The Important Role of Rainwater Tanks for a Healthy Garden
Avid gardeners benefit from installing either a rain barrel (that usually have a volume of 240 litres) or a 500 litre rainwater tank. How big of a tank you install on your property depends on the amount of rainfall you receive and how often you water your garden. With the exception of areas such as those near Northcliffe, here in Western Australia we experience a climate that’s fairly arid, and so it’s best to have large rainwater tanks installed – or even multiple rainwater tanks – on a property.
It is possible to customize your water collection system so that water is released at predetermined intervals by fitting pumps and controlling systems. Additionally, your pump equipped rainwater tank can be connected to a drip line and/or sprinkler system.
Ensuring Fair Water Distribution
How the water from your rainwater irrigation system is distributed depends principally on the size of your garden (although the types of vegetables or crops that you are growing is also a consideration, as is the soil composition). In most gardening situations, having 20 drippers (openings in the line) per square meter with a flow rate of one litre of water every half an hour is ample. This adds up to a rate of 40 litres per hour.
Again, this figure is more of a “rule of thumb”, and the absorption rate of your soil and the “crop factor” of the plants that you are growing will have to be taken into consideration. Our team of experts can help you make the right determination as to what systems you need to install on your property.
Fertilizers and other agricultural growth agents can also be mixed in with the rainwater harvested in the tank. However, at the risk of stating the obvious this should only be done if the tank is used exclusively for irrigation purposes without there being any possibility that this water be consumed by humans or animals.
Lastly, as is the case with any large scale installation on a property it is necessary to consult with local authorities to make sure that everything is installed in compliance with the relevant building codes and municipal laws. After so many years working in Perth and the surrounding areas, we know these regulatory standards inside and out.
Fact Sheet: The Science of Watering, ABC
Choosing the right sized rainwater tank, Australian Government