Thinking outside the square


Robert Bruce, proprietor of Mid-West Livestock, Wudinna was using approximately 240 kilolitres of mains water per quarter to wash down his stock trailers. Robert needed to look at any alternative options to reduce the water use or find an alternative water supply as he was using up to 10,000 litres at a time to clean out his trailers.

The Solution

There was a section of land behind Roberts’s house which was not being used so he decided to investigate the possibility of installing a sheeted catchment.

The area was approximately 3,000m2 which was graded to have a gentle slope to one corner to a ‘sump’. This holds approximately 95,000 litres water before being pumped into a 250,000 litre tank.

Robert used recycled bunker tarps to line the catchment. He realises that they will deteriorate over time and plans to lay catchment liner when needed.


The total water system cost under $20,000 with Robert doing the earthworks; the pump cost $500; local council rolled the site for $1,000; and the tank was $17,000 installed.

Robert has calculated that with a 300 mm rainfall he has the potential to harvest 900,000 litres of water. This will meet all his requirements and is a relatively cheap and efficient water catchment system.