Apart from the initial cost of purchasing building materials, there is a lot to consider before deciding on a concrete rainwater tank—how big a property is, how the stored rainwater will be used and what other fixtures are needed (according to the owner’s needs) are the most common of them.
The good and bad of concrete rainwater tanks
The main draw of a concrete tank is its durability and its holding capacity, which stores a minimum 3,800 litres and a maximum 11,500 litres (for underground tanks) of rainwater. As the rainwater is stored underground in concrete tanks, the water stays cold all year ’round and is protected from the elements due to the natural insulation the soil provides. The solid construction of concrete tanks means there are virtually no leaks and the stored water is safe from any contamination.
However, due to its rigidity, this means concrete could not contract or expand as easily in the freeze-thaw cycle of water compared to other tanks of different materials like stainless steel or plastic. This may cause structural damage to the concrete tank, which may result in leaking and additional costly repairs.
Furthermore, rainwater is naturally acidic; and when combined with minerals such as calcium and magnesium found in concrete, this produces slightly alkaline water, safe for human consumption. One drawback of the resultant hard water is that it may not be suitable for irrigation as the newly formed compounds in the water could form a film around plants which could affect how plants absorb light and water for their sustenance. To ensure the harvested rainwater is even safe for human consumption, further filtration and purification systems may be needed to work in conjunction with the conveyance system so the water is free from any physical or biological contaminants, which could mean further investment on the owner’s end.
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