Renovation and Home Design

Bushfire Reserve – Volume

Bushfire spray

I have previously talked about Bushfire reserve supplies. . . . But how much?

I see various minimum water volumes put forward for bush fire reserves. For example in early 2014 the following applied.

Victoria, regulations for new builds require 10,000Litres. South Australia the country fire service suggests 22,000Litres.

Just because there is a minimum [read more…]

Rainfall Intensity

Heavy rain

When most people think about rainfall they think about the amount of rainfall . . . . . . . . . but it’s just as important to understand how hard it can rain, the ‘Rainfall Intensity’.

The ‘Rainfall Intensity’ is important when thinking about things like; Roof Gutters, Down Pipes, Stormwater Pipes , Tank [read more…]

Rainwater Collection – Quality Issues

rainwater problems

This is a fairly typical rainwater collection installation.

Gutters discharging to a pipe which discharges onto a screen fitted to the tank access point, cheap and cheerful!

I must have seen it hundreds of times . . . . . . but it has some negative implications on the water quality you will get [read more…]

Charged Rainwater Collection

Charged Rainwater Collection

Thanks to SaveH2O, of Supadiverta

This diagram indicates a charged rainwater collection system. These are sometimes called either a “wet” or a “pressure” system.


NB. This diagram has been simplified for clarity. A leaf diverter, and an adequate overflow, must also be fitted.

With this type of system a section of [read more…]

Rainwater Collection Fail

rainwater collection fail

How Not to collect rainwater!

I suppose its cheap…….but it’s not the most convenient for filling your watering can from.

You can also see that algae is growing in all those open containers.

It’s not something most of us would want on our front gardens!

On the plus side it probably looks [read more…]

Rainwater – Pump Size


One of the reasons why most rainwater systems use too much power is because because the pump is too big. For other reasons see Rainwater – Pump Issues

Most pump suppliers and design charts will specify a larger pump than you really need (They sell a more expensive pump, It’s less likely that the pump [read more…]

Conventional Drainage

Conventional Drainage

The vast majority of new houses will have a conventional (sometimes called a Gravity, or Open system) storm water drainage system discharging to either:

Public Surface Water Drain – Typically in Eastern States Soakwells on Sandy Sites – Mainly in WA


With a conventional system like this the pipes are either vertical or [read more…]

Underground Pipes


It’s important to make sure you are getting the right type of pipes and fittings that will be underground… don’t want to be digging them up in case of blockages.


Some plumbers will want to use and bury 90 mm diameter rainwater pipes, basically plastic downpipes.

You need to make sure you are getting [read more…]