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Journal of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering

On-line version ISSN 2309-8775
Print version ISSN 1021-2019


ALLEN, J E  and  HAARHOFF, J. A proposal for the probabilistic sizing of rainwater tanks for constant demand. J. S. Afr. Inst. Civ. Eng. [online]. 2015, vol.57, n.2, pp.22-27. ISSN 2309-8775.

In recent years there has been an international trend towards installing rainwater tanks in an attempt to save water. This study investigates the possibility of simplifying the process of sizing a rainwater tank for optimal results under constant water demand. The required size of a rainwater tank is influenced by the Mean Annual Precipitation, the size of the roof which is being used for harvesting, the water demand, the desired certainty of supply and the rainfall patterns. The study investigates the use of a generalised equation of the form y = a(x - 1)b + c, where x is a runoff parameter, y is a storage parameter and a, b and c are constants which differ for each location, depending on rainfall characteristics. Results obtained using the generalised equation are compared to results obtained by simulating tank behaviour over a 16-year period (1994-2009) at three rainfall stations. The results suggest that such an equation can be used to estimate the storage capacity of a rainwater tank.

Keywords : Tank sizing; rainwater harvesting; probalistic sizing.

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