Ensure your tank water does not get contaminated due to bushfire in the area..
If your area is affected by bushfires, your water tank could be contaminated from debris, ash and fire retardants. Other pollutants can also enter your water tank if it is not properly sealed.
Protect tank water from bushfires
Rainwater and water tanks should be covered and disconnected from down pipes or inlet pipes as soon as there is any sign of bushfire in your area – this is to prevent contamination from debris, which may fall onto rooftops and into gutters supplying the tank.
Only reconnect the downpipes when the bushfire has passed and the roof has been cleaned.
If your water looks, smells or tastes unusual, then it is likely to be contaminated. Do not use the water for drinking or food preparation, and do not give it to animals.
Boiling water does not remove fire retardants or other chemicals from your water.
If your water tank has been contaminated, please contact your municipal council for advice prior to re-using it for drinking purposes.
Tanks should not be reconnected until the rooftop is clean, the bushfire has passed, and the smoke has subsided.
Department of Health and Human Services provides general advice to the community on managing tank water and bushfires. See the Department of Health and Human Services.
Returning to the property after the bushfire to protect tank water
If you did not disconnect downpipes before the bushfire passed, disconnect the downpipes now or activate first flush diverters or block the inlet to the downpipes (waxed cardboard boxes, or thick plastic are inexpensive options).
Prior to reconnecting your downpipes (or opening the inlet to downpipes), the roof catchment area should be hosed off or cleaned or wait for a good flush of rain to prevent contaminants entering your tank. If you need to clean your roof manually, take care to prevent slips and falls. Roof cleaning can be done by a professional cleaner. You can find out more as a first point of contact, through your municipal council.
Page last updated: 26/11/20