Home' Sunraysia Daily : property07012017 Contents Pr pertyGuide 27
Saturday, January 7, 2017
Household rainwater tanks have
made a massive comeback
across Victoria over recent
Today, it is estimated that in Melbourne alone, one-
in-three households capture rainwater to flush toilets,
water gardens or for other outdoor uses.
The Victorian Building Authority (VBA), the state’s
building and plumbing regulator, recommends that
in all areas with a mains water supply the reticulated
drinking water is used for drinking and food
With Victoria’s summer renowned for its torrential
downpours, it is not too late to install a tank to make
the most of the precious, free resource of rain and save
money on water bills.
Rainwater tanks must be installed on appropriate
and adequate supporting bases with stormwater and
water supply connections to and from the tank carried
out by a registered/licensed plumber.
VBA Director Technical and Regulation Jarrod
Edwards said that a rainwater tank is a great idea for
those who are sustainability-conscious and want to
save money on water bills, particularly where there is
a large garden to be maintained or there is a desire to
connect the tank to the home for toilet flushing.
“However, it is important to check with your
council to find out if a planning permit is needed and
what the health and building regulations are.
Once you have done that, a registered/licensed
plumber can advise on the best size and type of tank
and best location for it on your property,” Mr Edwards
“Free-standing tanks do not require a building
permit, but the structural adequacy of the supporting
base or tank stand must be assured.
“Consider the potential damage to adjoining
property or people if a tank toppled.
“For example, a 2000 litre water tank weighs more
than two tonnes.”
Important points to consider when installing a
rainwater tank include:
• A registered/licensed plumber must connect the
roof catchment to the rainwater tank and the tank
overflow to the stormwater drain. Jobs valued
at $750 or more (including the tank, fittings and
labour) require a compliance certificate to be
issued by the plumber.
• Where rainwater is to be used for toilet flushing
and provision is made for this to be augmented
from a drinking water supply, the plumber must
ensure adequate backflow prevention to protect
against health impacts.
• Australian Standards and guidelines apply to the
design, material, manufacture and installation of
rainwater tanks. A registered/licensed plumber
can help identify which tanks meet your needs.
• If you need to change the position of your
downpipes or gutters to maximise your rainwater
collection, you must use a registered/licensed
• Overflows or discharge pipes from roof mounted
evaporative air conditioners should not be
allowed to discharge onto the roof catchment area
for your tank due to water quality issues.
• Keep your roof and gutters clean and flush your
tank every two or three years. Tanks should not
be entered for cleaning – do it from outside with a
hose or engage a professional cleaner.
Mr Edwards said that for those building a new
home, installing a rainwater tank and connecting
it to all sanitary flushing systems can help achieve
the minimum regulatory requirements of the 6 Star
He urged people to talk to their builder, architect or
To find a registered/licensed plumber or for
further information about rainwater tanks at your
home, contact the Victorian Building Authority
at www.vba.vic.gov.au or visit your local water
Tap into the benefits of a rainwater tank
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Office: 87 Lime Ave, Mildura VIC 3502
M 0427 237 860
M 0407 630 092
M 0438 237 566
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