With droughts in both Australia and California, the rainwater caught from roofs represents a valuable commodity. The Rainwater HOG lets you catch and store rainwater for re-use in your garden and house – for toilet flushing, laundry and even drinking.

What sets this tank apart from the big, corrugated tanks used in rural settings is its space-saving design built specifically for urban, residential environments. Its slim profile and modular configuration allow it to squeeze into small spaces or expand to fill larger ones, and it can lie flat under, say, a deck, or stand vertically along a fence or wall.

“As a designer who was working rainwater storage into the architecture of my buildings, I encountered resistance from my residential clients to the scale and appearance of curved steel and plastic tanks,” says Dominguez. “They were keen to rescue their rain-water but not at a cost to the look of their gardens and houses.”

“So I set out to design a rainwater tank that would be everything that the existing tanks were not, and that, in addition, would be far greener in terms of lifecycle and usefulness.”

Given that space is at a premium in most modern living environments, Dominguez looked for a solution that could fit into nooks and crannies. The modular tank has a capacity of 180 L (47 gallons) and measures 1800 x 500 x 220 mm, which means it can fit under decks, up against walls and along side passageways.

“HOG is compact and modular, with DIY installation that does not require footings or a plumber,” she says. “The tank is about decentralised storage – the antithesis of the large backyard tank. The idea is that you bank a couple of tanks at each downspout and then add or subtract units, depending on your water demand in that area.

“It is the first rainwater tank that can be re-used, moved and reconfigured. The warranty on all other rainwater tanks sold in Australia is void once the tank is removed from its original installation site.”

“Durable threaded connector points, a robust DIY threaded connector, and a thick wall on the tank itself increased the dollar per litre figure to around three times that of a larger tank. However, if the cost of the life of the product is calculated, and trade costs of installation and reticulation are subtracted (the unit is DIY), HOG is streets ahead, and its re-useability makes it a greener product.”

The Ground HOG, a variation on the Rainwater HOG, is designed for use within building structures, for thermal mass as well as, or instead of, water storage. As a thermal-mass unit, it outperforms concrete of the same area by at least ten per cent and is most effective when installed between floor joists immediately below, and ideally in contact with, the exposed internal floor surface.

“My product design is hugely influenced by Cradle to Cradle, the book by William McDonough and Michael Braungart. I figure that until I can find a non-oil based recyclable material suitable for holding rainwater that I should work my oil-based product for as long as I possibly can.”

Dominguez has recently relocated from Sydney to San Francisco to build on the positive response her product has been receiving. “Since the West Coast is the hub of materials innovation right now, moving over here made sense,” she says. 

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