Rainwater tanks

Selecting a rainwater tank

There are many types of rainwater tanks to choose from:

  • traditional stand-alone tanks can be installed anywhere on your property
  • modular tanks are designed to be installed against the house to save space.

Contact your local council for guidance about rainwater tank selection and suppliers in your area.

Maintenance and testing

Rainwater tanks are usually low maintenance but some maintenance is needed to make sure you are collecting good, clean rainwater.

The SA Health website has good advice about rainwater.

Domestic tanks

You do not need to do regular chemical or microbiological testing of domestic rainwater tanks.

Commercial or community tanks

Rainwater used as water supplies for commercial or community-based purposes requires routine testing to make sure the water is suitable for drinking.

Providing safe drinking water - Department of Health

Building rules

South Australian building rules require that new dwellings and some extensions or alterations, have an additional water supply to supplement mains water.

The most common way to meet the additional water supply requirement is to install plumbed minimum-sized rainwater tanks - other options include:

  • a recycled water scheme
  • connection to a community rainwater storage tank.

The additional water supply must be installed before a house or extension is occupied.

Building rules consent

Applications lodged for building rules consent for new houses, extensions and alterations must detail how water saving requirements are being met.

If rainwater tanks are being used, applications must include:

  • the size of the tank
  • location
  • area of the catchment
  • plumbing details for installation.

Tank size

The rainwater tank should have a storage capacity not less than one kilolitre. This is additional to any other water storage tanks that might be required - eg tanks for bushfire fighting purposes.

Plumbing and installation

The additional water supply must be plumbed to a toilet, a water heater or to all cold water outlets in the laundry of the home. The same rules apply to new extensions or alterations where the extension or alteration is greater than 50 square metres and includes a toilet, water heater or laundry cold water outlet.

To assist water quality, every rainwater tank must be fitted with:

  • an overflow device
  • a mosquito proof, non-degradable screen.

A licensed plumber must:

  • install the piping system to deliver the rainwater to the water closet, water heater or cold water laundry outlets
  • complete a certificate of compliance.

Related information

On this site

Submitting development applications

    Other websites

    Guidance on the use of rainwater tanks - Australian Government Department of Health

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    Page last updated 26 September 2017

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