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Wet vs Dry Rainwater Harvesting Systems

Oct 17, 2017

Not all rainwater harvesting systems are the same. Each installation can be tailored to your individual needs with the biggest point of consideration being whether you would prefer a wet or dry system.

Here we’ll look into the differences and help you to decide which is right for you.

The Wet System

When installing a rainwater harvesting tank, you will need to consider how you are going to run the pipework from your roof to your water tank.

In a wet system, water is retained in the pipes meaning the inside of your pipework is going to remain wet after rainfall. Rainwater is collected from your roof and then transported through downpipes which head underground and then connect into any other downpipes your roof may feature.

Each downpipe will then terminate into one large pipe which directly enters your tank from the underside. This pipe is known as a riser which means that it actually travels upwards and into your tank with the assistance of gravity. Each downpipe needs to remain wet and full of water to assist in forcing water into the tank via this gravity fed system.

The Benefits

A wet system has several benefits;

  • The biggest draw to the wet system is its neat installation. Only each downpipe is visible above ground instead of a large network of pipes.
  • Wet systems are much better for larger installations as it is easier to locate the majority of pipework underground.
  • More efficient for water tanks which are situated away from the point of water capture.

The Dry System

The dry system is essentially the exact opposite to the wet system. After rainfall, each section of pipework is left dry as water is completely drained into the water tank from the roof.

Because of this, you will need to think very carefully as to how the guttering downpipes are going to be physically arranged. There will need to be a considerable amount of above ground pipework for any dry system used in conjunction with a large roof surface area.

You will generally want to use a dry system when your storage tanks are located very close to your property. This is because the pipework system will be suspended within the air making large spans much more difficult to cover without structural support.

The Benefits

A dry system has several benefits;

  • Dry systems can be easier to maintain as all pipework is above ground
  • Less chance of contaminant build up due to the lack of water resting in each pipe
  • Leaks in pipework are much more visible and easier to rectify being above ground

There is no right or wrong answer so the system you should choose is the one that is beneficial to your own property layout. If you’re still undecided, arrange a consultation with one of several tank suppliers in your region. There are many previous and existing installations of water tanks in Queensland so it might be worthwhile viewing a number of completed projects through any brochures and case studies your supplier has available. Always remember to obtain more than one quotation.

The benefits of a rainwater harvesting system are clear to see, all you need to decide on is the system that is right for you.

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