Rain Water Tanks

Installing a rainwater tank will save you water and money. A rainwater tank provides you with the following benefits:

  • free water saving money you money
  • soft water that lathers easily, saving on soap and detergent
  • extra water available to:
  • water gardens and lawns
  • wash cars

Approvals and standards

Most in-ground tanks and tanks above a certain dimension require building approval and in some instances, a building certifier must verify that the installation is structurally sound or Council may need to approve the tank location.  Contact Council (02 6368 2104 Option 1) to obtain further information.  All pipes and fittings connecting the rainwater tank to your roof, household fixtures and the stormwater system should be done in accordance with plumbing and building standards. A plumbing inspection will be required if the tank is connected for internal use.

Tank overflow should be properly managed to prevent uncontrolled stormwater discharge of you and your neighbour's properties that could result in flooding and damage.

Choosing a rainwater tank

There are many things to consider before you purchase your rainwater tank, including size, placement location and installation costs.

Pre-purchase

When you are searching to buy a new rainwater tank:

  • consider your budget, proposed use, space available and the look you want
  • check the tank is manufactured to appropriate Australian standards
  • check compatibility of materials in your system, to avoid problems of faster corrosion of metal tanks, gutters and accessories
  • check the warranty conditions of the rainwater tank
  • get advice on the best design and location for your tank
  • investigate approvals and standards required

Cost

A rainwater tank can cost from $500 to $10,000+.  Coloured tanks or specialty shapes are more expensive than a traditional round tanks in plain raw material.

Tanks come with an overflow outlet, strainer and tap fitting. Other accessories may need to be purchased separately.

Location

When choosing a location for your tank:

  • think of the areas in your house and garden where most of the water will be used
  • if the rainwater tank does not fit in your preferred location, consider placing elsewhere or select a different shape or size
  • review existing downpipes location
  • consider your neighbours, ensuring your tank does not block their natural light, ventilation or outlook or detract from the streetscape
  • if you want to install a pump, make sure it is located in a place that will have low noise for your family or neighbours
  • consider access to the tank and your home for maintenance purposes
  • building regulations may also limit where you can locate a rainwater tank on your property in relation to the front, side and rear boundaries
  • reduced rear and side boundary clearances will apply for narrow blocks and height restrictions for corner blocks
  • be aware of the stress placed on retaining walls, caused by locating a rainwater tank above or near any retaining walls, both on your property and your neighbour’s property

Using your rainwater tank

Rainwater tanks reduce stormwater from properties, improving local creek water quality and habitat for local flora and fauna. They can also reduce the need for new or replacement water supply and stormwater infrastructure. 

Maintenance

The property owner must maintain plumbing and drainage on their property. This includes all apparatus, fittings or pipes for supplying water to the premises from a service provider’s infrastructure or from a water storage tank and for moving water within a premise.

You need to regularly maintain your rainwater tank system to:

  • ensure clean water
  • protect the health of your family, the local community and the environment

Simple ways to keep contaminants out of your tank system are to:

  • keep your roof clear of large tree branches
  • keep gutters and downpipes clear of leaves and debris
  • check inlet and overflow screens are securely in place, are in good condition and cleaned regularly
  • install a first flush diverter which stops the initial flow of water from your roof from entering the tank
  • open and cleaning out first flush devices after rain
  • check the tank and fittings regularly for leaks
  • replace cartridges in water filters and chemicals or components in water treatment units strictly according to manufacturer’s instructions
  • check sludge levels in the bottom of the tank every two to three years or if you notice any sediment in the water
  • remove sludge before the layer builds to the level of the tank outlet – usually once every five to ten years
  • avoid using harsh cleaning products that may contaminate your rainwater

Do not enter the tank as this is dangerous and should be left to professionals.

Corrosion

Direct contact between different metals or run-off from one metal surface to another can cause accelerated corrosion or holes when metals are wet. Metal roofing materials, roof accessories, gutters, screens, piping and steel rainwater tanks can cause or be affected by corrosion.

Last modified: 07 May 2014

Blayney Shire Council

91 Adelaide Street, Blayney NSW 2799
PO Box 62, Blayney NSW 2799
Telephone: (02) 6368 2104
Email: council@blayney.nsw.gov.au

Council opening hours:
Monday to Friday
9.00am - 4.30pm

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