Backflow and Cross-Connection Prevention

It is extremely important for the health and wellbeing of all of Ballina Shire to ensure that the reticulated drinking water supply is protected from contamination from outside sources. One of the worst sources for contaimination of the reticulated water supply is from cross connection with rainwater tanks. Whilst the majority of rainwater tanks are well cared for and clean it only takes one poorly maintained rainwater tank to infect the reticulated water supply which could cause sickness or even possibly death.

In order to prevent this all rainwater tanks with a mains top up connection must comply with the following requirements:

  • The top up mechanism shall incorporate a device to limit the flow rate to 4.0 Litres per Minute.
  • The connection shall have a visible "air gap", external to the rainwater tank.
  • Any topping up from non-drinking water supply shall be clearly indentified.
  • All outlets from the tank and pipework are to clearly marked as rainwater.

Where ever these requirements can not be met then a backflow prevention device must be installed on the property. The backflow prevention device is decided as follows:

Tank Location

Required Backflow Device

Above Ground Rainwater Tank Dual Check Valve
Fully or Partially Buried Rainwater Tank Testable Double Check Valve

Please note that Partially Buried includes any tanks that have soil or other such material in contact with the walls of the tank. For a tank to be above ground it must be clear of any embankment, fill or the like.

For any further enquiries please contact Council's Plumbing Officer on (02) 6686 1415.


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