We are growing some of our own food but we still need to keep it alive over summer and also keep the some of the extra rain water for use around the house to further reduce our impact on the world.
We were lucky enough to be included in a study into storm water management and recieved funding towards the installation in addition to the state and federal government rebates. More information about the study can be found at http://www.urbanstreams.unimelb.edu.au/
We have a 5000 L tank connected to all the downpipes on our house. This is achieved by using a “wet system” where all the downpipe are connected together under the house and then taken into the tank. You can see an explanation of this style of system at http://www.yourhome.gov.au/technical/fs73.html#configurations
The tank is connected to two toilets, the washing machine, and a garden tap to keep our vegies growing. We still use town water for drinking but we have room to add extra storage, filtration, and treatment if we want to add this option. The rain fall and usage model predicts that our little tank will overflow on about 35 days in the year. This excess water is treated and filtered naturally in an infiltration trench for storm water management.
The installation was done by http://www.theirrigationshed.com.au/.