Your Rainwater Tank: What Can You Use The Water For?

by Ri Industries Ri Industries

In July 2006, South Australia began requiring that most new homes have a rainwater tank plumbed into the house, in an effort to reduce the demands on water supply in the region. As a result, South Australia has more rainwater tanks in backyards than any other state in Australia.

A rainwater tank is a great way to conserve water. Typically, rainwater tanks collect water that has run off your roof or gutters.  If you have a rainwater tank in your home, or are thinking of purchasing one, you may be wondering what you can use the rainwater for.

Here are some uses for the water collected from your rainwater tank.

Hot water systems

In most homes, hot water comes from a separate plumbing unit, so you can use rainwater to produce hot water for your use. Because the water is heated, your water will have less pathogens that cause illness. While still not recommended for drinking, having a hot water system hooked up to your rainwater tank can be used for other hot water uses, such as cleaning and showering.


Another excellent use of a rainwater tank is for laundry. For either cold or hot water laundering, your rainwater can supply the water to your washing machine, which will save you money every time you start a load of laundry.

Toilet flushing

Ask your plumber to connect your toilet to your rainwater tank. Rainwater is an excellent water source for flushing your toilet. And with the average household flushing their toilet 2,000 times a year, think of the savings you can create when you use rainwater.


One of the most popular uses of rainwater is for irrigation. Rainwater can be applied to your lawn or garden through many methods, including a gravity-fed water hose, watering can or directly pumped to your sprinkler system.

Is rainwater safe to drink?

SA Water recommends that you not drink the water from your rainwater tank. Variables such as emissions from vehicles, gutter cleanliness and industry emissions can affect the quality of the collected rainwater. If you want to consume water from your rainwater tank, it is recommended you add a filtration system to purify the water.

No matter how you to choose to use your collected rainwater, your decision to use a rainwater tank is helping the local ecosystem by recycling water and putting less strain on local water mains. Consult with a plumber or rainwater tank expert to determine what size tank you need, and how you should use the water. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us about any rainwater tank needs.