Living on tank water is empowering. It is crazy that cities are only now encouraging people to put tanks in, but considering the local government nearby used to condemn the use of tanks because of their ugliness, I guess it is quite a turnaround and better late than never.
We are judicious with our water use, because we can quickly find out if we have enough water or not, and it is our responsibility to monitor and correct this as needs be. So when it rains we smile, knowing that every drop and every millilitre is making a difference.
The taste of tank water when we first moved here reminded me that we didn’t live in the city any longer, and this was great. Until the day that the neighbour at our backfence pointed up at our house and said ‘Don’t you hate the starlings? Look what they’ve done to your roof!’ I looked. Starlings, BAH! Enemy, thy name is starling! The roof was covered in starling poo from where they perched on our TV antenna. Covered. It took a few seconds for my dusty brain to process, but the poo was on our roof and probably had been many times before and it didn’t just blow away. It must be washed away when it rained. Into our tank. And the taste of the water I had drunk that morning rose back into my mouth and my mind. I started to notice the taste of the water.
This was not an entirely bad thing, because it made me more obvservant. When the water is low, I swear it tastes boggy to me. But perhaps that is because I am thinking about Hank, the frog that lives in our tank.
Hank calls out when the water is low and he is a bit worried, or conversely when rain is coming and he is feeling romantic. Boggy may well be what Hank tastes like. I shudder to think. And yet I want to drink the tank water, our water, our rain without overthinking it or vomiting into my mouth when I see birds perched on the roof. Simon thinks I’m mad. He can’t determine any difference in the taste of the water, but he is nice enough to humor me. And as it happens there are a number of tools on the market to side step this: the first flush diverter, the water boy floating filter and probably many other locally invented ideas, but for us the perfect solution was the ceramic urn. It sits on our bench, filters our water, and keeps the water cool. If we have a blackout, we can still access water (something you forget about until it becomes a problem is that tank water, if it is not gravity fed, is pumped into the house with an electric pump!) Our cermaic urn is NOT electrical, is easy to use, it has a handsome rooster painted on it and to top it off, the water tastes beautiful! No more boggy Hank water, I mean TANK water.