In some parts of the country, rainwater collection is very common, especially in the rural areas. Collecting rainwater can prevent paying for water for your lawn, garden, or to water farmland. However, some people use rainwater for livestock, which requires certain types of tanks.
Rainwater Tank Sizes
Companies that sell water tanks usually offer them in several sizes. Since rainwater is collected for households, fires, and rural water needs, tanks can hold from 26,000 litres of water up to 360,000 litres.
Most rainwater tanks are made from corrugated steel to withstand the weight of water, but some large tanks are made from concrete. Tanks for collecting rainwater are also lined with food grade polyethylene to keep the water as safe as possible.
Whether collecting the water for household or rural needs, it is important to do it properly. Rainwater is most successfully collected by catching the water that slides off roofs and into the gutter downspouts. A tank is positioned at the downspout to catch the water.
The opening in the tank is sealed around the downspout to ensure there isn’t a way for insects, especially mosquitos, to gather around the water and make their homes. Since mosquitoes carry diseases, having open, standing water around your home or barn is discouraged. In addition, dirt, debris, and pesticide or herbicide residue cannot get into the water if the tank is sealed.
It is important to use tanks that have a top when using the rainwater for livestock. A top on a water tank will help prevent algae since algae requires sunlight to grow. Protecting the water reduces the risk of it being contaminated, thereby rendering it useless for watering livestock.
A trough system with a float can be set up to maintain water levels in the trough. The type of livestock being watered will help determine the depths of the troughs. For horses and cattle, the troughs should be deep because these animals require several gallons of water per day.
For smaller animals, like sheep and goats, the troughs can be shallower to prevent accidental drownings if some of the smaller animals were to slip and fall into the troughs. A closed concrete or corrugated steel tank is usually a better choice for watering tanks as animals like to drink cool water. A narrower trough with water being fed to it as the water levels become lower will also help keep water cool.
It is important that troughs are cleaned regularly, especially for smaller animals like goats or sheep. Cleaning them helps prevent parasite and disease contamination. Rainwater tanks can provide water to animals during hot weather when rain is sparse and other water sources are dry.