Rainwater tanks

If your property is in an area serviced by reticulated town water, you will need to apply to install a rainwater tank.

Apply to install a rainwater tank

Step 1.Do your research 

There is a lot to consider when installing a rainwater tank.

Read Council's fact sheet to help with your decision making.

Rainwater Tank Local Information Sheet(PDF, 1MB)

Depending on the type of installation of your rainwater tank, you may also have to install and register a Backflow Prevention Device.

Find out more about backflow protection

Also read and make sure you comply with Council's policy on urban rainwater tanks.

Urban Rainwater Tank Policy

Step 2.Submit your application 

If your property is in an area serviced by reticulated town water, you will need to apply to install a rainwater tank.

Submit the application form below to Council at least 10 working days prior to starting work. 

Rainwater Tank Installation Application for Urban Areas 

Is rainwater safe to drink?

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.

However, 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.

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.

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

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

What else can rainwater be used for?

It is safe to use rainwater tanks for:

  • toilet flushing
  • washing clothes
  • hot water systems (showers and baths)
  • garden watering
  • car washing
  • filling swimming pools, spas and ornamental ponds, and
  • fire fighting.

For more information see NSW Health webpage on rainwater tanks