Taking back the power

Coral Edwards enjoys the coolness of her beautiful garden.
Coral Edwards enjoys the coolness of her beautiful garden.

The recent downpours filled the environmentally conscious couple’s eight 1000 litre water tanks, which they installed on their property two years ago.

Mrs Edwards said they wanted to find a way to water their quarter acre section without wasting any water.

They initially had two water tanks installed at the cost of $1500.

Realising they needed more tanks, but not wanting to spend any more money, Mr Edwards decided to put his handyman skills to work.

He bought eight recycled tanks from an old tyre yard, which were able to be stacked on top of each other, and positioned them behind the garden shed to collect rain water for the garden.

‘I plumbed the tanks together and then fitted a water pump,’ Mr Edwards said.

‘By shutting or opening various valves, we can use whichever tank to water the garden,’ he said.

In addition to the sustainable water feature, the couple have also created their own solar hot water heating system.

Hot water stored in tanks is heated by solar panels on the roof.

‘At night, we then pump the hot water to a modified airconditioning fan coil and a small fan motor circulates the hot air to the rooms we use,’ Mr Edwards said.

‘The tank has an electric element to boost the water temperature if required. I estimate the heating system costs about 50 cents an hour to run.’

The couple have a solar hot water heater for their shower and kitchen, and use the leftover heat for the house.

‘We also have a 4.8kw solar electric on grid system that meets all our power needs during the day and sends the excess back to the grid, which then offsets the night power use,’ he said.

‘We have changed the way we use power and turn all the standby items off at the power point, and have saved lots of energy that was previously wasted.’