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Water tanks

Bayside encouragesĀ the installation of rainwater tanks as they are ideally suited for the collection of water for gardens but can also be used for the flushing of toilets and in the laundry for clothes washing.

Rainwater tanks in suburban areas are not recommended for drinking water due to contaminants found on roofs from pollution.


A planning permit is generally only required for a rainwater tank if the site is covered by a Bayside Planning Overlay (i.e. heritage overlay or sites less than 500m2 in area) and where the tank is visible from the street or the tank has a volume of greater than 4,500 litres. If in doubt about planning permits, please contact our Statutory Planning Department on (03) 9599 4444.

Water tanks are deemed to be un-classifiable structures pursuant to the Building Code of Australia and therefore do not require a building permit, provided the following items are satisfied:

  • The water tank is installed on the ground, free standing and self-supporting and therefore not relying on any other building or existing structure (i.e. a boundary fence) for structural support.
  • The water tank is not elevated. (If the tank is elevated the stand or support structure will require an engineer's design and may be subject to a building permit).
  • The water tank cannot be located over an easement unless approved by the authorities that have rights over the easement.


  • The water tank must be professionally designed and manufactured in accordance with the applicable Australian Standards and installed in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications.
  • The water tank must be fitted with an overflow pipe of the same diameter as the inlet pipe and this overflow pipe must be connected to a stormwater system that discharges to a legal discharge point.
  • Water tanks must be installed by a licensed plumber.
  • Stored water should be kept free of contaminants, such as leaves, animal/bird droppings and pollutants.
  • Water tanks must be sealed to prevent risk to small children and to keep out insects, vermin and other animals.
  • Water tanks cannot be used for the storage of grey water.
  • Water tanks should not be located forward of the dwelling and sited so they do not interfere with the amenity of any adjoining properties.