Installation of Rainwater Tanks

We have recently received clarification from Building Codes QLD regarding the installation of rainwater tanks.

As a result of the repeal of the QDC for rainwater tanks on 1 February 2013, new houses and townhouses (class 1 buildings) and new commercial and industrial buildings (classes 3 to 9) located within a reticulated town water area no longer have to include a rainwater tank as part of the building approval.


If a planning scheme contains a requirement for a rainwater tank to be included with buildings where the property is located within a reticulated town water area, this requirement will no longer apply as section 78A of the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 will override this provision.


If a condition of development approval includes a requirement for a rainwater tank, then the application of this condition will generally depend on the date when it was issued.

Prior to 1 February 2013

If the Development Approval is dated prior to 1 February 2013, a rainwater tank condition can continue to apply to properties subject to the Development Approval. However               some local governments may vary this Development Approval condition (as a permissible change) at their discretion and may charge a fee to applicants for no longer requiring it for new houses and buildings.

After 1 February 2013

If the Development Approval is dated after 1 February 2013 and includes a rainwater tank condition, then it will not apply as it is inconsistent with the current QDC provisions.

Non Reticulated Areas

Where a property is located outside a reticulated town water area and a planning scheme provision requires a rainwater tank, then this requirement will continue to apply to building development applications.