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Rainwater Tanks

Rainwater tanks have long been a source of domestic water in Australia. At one time they were a standard feature of suburban backyards, only to be phased out as urban water supply services expanded. Today, rainwater tanks continue to meet the household needs of many rural residential and farming communities.

Tanks are now also being reintroduced into urban areas by people looking for ways to play a part in protecting the environment and reduce their water bills.

Rainwater Tanks now come in various colours, sizes and shapes
Installing a Rainwater Tank in Coffs Harbour

There is a lot to consider when installing a rainwater tank. The colour of the tank is the least of the decisions you will have to make. To assist in the decision-making process, Coffs Harbour Water has compiled an Information Sheet for residents looking into installing a rainwater tank.

 Rainwater Tank Local Information Sheet

If you intend to have a rainwater tank installed in an urban area, you will need to:

1)  ensure you comply to the Urban Rainwater Tank Policy; and 
2)  submit a Rainwater Tank Installation Application for Urban Areas to Coffs Harbour Water at least 10 working days prior to commencement of work. 
Please Note:
This Form is only required if your property is in an area serviced by reticulated town water.

 Urban Rainwater Tank Policy

 Rainwater Tank Installation Application for Urban Areas
Rainwater Tank Installation Application for Urban Areas

Depending on the type of installation of your rainwater tank, you may also have to install and register a Backflow Prevention Device. Details of these rainwater tanks are provided in the Rainwater Tank Local Information Sheet above.

Backflow Prevention

For more information about installing rainwater tanks in Coffs Harbour, contact Council’s Land Use, Health and Development Department on telephone (02) 6648 4000.

Using the Water from Your Rainwater Tank

In areas connected to the public water supply, NSW Health supports the use of rainwater tanks for non-drinking uses, such as toilet flushing, washing clothes or in water heating systems, and outdoors for uses such as garden watering, car washing, filling swimming pools, spas and ornamental ponds, and fire fighting.

NSW Health recommends that people use the public water supply for drinking and cooking because it is filtered, disinfected and generally fluoridated. The quality of public water supplies is regularly monitored and in urban areas this remains the most reliable source of good quality drinking water for the community.

Maintaining a Rainwater Tank

People who choose to use rainwater for drinking and cooking and people who are not connected to Council’s reticulated water supply should be aware of potential risks associated with microbiological and chemical contamination.

A properly maintained rainwater tank can provide good quality drinking water. Providing the rainwater is clear, has little taste or smell and is from a well maintained water catchment system it is probably safe and unlikely to cause any illness for most users.

NSW Health provides information on how to maintain your rainwater tank for a healthy water supply.  

NSW Health

The Environmental Laboratory in Coffs Harbour can provide water quality testing services for private water supplies from rainwater tanks.

Environmental Laboratory

Rainwater Tank Rebates

There are currently no rebates available for the installation of rainwater tanks in the Coffs Harbour City Council area.​