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Rainwater tanks

Rainwater tanks are a great way to reduce the demand of the town water supply, reduce stormwater runoff and achieve more sustainable development.

Council supports and encourages the installation of rainwater tanks for new freestanding houses built on properties larger than 250m2 and for new commercial buildings. However, they must meet certain building, plumbing and drainage requirements.

Some of these requirements are:

  • Tanks must be set at one third full and topped up with town water
  • Tanks must be filled via a float at the top of the tank
  •  Rain banks cannot be used unless there is a reduced pressure zone valve installed
  • Tank must be connected to one external tap, all water closets and the cold water tap of the washing machine

For more information on installing a rainwater tank, please contact us and ask to speak with our plumbing team.

The Queensland Development Code (QDC) Part 4.0 Building sustainably, specifies requirements for installing rainwater tanks.

  • Freestanding houses (class 1) - QDC MP 4.2
    • Water must be collected from at least 50 per cent or 100m2 (whichever is lesser) of the roof area.
    • Tanks must be plumbed to toilets, washing machine and at least one outdoor tap.
    • Tanks must have at least 5,000-litre capacity when the property is 250m2 or larger.
    • Tanks must have at least 45,000-litre capacity if the property is in a rural zone where reticulated water is unavailable and it’s connected
  • Commercial buildings (class 5 to 9) - QDC MP 4.3
    • Water must be collected from at least 50 per cent of the roof area.
    • Tanks must be plumbed to toilets (50m2 per pedestal) and outdoor taps.
    • Tanks must at least have a 1,500 litre capacity per pedestal.
  • Easements and existing
    • Rainwater tanks should not be installed on top of council sewer and water mains, or drainage easements.
    • Contact council on 1300 242 686 orenquiries@chrc.qld.gov.au to find out where services are before installing your tank.
  • Overflows
    • Overflow must not cause a nuisance to neighbours or erosion to surrounding areas.
    •  Acceptable overflow points are a bubbler three metres on the downhill side of all buildings, three metres from property boundaries, or into an existing council-approved stormwater drain.
  • Marking and signage
    • Rainwater supply must be marked at intervals not exceeding 500mm.
    • Markings must include the word RAINWATER in contrasting colours.
    • Water outlets must be identified as RAINWATER, or with a rainwater tap identified by a green coloured indicator with the letters RW.
  • Building approval

    A building approval is required before installation when any of the following apply

    • the tank’s base diameter exceeds 3.56 metres
    • the overall height exceeds 2.4 metres from natural ground level
    • a supporting structure/ tank stand is required, and the overall height is more than 2.4 metres
    • an underground tank is within 1.5 metres of another structure
    • the tank is mandatory on a block larger than 250 square metres.
  • Plumbing approval

    Ask your plumber about plumbing requirements or contact council to request standard drawings for preferred connection methods.

  • More information

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