Among all the resources accessible to man, the renewable resource, water is definitely the most life-giving. Seasonal changes and relative humidity and heat cause a cycle of rainfall every calendar year, and nature saves the left over rainfall for us by collecting water underground in reserves created by layers of rock – aquifers or artesian water. However, these resources are being affected by increasing human consumption and the human-induced catastrophe of global warming.

Artesian water, Thargomindah QLD

In imitation of nature there are a number of companies addressing the need for effective storage options underground to ‘harvest’ rain water and make it available at a later date. Recent development and improvements in irrigation including drip irrigation technology are perfect examples of efforts being made to conserve and retain rain water and ground water. Underground rainwater storage restores life to arid places and adds quality moisture to the soil. Reduced evaporative loss from underground water is vital in hot, dry, windy regions. In ancient times, people knew where to dig in a dry river bed or desert to uncover a “soak” and obtain water. Wells kept water cool yet provided easy access to water, and unfortunately also allowed pollution or toxins to contaminate the precious resource. In modern times, underground storage tanks are designed to accumulate water which can then be directed wherever it is needed. An underground rainwater storage system functions as a collection system that stores and diverts excess rain water to areas of need.


A Poly underground tank from Graf

Underground rainwater storage keeps water cool and slows down algae growth. A submersible pump can be installed to bring the water to the surface which means that the whole system is invisible and quiet to operate. Underground water storage, under the garden or driveway, can be a great advantage in suburban and urban areas where space is limited. Even though the water may not always be the best for direct consumption because it is collected from rooftops, it is available and completely usable for watering the garden and washing the car. In the case of underground rainwater storage for animal or human consumption, Health Department standards need to be adhered to and in the category of ‘material’, storage tanks, whether manufactured from concrete or specially strengthened food grade polyethylene do meet Australian and New Zealand standards for storing water, although it is recommended that water for drinking needs to be properly treated and filtered.

u A Sydney Water Tank concrete tank installed in a lawn

Underground rainwater storage is an important consideration in today’s conditions and there are a number of manufacturers of both concrete and poly storage tanks who cater to the need for space-saving discreet storage for both domestic and industrial situations. In bushfire prone areas, concrete underground tanks can be a safe, durable and efficient alternative to above ground water storage. Underground storage systems should be installed by professionals who are familiar with the special requirement of installing a water tank underground. The storage systems come with simple filtration, although it is advisable to use gutter screens to limit leaves, twigs and other debris from entering the system.

The underground rainwater storage systems require little or no maintenance once they are installed, except of course regular maintenance of the filters and pump, and are very long-lasting.

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