Rainwater tanks

Rainwater tanks (above ground)

The construction or installation of rainwater tanks (above ground) may be exempt development if it meets all the relevant development standards set out in the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (the State Policy).

Rainwater tanks (above ground) cannot be installed as exempt development on land in:

  • a foreshore area
  • an environmentally sensitive area.                                                                                                      

If constructed or installed on or in a heritage item or draft heritage item, the tank must be located in the rear yard.

Additional development standards that must be complied with will depend on the zoning of your land, and are set out in these provisions in the State Policy.

To find out the zoning of your land, visit the Find a Property page.

Rainwater tanks (below ground)

The construction or installation of rainwater tanks (below ground) may be exempt development if the proposal meets all the relevant development standards in the State Policy.

Rainwater tanks (below ground) may be exempt development if:

  • the land on which the rainwater tank is constructed must be in Zone RU1, RU2, RU3, RU4, RU6 or R5. To find out the zoning of your land, visit the Find a Property page
  • if it not on land identified as Class 1-5 on council’s acid sulphate soils map
  • it is not on land identified as an environmentally sensitive area.

Additional development standards that must be complied with are set out in these provisions in the State Policy.  

Other considerations

  • If you propose to remove or prune any existing trees or vegetation, you should contact your council first to make sure you don’t need approval for this.
  • Works must be structurally adequate, installed in accordance with manufacturer’s specifications and comply with the Building Code of Australia (BCA).
  • Any structures that would be located on public land, or on or over a public road (including temporary structures), must have separate approval from the relevant council, or Roads and Maritime Services under the Roads Act 1993 and the Local Government Act 1993.
  • Generally, exempt development cannot be carried out on: