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Are Rainwater Tanks Right For Your Rental Property?

  Rainwater harvesting is an efficient way of conserving water and maximizing the use of rainfall. Many homeowners are installing rainwater ...


Rainwater harvesting is an efficient way of conserving water and maximizing the use of rainfall. Many homeowners are installing rainwater collection systems to save water and energy towards sustainable living. 

On the other hand, there may be more factors to consider when determining whether rainwater tanks are suitable for rental properties. Since rainwater systems cost significantly, property owners must contemplate whether it will be a good investment. 

Thinking about the following crucial factors can help you decide if installing rainwater tanks is right for your rental property.

Total Area Of Your Property 

Rainwater tanks require a proper amount of space to install. Whether you're placing them above or underground, you'll need to free up a sufficient area to ensure safety. The plumbing also needs proper layout and planning. 

Determining the total area of your property helps decide whether it's suitable for rainwater harvesting. This includes the gross lot and roof area. The entire roof area predicts how much rainfall you can harvest. At the same time, the gross lot area helps you discern if you'll still have enough space for large water tanks. 

Size And Number Of Tanks 

For small properties, a 2,000 to 10,000-liter tank would be enough. However, larger properties may need a higher capacity tank to maximize rainwater collection. 

The size and number of tanks depend on the available space, the total roof area intended for collection, and the expected amount of rain annually. In rental properties with narrow lot space and small roof areas, smaller tanks below 2,000 liters could be enough. 

Average Annual Rainfall 

Not every part of the world experiences enough rainfall for harvesting. Currently, Australia, Singapore, China, Brazil, and Germany, are the leading countries in rainwater harvesting. Many regions with climates suitable for rainwater collection can follow their practices. 

The minimum average annual rainfall suitable for rainwater harvesting is 200 mm. If you're located in a country leading in rainwater harvesting technology, you're getting a good amount of annual rainfall. For instance, Australia has an average annual rainfall of around 400 mm. However, the northernmost and eastern coasts get more than 1,200 mm of rain yearly.  

Specifying the amount of rain in your area helps you decide whether rainwater collection is best for your rental business.

Property Location 

Your property's location is another vital factor in determining whether rainwater tanks are suitable. While rainwater collection is typical in rural and suburban areas, it's also possible for those in the cities. However, there are some considerable risks. 

When your property is in an urban area, you may have less space for water tanks. If the lot area is not an issue, the next risk to consider is pollution. Air and water pollutant levels in the cities can affect rainwater quality. This means the collected water may not be safe for cooking and drinking. 

On the other hand, those in rural areas experience less pollution. However, mosquito breeding is still a risk if the tanks aren't sealed properly. 

Roofing Materials 

Rooftop rainwater harvesting is the most common and practical method of rainfall collection for residential properties. However, since the water is collected from the roof and flows through the gutters, it's necessary to consider the materials used that may affect the quality and safety of the water. 

Collecting rainwater from roof types like cement, galvanized iron, fiberglass sheets, polycarbonate, slate, terracotta tiles, and asphalt shingles is safe. On the other hand, if your roof is coated with bituminous products and lead-based paints, it's unsafe for rainwater harvesting. 

Moreover, you must also avoid collecting rainwater from areas with treated wood or near discharge pipes. It's best to consult an expert regarding safe rainwater harvesting to ensure your property is ready for installation. 

Intended Use Of Rainwater 

Filtered rainwater is only safe for gardening, laundry, and baths. Water treatment and additional safety measures are required if you intend to collect water on your rental property for drinking. 

Suppose your rental property is in an area with abundant rainfall throughout the year and a low risk of pollution. In that case, it's suitable to collect rainwater for tap use. Alternatively, a home can be entirely off-grid for water usage if its primary source is rainwater. In this case, you'll need to add a water treatment system and routinely test the stored water for contaminants. 

It’s best to refrain from drinking rainwater for properties located in areas with a high risk of pollution. Even though water treatment is available, health and safety may still be at risk. Instead, rainwater should only be used for laundry, washing cars, flushing toilets, and watering plants. 

Local Building Regulations 

Some areas have stricter building regulations regarding rainwater tank installation on properties. If rainwater collection is a common practice in your area, getting a permit may be easier. 

Before installing a rainwater harvesting system in your rental property, it's best to get information from your local government. This way, you're following the building code in your area while still ensuring safety. 


Installing rainwater tanks for your rental property can be a good investment for your future and the environment. Considering the factors mentioned can help determine if it's right for you.