Yarra Ranges Shire Council

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Domestic Rain Water Tanks

Installing a rain water tank it a great way to reduce your water usage. However, before installing a tank, there are a few things to consider:


  • You should check with our Planning team to see if you need a planning permit
  • Domestic rain water tanks do not need a building permit unless the tank is part of proposed building work. Your building surveyor will check siting and other regulations as part of your permit process.
  • If the tank is to be installed on, or within or next to an existing building it is your responsibility to ensure the structural adequacy of the building to support the additional load of the rain water tank. A building permit is required of structural alterations to a building.
  • Earthworks or retaining walls associated with the installation of rainwater tanks may require a planning and/or building permit.


  • Your tank must be fitted with an overflow pipe of the same diameter as the inlet pipe. This outlet must be connected to a storm water drainage system that discharges to a legal point of discharge.
  • Water tanks must be installed and certified by a licensed plumber. (to avoid possible cross contamination into the main water supply if a tank is connected to mains water.


  • Water collected may not be suitable for drinking as it may be contaminated from the collection surface.
  • Tanks should be sealed to prevent insects, vermin and other animal entering. Unsealed tanks are also a risk for small children

General Tips

  • The tank should divert the initial quality of water collected from roofs to exclude contaminants such as leaves, pollution, animal & bird dropping and other matter which may be washed into the tank.
  • The tank must be professionally designed and manufactured using corrosion resistant, non toxic material
  • All support stands must be professionally designed and constructed to meet all structural requirements
  • Tanks are permitted to extend into the minimum setback from a side boundary, by 500mm. Tanks less than 3.6 metres in height must be a minimum of 500mm from a side boundary. Those greater than 3.6m must have a setback greater than 500mm.
  • Tanks should not be placed on an easement without approval from the relevant authority.
  • Tanks should not be placed over septic systems including sand filters.

For more information contact us on 1300 368 333 or email us.

Last Updated: 29/10/2010
Yarra Ranges Shire Council © 2009
P O Box 105, Anderson Street, Lilydale, VIC 3140
Tel: 1300 368 333 Fax: 9735 4249