This page provides highlights on key components of a residential water storage system, and the manner in which the components can be structured to form different types of systems. It is important to ensure that all products that are eventually selected adhere to applicable standards, regulations and laws.

  • Tanks: The selection of the specific type of tank, will depend on the available space identified for the installation of the water tank, and to a degree the type of usage. The dimensions of the various tanks and presented below. It is important to note that different manufacturers utilise different materials and processes to manufacture their tanks, always ensure that the chosen tank is suitable for holding water.

    - Vertical Tank: As the name of this tank suggest, these tanks have a narrower diameter and are higher, for the same volume of low profile or horizontal tanks. This type of tank is more suitable for properties with limited space. These type of tanks typically range from 240litres, with diameter of 620mm and height of 925 mm, to 40,000 litres, with a diameter of 3,300mm and a height of 4,850 mm.

    1 rgb


    - Low Profile Tanks: range from 5,000 litres, with a diameter of 2,200mm and a height of 1,560mm, to 10,000 litres, with a diameter of 2,420mm and a height of 2,550mm. These tanks should be considered when there are height restrictions.

    2 rgb

    - Horizontal Tank: range from 240 litres, with a height of 650mm, a length of 1,080mm and a width of 560mm, to 5,500 litres, with a height of 1,505mm, length of 2,545, and width of 2,090mm.

    3 rgb


    - Underground Tank: These are specially designed tanks for burying. They range from 600 litres, with a length of 1,140mm, width of 820 mm and height of 950mm, to 12,500 litres. While all installations must be undertaken by a qualified professional, these types of tanks have to be installed while following the manufacturer’s guidelines stringently.

     
    4 rgb
  • Filtration: There are various filtration systems and techniques that can be utilised. The selection of a filtration system should be chosen with the use of water in mind. It is advisable to have multiple filters that are designed to catch different types of contaminants, e.g. leaves, and sand. Filtration systems are usually measured in microns, the smaller the micron rating the smaller the size of contaminants that will be caught. It is important to note that if you want to consume water rainwater, the filtration process must be proceeded by a purification system. If the water is being utilised for gardening purposes, or for flushing toilets a filtration system should be sufficient.
  • Leaf catcher: This device acts as the first line of defence to filter out leaves that accumulate on your roof or gutter from entering your system. This simple device will save you a lot of hassle later on, as without the device leaves will collect at the bottom of your water tank – this will not only affect the water quality but will also reduce the water holding capacity of the water tank.

5 rgb

  • First Flush Diverter: This devices essentially diverts the first bit of water that is collected away from the tank. Normally a lot of dirt and pollutants collect on the roof, the bulk of which is washed away during the initial part of the downpour – all of these contaminants will not flow into your water tank.
  • Purification: Is critical if you intend to consume the water. Techniques include:
    Chlorine: This creates by-products though, and the removal of the by-products is expensive. In addition, water treated with chlorine will likely contain traces of chlorine which will be noticeable in the taste and smell of the water, this can be overcome by utilising a Carbon filter.
  • Membrane: There are numerous types of this technology, which is constantly evolving. However, the specific type of membrane technology should be based on your water test and quality.
  • Ultraviolet (UV) Light: This is the use of UV light to neutralise harmful organisms. The use of UV light is complex, and experts should be consulted. An important point to note is that the human eye cannot detect UV light, so you will not be able to see when the light is not working, which could result on non-purified water being consumed.
  • Tank Gauge: These devices will allow you to monitor the level of water in your tank. There are various types that range from tank mounted to remote metering.

6 rgb
  • Water Pump: pumps are critical if you want to utilise water from your tank at a location that is far away or at a higher elevation than your tank or to get pressurised water. Pumps can be connected to your main electrical system at our property or be solar powered with a back-up battery.

    TYPES OF SYSTEMS
    The above mentioned components can be configured to arrive at different variations of residential water systems. The choice of a specific system will depend on your needs, please see ’How to Choose’.

    The section below provides an overview of the 3 major types of systems.


    a. Rainwater harvesting:


    8 rgb

    This is the simplest and most cost effective type of residential water collection system, it merely collects water that runs off your roof, via your gutter. Utilising the water that is collected, is done through a tap that is mounted directly onto the tank. This is only to be taken as a presentation of a basic installation, each installation will likely vary based on setup and personal preference.


    Legend for Rainwater harvesting system diagram:

    1    Water tank.
    2    Base/plinth: on which the water tank is placed.
    3a    Mesh beneath the tank lid.
    3b  Leaf eater.
    3c  First flush diverter.
    4a  From bottom of t-junction to slow release control valve.
    4b  From side of t-junction to the elbow.
    4c From the elbow to the lid of the water tank.
    5 Elbow.
    6  Tap.

    With this type of system you can use the water for:
    - watering the garden (not with a hose because the water is not pressurised),
    - fill the toilet cistern with a bucket,
    - wash your car with a bucket and fill your swimming pool.

    b. Municipal backup:

    9 rgb

    This type of water collection system is connected only to the Municipal water reticulation system. It does not collect water from your roof. This type of system is advantageous when your roof is not suited to rainwater collect. This is only to be taken as a presentation of a basic installation, each installation will likely vary based on setup and personal preference. Engaging a qualified plumber is critical, as this type of system connects to the property’s main water supply line.

    Legend for Municipal backup system diagram:
    1   Water tank.
    2 Base/plinth: on which the water tank is placed.
    3 Water pump.
    4a Galvanised (or similar) pipe from tank to gate valve to water pump.
    4b Galvanised (or similar) pipe from water pump.
    4c Galvanised (or similar) pipe to supply water tank with municipal feed to float valve at the top if the tank.
    5 Elbows.
    6 Gate valves.
    7 Non-return valves.
    8 Float Valve (to control the fill height of the tank.

    With this type of system you can use the water for:
    - Showering,
    - Washing machine,
    - Flushing the toilet.

    c. Fully integrated system:

    10 rgb

    This type of system combines water collection from your roof, through your gutters, and a connection to the Municipal water reticulation system. This is only to be taken as a presentation of a basic installation, each installation will likely vary based on setup and personal preference. Engaging a qualified plumber is critical, as this type of system connects to the property’s main water supply line.


    Legend for Municipal backup system diagram:
    1   Water tank.
    2 Base/plinth: on which the water tank is placed.
    3a Pre-filteration: Mesh beneath the lid.
    3b

    Pre-filtration: Leaf eater.

    3c First flush diverter.
    4 Water pump.
    5 Pipes for rainwater collection from gutter.
    6 Pipes for Municipal back-up.
    7a Elbow.
    7b Water pipes.
    8 Gate valve.
    9 Non-return valve.
    10 Float valve.
    11 Filter/sterilisation: to improve the quality of water used from the tank. The water needs to be filtered and sterilised as it is utilised for full domestic supply.

    With this type of system you can use the water for all uses.