More Information- Water

Tank Water

Many years ago it was not uncommon for all residential homes to have water tanks.  As water systems changed areas phased out water tanks for drinking water.  Most country areas still rely completely on water tanks as their only source of water due to the lack of another available water source.  The conservation of their precious water supply is of greater importance in areas where no river or groundwater sources can be tapped into.

In NSW the state government introduced a new sustainability tool for planning and developments called BASIX (  BASIX is a web based tool that requires builders / owners of properties to fill in an online document that asks questions like; number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, etc and at the end of the survey provides the user with a sustainability index.  This index must meet set criteria for the BASIX certificate (needed when lodging a development application with Councils) to be approved.


Figure 1:  A Water Tank attached to a new home (Source: Wyong Shire Council 2004)

Rainwater tanks have many advantages. In rural and regional Australia and in some urban fringe areas that do not have a reticulated (town treated) water supply, rainwater tanks are essential to collect water for household use.  However, even in urban areas rainwater tanks can help conserve valuable drinking water and reduce runoff.  As runoff is reduced the physical impact of stormwater on drainage infrastructure, roads, urban streams and beaches can be considerably lessoned.  Rainwater tanks allows for water reuse for outdoor use such as gardening and washing cars without reliance on the town water system and water resources.

The NSW Health recommends the use of rainwater tanks for non-drinking uses, such as garden watering, and car washing. The use of rainwater tanks for drinking purposes is not recommended where a reticulated potable water supply is available.  This is because potable water is treated and meets Australian Drinking Water Guidelines and can be considered safe for consumption.