Mandatory rainwater tanks bolster water security

07 Mar 2022 |

7 March 2022

Southern Downs Regional Council’s latest drought-proofing initiative will save local households and businesses both water and money.  

From 1 July, all new residential and commercial buildings within the reticulated water network will be required to have a rainwater tank installed as part of the build.

Southern Downs Mayor Vic Pennisi said the initiative would shore up an additional water supply for urban users in times of drought.

“As a region, we will continue to face ongoing water challenges and it is important to be mindful that we are one day closer to the next drought,” Mayor Pennisi said.

“Long term water security remains high on Council’s agenda and we are committed to ensuring our community is better prepared for the challenges of dry times ahead.

“Rainwater is perfect for non-drinkable purposes such as gardening, laundry, home cleaning, car washing and topping up your pool.

“The mandatory installation of rainwater tanks is one of several solutions to assist in water security and will relieve pressure on potable water supplies.”

The tank requirements for new residential properties will be:

  • Roof collection area – Collect water from at least 50% of the roof area or 100m2 (whichever is lesser)
  • Must be plumbed to services – Toilets, washing machines and at least one outdoor tap
  • Have a minimum capacity of 5,000 litres (1,100 gallons)

The tank requirements for new commercial properties will be:

  • Roof collection area – Collect water from at least 50m2 of the roof area
  • Plumbed to services – Toilets (50m2 per pedestal) and outdoor taps
  • Minimum capacity – 1,500 litres per required pedestal

Council passed the resolution in November 2021 to opt into the Queensland Development Code water saving requirements.

The approval of mandatory rainwater tanks will be issued as part of the overall plumbing approval process for new residential and commercial buildings. In considering the location of tanks, applicants are advised to check the location of Council sewers, storm water and water mains on the allotment.  Visit for more information.

Last edited date 15 Mar 2023