Rainwater tanks and grey water reuse

Rainwater collection and storage provides good quality water that can be used for drinking, food preparation, bathing, laundry, toilet flushing and garden watering. 

Grey water is non-toilet wastewater from the bathroom, laundry and kitchen that can be reused.

Do I need a planning permit?

It is advisable to check your Title, Contract of Sale, and to contact Council's Statutory Planning Team on 1300 88 22 33 when installing a rainwater tank to ensure no restrictions apply. 

Generally, you do not need a planning permit or approval to install a rainwater tank on a residential property, except for areas covered by:

  • the Heritage Overlay, or
  • the Significant Landscape Overlay - Schedule 1 and 3.

A permit or approval may also be required where:

  • a rainwater tank is to be installed within a multi-unit development
  • an existing planning permit requires approval for additional building works and each case needs to be assessed separately
  • your lot is under 300m² in area.

Further information on Maroondah's Planning Scheme is also available at the Department of Planning and Community Development website.

Do I need a building permit?

You do not need a building permit for a rainwater tank, however:

  • the overflow must be connected to the stormwater drainage system by a licensed plumber
  • if constructed on a stand, you must ensure that the stand is structurally sound.

Construction over an easement

Council approval may be required to construct a rainwater tank over an easement. 

Call Council's Engineering Services on 03 9298 4292 prior to placing a rainwater tank over an easement. 

Grey water

Grey water is non-toilet wastewater including wastewater from showers, baths, spas, hand basins, washing machines, laundry troughs, dishwashers and kitchen sinks. A significant amount of wastewater is generated by households that can be redirected to the garden for watering. However, grey water should not be used to water vegetable gardens. 

Black water

Black water is toilet water that is contaminated with faeces and urine. 

You should never reuse:

  • black water
  • water from kitchen sinks and dishwashers
  • water used to wash soiled nappies.

Collect, store and treat grey water

If installing a system to collect, store and treat grey water then a septic tank permit is required from Council and the system must meet Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Guidelines. 

If you are using grey water through a diversion system that does not store and treat the water then no permit is required, however all works must be carried out by a licensed plumber. 

It is important to ensure that grey water is used correctly and is wholly contained on the property. You may be exposed to legal liability if a public health hazard, nuisance or environmental hazard is created. 

Further information

Information on reuse options for grey water is available from the EPA website, or contact Council's Community Health Team on 9294 5603

The above information is provided for information purposes only. Maroondah City Council does not accept liability should anyone rely solely on this information. We advise that you check all information provided and if necessary obtain your own independent or professional advice.