Siting Issues

Once a tank is in place, it can be extremely difficult to change things, so proper site planning can improve RWH system performance and reduce headaches later. Here are some site issues to take into account:

  • Elevate aboveground storage to take advantage of gravity flow
  • Place storage containers close to their point-of-use (i.e. plants if used for irrigation)
  • Be sure there is adequate space to convey the overflow from a tank so it does not erode the base
  • Minimize horizontal distance between the downspout and tank (see picture below)
  • Consider spacing requirements for additional tanks
  • Understand the slope characteristics of the land and how water flows during a rain event
  • Prepare a solid base for the storage tank. Avoid mulch or other organic matter as this will settle over time. Follow manufacturer’s recommendations for the tank base
  • If installing a belowground tank, be sure to follow manufacture’s recommendations on securing down the tank so that it is not subject to buoyant forces

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