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Greywater and Rainwater Tanks
Perth and Fremantle - Australia
Water Capture - Mark Harland

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Water Capture
Our complete dependency on the town mains water supply for our house and garden should stop. Perth’s average rainfall is now a lot less than it used to be in the past. Charges for excess water are increasing rapidly, bore owners are facing greater restrictions and garden watering is now only 2 days per week.
  Greywater and Rainwater Tanks, Perth and Fremantle, Australia

There are some options to reduce your dependency on the town mains water:

1. Capturing the rainwater that falls on your house roof, collecting that water and then using it in either the garden, selected fixtures of the house or all of the house.

2. Capturing the greywater from the bathroom and the laundry and sending that water to your gardens. These are two very possible options to becoming more self sufficient and sustainable with your water usage.

Large Greywater tanks installation Perth Australia
Large Greywater tanks - installed Perth Australia

The average new house being built in Perth is well over 200 m². In an average rainfall year allowing for flushing, filtering, and some wastage this size of house could collect 120 000 liters per year.

With a family of 4 people and by installing a 10 000 liter tank, approximately 90 % of that rainwater would get used at that house. 108 000 liters of rainwater in a year is a significant contribution to your overall water usage.

Rainwater tanks can be installed in the ground hidden away, be made from poly plastic or zinculume/ colourbond. They come in tall round and sort squat shapes as well as slimline and expandable sacks. Sizes range from 250 liters to over 100 000 liters.

Poly tank plumbed with flush device installation Perth Australia
Poly tank plumbed with flush device - installation Perth Australia

Many people opt to connect 1 or 2 downpipes to a tank that has a submersible pump that supplies the toilet/s and washing machine. It comes with a switching device that senses when the rainwater has run out and diverts back to the mains water.

A cheaper option is to collect that rainwater in Winter and then use it on the gardens over Summer with a hose or watering can. With the aid of flushing devices, leaf diverters, gutter mesh, and a variety of filters, as well as UV filtration rainwater can be used for drinking in Public places. Federal rebates are available for rainwater systems plumbed into the house.

Rainwater switch and filtration installion Perth Australia
Rainwater switch and filtration - installed Perth Australia

Underground rainwater tank - installation Perth Australia
Underground rainwater tank - installation Perth Australia

Why waste that water running down the shower drain. Approximately 9 liters per minute from a modern shower rose is going to waste unless it’s being re-used on the garden via a Greywater system. Greywater that is suitable for the garden comes from the shower/bath, vanities and basins, and the laundry.

In Perth and Fremantle a list of the approved systems can be found at the Department of Health website.

The majority are diversion systems meaning the selected fixtures (i.e shower) drainage pipe is cut and diverted to the greywater tank, where it is filtered and then pumped via sub-surface irrigation to the garden. This generally all happens automatically. Maintenance will include some cleaning of filters.

Large Greywater Tanks - Installation Perth Australia
Large Greywater Tanks - Installed Perth Australia

Every Greywater system needs to have an application made to the local Council prior to installing. This will show the Approval number of the system, what fixtures are being captured, and a drawing showing the irrigation area.

An inspection of the final system is needed to get a ‘Permit to Use’ There are certain rules regarding the minimum area of irrigation required depending on how many bedrooms are in the house and setbacks from boundaries and buildings.

All greywater needs to be sub-surface drip irrigated to avoid contact with humans. Generally people who install a Greywater system will switch to using organic products in the bathroom and laundry. Many laundry detergents contain high quantities of Sodium and Phosphates which are detrimental to most plants. Greywater can make a significant contribution towards a sustainable garden that is less dependent on mains water.

For more information call or email Mark Harland at Water Capture:

Phone 9433 3262
Mobile 0414457244
14 Curedale Street
A.B.N 56887519534

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