Guidance on use of rainwater tanks

10. Legislation

Page last updated: March 2011

While there is increasing government support for using rainwater tanks in Australia, there are legislative requirements in many areas relating to their installation and design.

In some areas, where mains water is not available, there are requirements associated with the supply of water for firefighting. In addition, as discussed in Section 5, both Queensland and the Northern Territory have regulations relating to the prevention of mosquito breeding.

Cross-connection of a rainwater tank with a mains water supply should never be undertaken without consulting the local water authority. There are generally restrictions in place including mandatory use of back-flow prevention devices to prevent the possibility of water from tanks entering mains water supplies.

Discharge of treated water or disposal of accumulated sludge may also be subject to local or state/territory regulations.

There are additional legislative requirements relating to tanks used as a source of community supplies (see Section 11).

Before purchasing or installing a rainwater tank, it is important to establish whether there are any local health, building or planning regulations associated with rainwater tanks. The local council or regional authority with jurisdiction over these regulations should be consulted.

Before purchasing or installing a rainwater tank, it is important to establish whether there are any local health, building or planning regulations associated with rainwater tanks.