanks are more designed for commercial purposes rather than home water supply.
For this step, you will have needed to decide what your water storage will be for. Do you want a rainwater tank that to provide water supply to your whole house, or are you just looking to water the garden to escape water restrictions and lower your overall water consumption?
It is also important to know how much water you can harvest from your roof, which you can figure out by measuring your roof area in meters squared, and your annual rainfall in mm.
Annual Local Rainfall (mm) x Roof Catchment Area (m2)
Total Annual Water Harvesting Potential (L)
Poly rainwater tanks
Polyethylene tanks, otherwise better known as poly water tanks or plastic tanks, are made from a food-grade and UV-Stabilised plastic designed to last for 20 or more years and be safe for the storage of drinking water.
Thanks to their plastic structure, the beauty of a poly tank is that they are not only affordable but available in a range of shapes and sizes, rather than just the typical round tanks that you will see in most places.
Slimline tanks provide a great option if you don’t have much space, and don’t need too much water storage – perhaps just covering the water used in the garden, washing machine or toilet. For those with even less space, an underground water tank can be installed under a lawn or decking, taking up less space again than above ground tanks.
The main downsides for poly tanks are that they don’t last as long as steel rainwater tanks, and can’t be recycled at the end of their storage life, as the material slowly degrades in sunlight and becomes effectively useless. They also start being less economical as sizes exceed 50kL or 10,000 gallons.
Steel rainwater tanks
When we say steel water tanks in this guide, we’re referring to Colorbond® or Zincalume® Steel rainwater tanks, rather than stainless steel water tanks. This is due to the fact that stainless steel tanks are too expensive, and not necessary for domestic water storage.
Steel water tanks are typically a large round water tank used by those who are either unable to access or wish to not rely on mains water. They are the go-to option for people where tank size is the priority, as they can be built up to much larger sizes than that of poly water tanks. While you can purchase a slimline water tank in the form of a metal tank, it is more the fifty thousand litre plus market that steel water storage tanks shine.
When looking for a high-quality tank, you want to look into the steel being used in the tank walls, if the wall profile is a standard corrugated steel or designed specifically for water storage, the material the liner is constructed from (not to be confused with a bladder tank), and if the water tank is rated for fire protection.
The price of a steel tank is typically the only deterrent from purchasing one, as when it comes to the longevity, strength and quality of rainwater storage, galvanised tanks come out on top in almost every category.
Set yourself a budget range, and get some quotes
Now that you might have a better idea of which tank you need, ask friends with tanks, jump on google and maybe even the yellow pages, and start doing some research.
You can formulate a budget before you start making phone calls, but you will likely find that the figure in your head will be much clearer once you have called around a number of companies and have multiple figures for rainwater tank installation.
Plastic tanks are more likely to be closer in price, where steel tank companies will have slightly different product offers in regards to accessories, colours and water tank liner material. No two metal tanks are the same, but you may find some of the accessories aren’t as important to you as others.
You may also need a pump to get the water back to your house from your water storage, and some companies will sell water pumps, whereas some companies will need you to purchase a pump from elsewhere. Whether you need a pump or not will depend on if your tank can gravity feed water to your home.
Check reviews for each company online – and offline
Another way to help you find the best water tank company for you is to check reviews online. It is important to look for these in more than one place to help make your decision.
Sites like Google, Facebook or Trustpilot have a range of customer reviews that you can look at, and try to find any positive or negative trends in the feedback around the product.
However, you may find that the best way to determine the quality of the product is to speak to any friends, family or colleagues who may have purchased a water tank, and ask about the pros and cons of the company they dealt with.
Look into company warranty offer, and what it covers
Another good thing to check is how long each company offers a warranty on their product for, and how much of the product it covers.
While this one might seem pretty straightforward, the longer a company is willing to offer a warranty for, and the more parts of the water tank it covers, the more you can rest assured that you can set and forget your rainwater harvesting system, and that if anything goes wrong, you will be able to get it repaired by the water tank company you purchased it from.
Check how long the company has been around for
Rainwater harvesting is not a new business, but the companies that offer water tanks come and go just like they do in any other market. A sign of a good company is often longevity, and you will find that some companies offer warranties longer than they have been a company for, whereas others will have the evidence to support it.
Also the longer a company has been building water tanks for, and the more rainwater tanks they have overseen the production and installation of, the more time they will have had to learn from their mistakes and perfect the process.
Get out there and find the best rainwater tank company
Armed with a bit more knowledge, you should be able to simplify your rainwater harvesting setup and rainwater tank installation process.
The only thing to do now is to get out a notepad, write down your requirements, and start getting quotes from companies that can help you fulfil your rainwater harvesting and water storage needs.