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Frequently Asked Questions

WaterSmart Frequently Asked Questions

Any other questions? Let us know

We have put together some commonly asked questions to give you more information about WaterSmart. If you have a question that can’t be answered below, please feel free to get in touch through our contact page.

General FAQ's

Laundry, toilets and outdoor taps accounts for about 55% of the average household’s usage, so you could expect to save anywhere up to 55% of your water bill depending on the size of your system!

Yes, we can get someone out to your property! There is a small fee of $99 that is credited to your bill when you purchase one of our products and/or installation.

Water detention is the process of detaining water and slowly releasing it back into the stormwater system. Water is held (detained) long enough to control the flow of stormwater into rivers and streams, helping to protect vulnerable waterways.

 

Because of the increased intensity of urban development, more grass is being turned into concrete and steel. Grass is permeable, but concrete and steel isn’t. So water that was once absorbed into land, is now being pumped into waste water pipes at a much faster rate and greater flow than ever before. This is the reason why most councils now require water to be detained. Not only does detaining water protect our streams and environment, it also helps to protect stormwater infrastructure by reducing the load on it.

 

Traditionally, buried tanks have been used to detain water, but buried tanks are expensive and simply not an option for smaller sites. Putting tanks into a floor slab or driveway means the area that is covering the land is being used to detain the water. This method reduces costs of traditional buried tanks by at least 30%.

Water can be detained for reuse both inside and outside the home (water retention/reuse), with the excess slowly released into the stormwater system (water detention).

Potable water is water that is used for anything that doesn’t require a basin e.g. toilets, washing and outdoor use. Potable water represents 56.1% of household use.

Some people initially think that concrete, being strong and tough, would be the best material to use for water storage. However concrete has many disadvantages over a plastic-like PE.

 

Concrete is porous and will lose water over time. Polyethylene plastic is not porous so water will never escape through the tank walls.
PE plastic is much lighter than concrete in any application, meaning a plastic tank is much easier and much cheaper to install than a concrete tank.

 

Polyethylene is extremely inert (non-reactive) so it will never rust or corrode and it can never rot or degrade in place. This also means it is safe for drinking water as the plastic can never flake off or dissolve into the water.

 

PE plastic is 100% recyclable so if it is ever taken out in the future it can be reused or recycled, while a concrete tank would just be smashed and sent to hard fill.

As permeable grass is turned into concrete and steel, the rain has to go somewhere. If it’s not soaking into the grass, it needs to be accounted for. Rain that was falling on green areas is now falling on paved surfaces and roofs. Councils infrastructure is under pressure to cope with the additional run-off, as are our streams in rivers.

 

 

Storm water attenuation looks at returning the situation to neutrality, as if the rain was still falling on green areas, even after we’ve built homes, patios and driveways.

A Civil Engineer works out the flow of water that will come off these surfaces and how much storage is required to account for the difference. This is referred to as Storm Water Management Area Flow (SMAF).

 

By reusing what water you can (retention) and then slowly releasing the excess into the storm water system (detention), you can reduce the load on infrastructure and protect sensitive areas.

Aquacomb® FAQ's

Encased in concrete: In a slab foundation, under a driveway or carpark. The pods can be stacked up to three high under decks or under houses on piles, or under your garden/lawn. The only limitation is your imagination!

Aquacomb® can be only be installed by our highly skilled WaterSmart team, this is part of our strict quality control process.

Short answer – They won’t! In over 15,000 installs over 15 years in Australia and New Zealand there has not been a single leak, so we are very confident that if the system is installed by our WaterSmart team there will be no problems.

Each Aquacomb® is 1100mm x 1100mm and either 225mm (250L) or 300mm (350L) deep. When joined with connecting pipework we allow 1.44m2 for each Aquacomb® pod.

We divert all (or majority) of downpipes from the roof to a centralised location at the AquaPit, which acts as a gateway in and out of the Aquacomb® system.

For a detention system, gravity does the trick! The outlet is at a lower level than the inlet. For re-use system, a pump is connected to extract the water from the Aquacomb® system - same as any other tank.

Our overflow prevention system is extremely simple but effective. If the system ever fills up past 100% the water will simply be diverted to the council stormwater connection through an overflow pipe in the AquaPit.

The key to a long-lasting system is debris and sediment prevention from the start. Every downpipe feeding water into the system should have a WaterSmart leaf diverter to divert leaves away from the tank, and our specially designed AquaPit stops sediment entering the system.

The AquaPit should be inspected once a year and cleaned out as needed by hand, or with a wet vac.

The extremely minimal amounts of sediment that do get into the tank are very fine, and normally wash away with the water.

It is recommended that the Aquacomb© system should be inspected annually, and vacuumed out when needed, usually not more than once every ten years. This can be done by any tank cleaning company. For Auckland based installations we recommend Hydrovac who has assessed the system for its cleaning needs.

As the Aquacomb© tanks have been designed so that the lowest pipe is 20mm off the bottom of the pod, any sediment that does manage to settle, will always stay in the first pod of your system, meaning only the first pod will ever need to be cleaned out.

An official letter outlining cleaning recommendations from Hydrovac can be had on request.

To learn more about maintenance, view our Homeowners Manual. 

Independent testing by Design Navigator (the online tool used by architects to model thermal performance of buildings for Building Consent) determined that the effects on insulation properties was less than the margin of error in the calculator, therefore deemed to be the same as polystyrene void formers in a slab.

 

Even so if using in-slab heating systems we do tend to stay away from living areas when designing systems, opting for areas such as garage floors.

FenceTank™ FAQ's

FenceTank™ is made of high-quality food grade plastic which also has a UV rating of 15, which is recognised as the most appropriate grade for NZ conditions.

Each 1,000L FenceTank™ weighs approx. 90kg when empty and approx. 1090kg when full.

As the tank is made of polyethylene, which does not take paint well, we would recommend attaching a fence to the back as a first option. Painting the tank may null and void the warranty.

The fence posts protrude ~ 25mm (if using 100mm x100mm posts) or 50mm if using 100mm x 125mm posts. This allows for any fence paling and/or panels to be attached.

No, the FenceTank™ doesn’t require a concrete when positioned on what is defined in the building code as good ground, a level base of compacted gap7 gravel is sufficient. This saves you time and money! However, if the ground condition is less stable, a concrete plinth is recommended.

It is NOT recommended to fix the FenceTank™ to the posts of an existing fence unless the designer and/or installer is able to establish that the posts meet the FenceTank™ fixing requirements as per the FenceTank™ PS1

Only simple, annual cleaning is required to maintain the FenceTank™ exterior. Use a soft bristled brush, water, or water mixed with a mild detergent to wash the plastic.

 

When used to store non-potable water, the interior of the tank does not require any maintenance since the use of leaf guards etc will remove vegetation before entering the tank. It is probable that small amounts of dust or similar will enter the tanks, but the amounts will not impact on the storage or capacity of the FenceTank™.

 

It is recommended that you follow your local councils’ guidelines for tank and pump maintenance

Any keen DIYer (with the correct tools) can install FenceTank™ when the water collected is only intended for outdoor use.

 

FenceTank™ must be installed by a registered plumber, such as WaterSmart, if the water will be used inside the home, (such as in the toilet and laundry). Contact WaterSmart to find out more.

Yes, a tap can be installed near the base of the tank to gravity feed a tap. Although this will initially provide good pressure this will significantly reduce as water level lowers.

Yes, WaterSmart can provide this service for you! Although a competent home handyperson with the right tools can do this.

Building consent is only required if you plan on connecting water tanks to your internal plumbing. It is not required for outdoor use only.

Silo FAQ's

Yes, Silo must be installed on a levelled concrete slab at least 100mm wider and longer than the tank or tank group.

Only simple, annual cleaning is required to maintain the Silo exterior. Use a soft bristled brush, water, or water mixed with a mild detergent to wash the plastic. When used to store non-potable water, the interior of the tank does not require any maintenance since the use of leaf guards etc will remove vegetation before entering the tank.

 

It is probable that small amounts of dust or similar will enter the tanks, but the amounts will not impact on the storage or capacity of the Silo tank.

Any keen DIYer (with the correct tools) can install Silo when the water collected is only intended for outdoor use. Silo must be installed by a registered plumber, such as WaterSmart, if the water will be used inside the home, (such as in the toilet and laundry). Contact WaterSmart to find out more.

Yes, a tap can be installed near the base of the tank to gravity feed a tap. Although this will initially provide good pressure this will significantly reduce as water level lowers.

Yes, WaterSmart can provide this service for you! Although a competent home handyperson with the right tools can do this.

stormPANEL FAQ's

stormPANEL tanks are available in a range of colours. Standard sizes available are 1,000L to a soon to be available 2,000L. Larger volumes are achieved by coupling multiple tanks together onsite with ease.

As a retrofit installation for garden watering, the stormPANEL system is within the ability of a home handy person but for new builds or connections to plumbing, or consented work – any qualified plumber or drain layer can install. This includes WaterSmart. 

stormPANEL stormwater tanks come with a 10-year domestic warranty.

They sure are! stormPANEL is designed to exceed AS/NZS4766:2020 and the material is certified to AS/NZS4766:2006, AS/NZS4020:2005, and AS/NZS 2070.

The highest quality polyethylene available. Polyethylene cannot rot or corrode and is ultraviolet stabilised. The manufacturing process produces zero waste and the product is 100% recyclable; it’s also ideally suited to our moulding technique, giving long life and trouble-free service. ​

The tanks have been designed for installation on an above ground flat surface. It is suggested to install on a concrete base min 100 mm thick, with nominal ductile mesh reinforcement if subsoils are in accordance with NZS3604 classification for “good ground”. Alternative options such as paving slabs laid on a firm compacted sand & gravel base are acceptable if subsoils are in accordance with NZS3604 classification for “good ground”.

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