Getting a whole rainwater system professionally installed can be expensive, especially if you only want the extra water for jobs such as washing the car or watering the garden, so it might be best to make your own rainwater tank. All you will need is a little time and a little knowledge (supplied below).
Why make your own rainwater tank?
If you want to use a little more water without paying up what can seem to be extortionate prices set by the water companies, then making your own rainwater tank is the ideal solution. Washing cars, watering gardens, and filling paddling pools in the summer will use up a lot of water which can be collected for free from the sky, but it doesn’t use so much that it would warrant having a full system installed. Save money on your water bills and on having a professional rainwater collection system fitted by doing the job yourself.
Here’s how to make your own rainwater tank:
1. Find a drum. The obvious step is to get hold of a suitable drum, or container, to hold the rainwater you want to collect. The drum will need to be made from food grade materials in order to prevent the water from degrading in quality. If you decide to source a pre-used drum, then make sure that it has only ever held food or drink previously and never any chemicals.
2. Find a site. Once you have the tank, you will need somewhere to put it. Make sure that the site is level so that the tank sits comfortably on it. You might want to use concrete to form a base. If you do so this might need to be mixed with some reinforcing material.
3. Build a stand. The tank will need something to sit directly on top of. Try to find some masonry blocks or perhaps some old railway sleepers. The blocks or whatever else you decide to use should be located so as to provide as much support as possible to the tank.
4. The finer details. Once the tank is set down and ready, it’s time to get some holes drilled. You will need one hole for your water tap or spigot and another at the top of the tank (in the lid) to let water from the roof into the tank. Locate the hole at the top directly beneath the downpipe opening. If you wish, you can run a special extension pipe to connect the downpipe directly to the tank. If not, cover the hole with a fine mesh to stop insects and debris getting into the water. Screw the tap or spigot into the hole at the bottom of the tank. Have a trial run by filling the tank yourself and testing for leaks. Test the tap to make sure that works too. Put sealant around the join between the tap and the tank, and you’re ready to go!
Now all you need is a little rain.