The Victorian Building Association (VBA) is encouraging Sunraysia residents to “consider collecting one of nature’s free and precious resources – rain.”
And the call has been backed by Mildura Rural City Council’s Councillor for Environment and Sustainability, Jodi Reynolds.

“I grew up in South Australia where everyone had a rain water tank,” Cr Reynolds said.

“The average rainfall at Whyalla is similar to what we have here and we always had water in the tank.

“Water tanks are a long-term solution, able to take advantage of, and store, water from the smallest to the largest rain events.

“I absolutely support rainwater tanks and I’ll be getting one myself.”

The VBA said collecting water via rainwater tanks can save money on water bills, while offering a sustainable and environmentally friendly water saving solution.

“As winter approaches and wet weather follows,” the VBA continued, “now is the time” for Victorians to get prepared and install a water tank.

With rainwater tanks available in a range of sizes, it is important to consider whether your tank’s installation will require a building permit.

This is not a big issue on the Victorian side of the Murray River according to MRCC.

A spokesman told the ‘Weekly it is a moot point “as pretty much every water tank in our region is located externally, meaning permits generally aren’t required.”

But, the VBA advised, water supply connections must be carried out by a licensed and registered plumber.

It also advised that it is “essential to secure rainwater tanks on appropriate supporting bases, while water to and from the tank and stormwater drain must be connected by a licensed or registered plumber”.

VBA State Building Surveyor, Andrew Cialini said homeowners should consider the potential dangers of a rainwater tank if it toppled over.

“A 5000-litre water tank weighs more than five tonnes, so it’s important that compliance safety standards are met and licensed professionals are engaged for tank installation and maintenance,” he said.

“To find a licensed and registered plumber in your area or for more information about rainwater tanks, contact the Victorian Building Authority or visit your local water retailer.”

What to do when installing a rainwater tank:
• A licensed and registered plumber must be engaged to connect the roof catchment to the rainwater tank and the tank overflow to the stormwater drain.
• Jobs valued at $750 or more, including the tank, fittings and labour, require the plumber to issue a compliance certificate.
• Australian standards and guidelines apply to the design, material, manufacture and installation of rainwater tanks. A licensed and registered plumber can help identify which tanks suit your needs.
• Overflows or discharge pipes from roof-mounted evaporative air conditioners should not be allowed to discharge onto your roof catchment areas for your tank, due to water quality issues.
• Keep your roof and gutters clean and flush your tank every two or three years.
If a free standing water tank is located within the building, a building permit may be required due to the structural implications from the weight of the filled tank.

Visit the VBA website for more water saving tips.