Water Wise – Water Storage


DIY and how-to

Close-up of a plant in the rain with water droplets on the leaves.

Water Storage

Water is a very precious resource in South Africa . Rain is seasonal in all parts of the country, which means that for a few months of the year we have rain in abundance, and for the rest of the year, virtually no rain at all.

One of the ways we can remedy this situation is to store water during the times of heavy rains for use during the drier months. The most efficient way to capture water for storage is by using the stormwater pipes that run down from your roof.

Budget Friendly – A cost effective and simple way to store water is to place old drums – either plastic or iron – beneath your stormwater pipes. Make sure you clean the drums well, especially if they previously contained chemicals. Paint iron drums with a layer of non-toxic rust-resistant paint. This will prevent the drum from rusting, and make it easier on the eye too. Cover the top of the drums with a layer of wire mesh to keep the water free of insects and leaves. During heavy rains, a single drum will fill up very quickly. To cope with the overflow, you can link additional drums to the first one using lengths of rubber piping. Tie each end of the piping to a brick at the bottom of each drum. This will ensure that the drums fill up at the same rate.

Larger Tanks If you’re willing to spend a bit more, it’s a good idea to invest in a 1000l water tank. Most larger tanks can be attached to one or more gutters. You can also attach these tanks directly to your hosepipe or irrigation system, so the water can be put to use with the minimum of hassle.

Hide and Conceal – Water tanks can be a bit of an eyesore in your garden. You can rectify this by installing a lattice structure around a larger tank, and planting a climbing shrub alongside. Smaller drums can be concealed by large leafy shrubs.