If you think that the only benefit of having your rainwater tank installed is that it allows you the chance to save on your utility bills each month, think again, because this is only one of the many advantages. I used to think just like this, until one day I found myself in a situation that only my rainwater tank could solve.
A Day Unlike Any Other
It seemed like a day just like any other, except it was hotter and drier than most. Anyone who lives in an area where bushfires are a real possibility will know that feeling of apprehension when the ground beneath you suddenly becomes hard and dry and there isn’t a cloud in sight. A few months before, my wife and I had made the decision to have a rainwater tanks installed on our small rural farm. We placed it just beside the barn so that we had a reserve of water to draw on during the summer months. It can get very warm in these parts, and when the wells run dry, it can be very difficult keeping up with the demands on a farm with the water that is available. This gets worse when restrictions are put in place.
I had heard that rainwater tanks were useful in a fire due to sources such as this http://www.public.health.wa.gov.au/cproot/1806/2/country_rainwater_collectionv2.pdf. I didn’t realize that in some instances, this can be your only source of water when a fire breaks out.
A Looming Disaster
The last of the installations had just been completed a couple of months prior, and I was thinking about how it was going to be nice to have some extra water to use around the farm during this season when I smelled the smoke. The wind had picked up, as it does in these parts, and I had that same gut feeling that seems to hang about in the pit of your stomach when danger is lurking. I heard my son shout the word fire before I saw it, and suddenly it was too late, the fire was upon us. It was too far to be an immediate danger, but I knew that I didn’t have long before the wind changed and the fire came heading towards our home and everything that we held dear.
I got a telephone call from a neighbor who ran a small beet farm just half an hour’s drive from my own. His farm was safe, but he knew that mine was in the firing line so he was on his way with about ten other volunteers to help stop this thing in its tracks. I had to make sure I could direct them to a large source of water the moment they arrived. They had no time at all to waste.
My mind immediately went to the river that ran by the side of the house. We didn’t use it very often for drinking water because the quality wasn’t all that great. In fact, this was one of the reasons we had the rainwater tank installed. The problem was that it had been so hot lately that the water level was low, and this meant it wasn’t going to be much use to us. That was when I remembered that the water tank could be used for precisely this purpose, as stated by http://www.ruralbuilding.com.au/help-and-advice/garden-and-landscaping/rainwater-tanks.
Luckily for me, I had allowed the tank to collect water over the past couple of months so when everyone arrived, they helped me utilize this water source to save my property and my farm. My water tank diverted a real disaster from becoming a reality and I won’t be without one in the future.