We live in “outer” Haiku, a part of Maui that gets no water service, so we have to use catchment tanks to store the rainwater. We’ve been doing this off-grid living for a long time and have tried different methods of storage – different kinds of tanks. The metal Scafco tank that we built about 15 years ago was showing signs of age and we didn’t expect it to last much longer due to the rust. The metal was rusty, especially on the windward side, but the liner still help up and the water quality was fine. Time for a new tank – who you gonna call?
We called up Maui Water Tanks since it’s a company we know and trust. They recommend a Pioneer water tank which is more specifically designed for water (versus grain storage). They come in various sizes and colors, with a 20 year warranty against rust. It just so happened they had one in stock that fit our needs, in a nice light color, so we opted for it and arranged a time for the work to be done.
If you have to build a water catchment system on Maui, you can skip the permitting process for tanks less than 15,000 gallons. This speeds up the process if you’re in a hurry. You can always opt for more than one tank of this size too, which makes a lot of sense anyway so you can have redundancy for your water supply.
It was a quick process once we had the cooperation of the Haiku weather. One day to demolish the old tank and haul it away, and one day to install the new tank on the same spot. Having the foundation saved us some time compared to starting from scratch.
Watch the short video to see how easy they make it look. The sides go up quickly, and the lid is a little more complicated, with trusses and pieces that need cutting. Once the structure is in place, the final phase of installing the lining and making all the plumbing connections begins. This is the critical part because you want to make sure your household water system is going to function correctly.
All in all we’re really happy with our new Pioneer water tank that should serve us for 20 years or more. Even though Maui and much of Hawaii is going through a drought now, here in Haiku it’s still green and we get small amounts of rain overnight. I’m happy to say our 15,000 gallon tank is now half full from just these small rainfalls we’ve been getting.
I recommend using rainwater harvesting and water catchment as an alternative to a Maui County water meter if you live in an area with adequate rainfall. Even if you’re not living off the grid, you might want to consider it.
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Georgie Hunter R(S) e-Pro, Hawai’i Life Real Estate Brokers
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