According to WWF, South Africa is the 30th driest country in the world, casting us into the water-scarce category. Water tanks are fast becoming a household feature amongst those seeking to proactively conserve water. But in order to maximize and optimize the versatility of rainwater harvesting tanks - in a commercial, domestic or rural setting - there are some basic accessories that are designed to do the job.
So if you are convinced of the merits of installing a water tank and have done your homework as to the size of tank you will need, the next step is simply determining which water tank accessories are necessary for your specific context.
So let’s start accessorizing your water tank:
#1 A first flush diverter kit
First things first, ideally you want to flush away the first body of water that hits your roof in a downpour as this is generally the dirtiest and most contaminated water. A first flush diverter kit is designed specifically for this job - diverting the first flow of rainwater to allow the cleaner water to then be directed into your tank. This improves the quality of the harvested water. It is also easy to install. (Tip: Regularly open up the valve at the bottom to empty the water out).
#2 A 480mm filter screen
If you have installed a vertical water tank, then this nifty 480mm filter screen accessory is an absolute necessity. Made from the highest grade corrosion and rust-free stainless steel, this easy-to-fit little gadget prevents solid particles and contaminants from entering your tank- including mosquitoes. (If only citronella candles were as effective!). You will need to check the condition of your filter regularly and replace it if damaged, as this is your primary filter element.
#3 A water tank level gauge
If you are one of those rainwater ‘fundis’ who carefully monitors and keeps a graphic record of how many millimetres of rain has fallen, then you are going to love this water tank accessory. So easy to install, a rainwater tank level gauge is sealed directly to the tank and can monitor water levels up to 2.5m in height. (For the rest of us, the easy-to-read dial helps us know if the tank is full or empty).
#4 An electronic remote tank alert
This is for the engineering ‘techie’ types out there and a tad more pricey than the level gauge. An electronic remote tank alert contains a wireless monitor and an electronic gauge for an accurate measurement of your water tank levels which is then transmitted to a receiver with a 200m range. (Who said water tank gadgets weren’t cool?).
#5 A leaf eater
No, not a character from Monster Inc., a leaf eater is your BFF for preventing leaves and debris from entering your rainwater harvesting tank; reducing tank maintenance and improving water quality. It has superior catchment efficiency as well as a mosquito-proof mesh. It also helps by keeping leaves and dirt from reaching your 480mm filter screen. (But alas, you will still need to clean out the leaves from your roof drains every once in a while).
#6 1.5kW VSD Booster Pump
For the really serious rainwater harvesters and those who need an integrated system - especially as a functional municipal backup solution - then a booster pump is a sound investment. This pump is specifically designed for larger homes and gardens and has a flow range of 16-70 litres/minute and a 2-5 bar efficiency power range. (It is ideal to use with a solar system as it has a soft start function).
STEP Building Supplies - an online DIY solution
For all your DIY projects, hardware and construction supplies, including water tanks and accessories, STEP Building Supplies offers online convenience and delivery to your door.