In the past, rainwater tanks were almost exclusively used on rural or farming properties. These days, with the increasing cost of municipal water and an increased interest in sustainable living, rainwater tanks have also become a common feature in many urban backyards.

If you're considering having a rainwater tank installed in your property, then you may be wondering which type is best suited to your needs. Here are the three main rainwater tank varieties that you are commonly available for you to choose from.

1. Poly tanks

Poly tanks are fast becoming the rainwater tank of choice for many Australian households. They're made from polyethylene which is UV resistant, durable and has a food grade making it highly suitable for drinking water storage. Poly tanks are also lightweight and require very little groundwork, which makes them ideal for urban environments.

Poly tanks are also a great choice if you'd like a rainwater tank that has a contemporary look and has a colour that blends in with your home's exterior design. They can also be manufactured to be long and thin to fit into small spaces such as down the side of your house.

2. Metal tanks

If you prefer a more traditional style water tank, then a corrugated metal tank is a good choice. These tanks are strong, durable and can hold large volumes of water. Modern metal rainwater tanks come in a wide variety of different colours and they make a charming and attractive addition to the garden.

If you the first thing you imagine when thinking of metal tanks are the rusting and leaking tanks you may have seen on farms in the past, you can rest assured. Modern metal tanks are made from galvanised steel that won't rust and the manufacturing process means that leaks are rare and easy to fix.

3. Concrete tanks

Although it's possible to use concrete rainwater tanks above ground, they're ideally suited for underground use. They're made from reinforced concrete that can be poured on site or delivered to your home already constructed. The concrete is lined with a polyethylene coating to make it watertight and safe for drinking water.

The big benefit of an underground concrete tank is the amount of space that it will save. The strong structure of this type of tank means that it can be located under your driveway, garage or patio. Excavation and site preparation for concrete tanks is more extensive than it is for other tanks but it's worth the effort and expense if you don't have a big garden to house an above ground tank.