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Distributed rainwater tank system: viable for new houses

Posted in Research by Kate Archdeacon on April 16th, 2010

Source: Smart Water Fund

CERES has demonstrated the viability of a distributed rainwater tank system for small buildings with surrounding gardens.  CERES received a Smart Water Fund grant in 2006 to install a water catchment and retrieval system using rainwater tanks.  The project aimed to educate people on water tank systems that could be applied to a community of houses, such as a housing estate.  “Our system consists of a number of small above ground tanks located next to buildings, with one central underground tank,” said project manager Stephen Mushin. “Rainwater is collected in the local tanks from each roof onsite and stored for irrigation of surrounding gardens.”

“Overflow from the localised tanks is collected in a 50,000 litre central underground tank, from which water can be retrieved using a solar pump to a header tank,” he said.  According to Mr Mushin, the system may work well when applied to a community of houses, such as housing subdivisions where there are several roofs in close proximity.  “The system is suitable for sites with multiple buildings that have localised watering needs,” he said.

“There is potential for this kind of system to be applied to community housing in a cost effective way. This kind of water installation will save residents money and reduce their impact on the environment.”

CERES is a public park on a nine acre, government-owned site. About 150 staff are involved in education, organic farming and other environment and sustainability projects to encourage a sustainable society.

For more information on CERES and its sustainable projects, visit: ceres.org.au

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