Use of rainwater tanks

The Australian Government has established guidelines for drinking water and use of rain water tanks in Australia. These guidelines provide advice about how to manage and prevent potential risks associated with drinking water from rainwater tanks.


A Queensland Health fact sheet provides guidance about public health and the use of rainwater tanks.

  • Queensland Health advises that roof-harvested rainwater can become contaminated from a range of sources including animals.
  • Queensland Health recommends residents with access to reticulated or town water supplies should use these supplies for drinking, personal hygiene and food preparation, rather than rainwater.
  • Roof-harvested rainwater may be used for flushing toilets, laundry, watering gardens and lawns as these uses generally present low risk.
  • Queensland Health recommends residents without access to reticulated or town water supplies should consider implementing appropriate control measures to ensure the safety of their rainwater.
    This should include complying with the design and maintenance recommendations provided in the Australian guidelines above.

More information

For more public health advice and using rainwater tanks, please call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84).

Your nearest Queensland Health Public Health Unit may also be able to provide further advice Monday to Friday during normal business hours on (07) 3624 1111.

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