Kiwi ingenuity has scored again in the race to help us all become more environmentally responsible.
Thanks to clever thinking by Ray Fidler, who describes himself as a miscellaneous designer, we now have the technology to make rotationally moulded polyethylene water tanks that fit into the nooks and crannies of the typical Kiwi house.
Unless you had a farm, the idea of a traditional round rainwater tank was out of the question; so most city folk felt they could do nothing to cut back their water use, and stormwater run off.
Until now, that is.
The ZanbroxTM Aquacatcher is a rainwater-harvesting tank that has been designed with space and nature in mind. Now you can tuck one away into a corner of the house to catch the rainwater run-off from your roof.Simple plumbing enables you to use that free water for any number of chores around the home, and even as the source for your laundry and toilet needs.
Rainwater harvesting is the collection of rain from any given roof surface that would otherwise flow down our gutters into the drains and into the stormwater system.
This water can then be used as required for around-the-house requirements - for example, watering the garden, washing the car, the dog, the boat, topping up the spa / swimming pool or for whatever use other than drinking, that it maybe required.
It's also a great backup in those long dry spells.
Filters and pumps can also be added to keep collected water cleaner and make distribution easier. The larger the tank you have, the more money you will eventually save. Water charges and water meters are here to stay.
It's ironic how we pay to have stormwater taken from our properties when it rains and on the other hand pay to get it back when we turn on the tap.But this isn't just about saving money on water use. This is a great tool for Kiwis to act responsibly at a local level yet have an impact globally.
We all need to reduce our carbon footprints, and this is one way of eliminating expensive energy use to get fresh water to our homes
Ray got the idea for the special tanks as a response to a number of water use issues facing developing nations.In some communities, rapid urban development has compounded a lack of foresight from our forefathers to adequately plan for our future water needs.
Adding to this problem is global warming and climate change. We seem to be either in flood or in drought - too much or not enough.
These issues are now starting to be addressed by local councils. Some are taking steps toward encouraging homeowners to look at ways of reducing stormwater volumes and mains water use.
It's been a tough battle for Ray since he had the idea in 2006 to design a water tank that could fit into corners. He approached a number of rotational moulding companies to see if they where interested in working with him to develop his idea, but was turned away.
They said that it was impossible to create a tank of that shape, and that the tank would fail.A company in Auckland decided to give Ray's idea a go, and that was all he needed to have a number of prototype tanks made. After a period of research and development, Ray arrived at what has been named the ZanbroxTM Aquacatcher.
Each person in the New Zealand uses about 200 litres of drinking quality water a day. Nearly half of this amount need not be drinking water. It seems crazy to bring in drinking water from miles away via your water meter to water your garden or clean your car when you could provide that water directly from your own roof.