Rainwater is an environmentally friendly alternative to mains water. The safety and quality of the water in your rainwater tank will depend on how you maintain it and how the water is treated.
Tips to keep your rainwater safe:
- Divert first winter rains from entering the tank
- Keep gutters and roofs clean and in good repair
- Use a leaf trap on the inlet
- Screen the inlet and tank to prevent access to insects and animals, including mosquitoes
- Cover and seal the tank to prevent entry of sunlight, dust and animals
- Disinfect the water before consuming it by boiling or chlorinating it
- For rainwater tanks also connected to scheme water, a licensed plumber will need to install an approved backflow prevention device
- Use only food-grade PVC pipes and fittings for drinking water
- To prevent mosquitoes breeding, place food-grade paraffin oil across the surface of the water
- Don’t use lead-based paint and flashings for catching rainwater used for drinking.
If you have concerns with the quality of the water from your rainwater tank, we suggest that you should have it tested by an approved laboratory.
For further information relating to rainwater tanks, please visit the Department of Health website.