Town to tank water service

Town to tank water connections enable residential homeowners that rely on rain tanks to top up their tanks using the town water supply on an ‘as required’ basis. It gives them total control over their water supply and greater flexibility, meaning they do not have to worry when their tanks run low or when guests come to stay. It removes the need to order water from private water carriers or queue at local water service centres.

Once you've read through the information below, you may wish to:

register your interest for town to tank supply service

Is my property able to connect?

Click here to open the document and search for your property address.

Properties that are eligible are connected to the wastewater network; are close to the public water network; and have rain tanks that hold at least 20,000 litres.

Properties that are not eligible are still encouraged to register their interest. If several properties on the same street want to connect, we can investigate whether it’s possible.

How much will I pay to connect?

Town to tank water connections cost significantly less than a standard water connection because the flow rate is lower. It puts less pressure on the public water network as it is simply a top-up service that can be used when needed.
All pricing includes GST Town to tank connection Standard connection
One-off: cost to connect, including installing the water meter and the infrastructure growth charge $2,449.50 $8,805.55
Ongoing: fixed water charges (cost per month) $11.80 N/A
Ongoing: volumetric water charges (cost per 1,000 litres) $3.450 $1.594
Further information Once connected, you can top up your tank whenever you need. Once connected, you will receive a safe water supply that you can rely on year-round.

*These are standard fees. Additional charges may apply depending on the property. Charges are reviewed annually, with price rises applied on 1 July.

What are my options?

If you have a rain tank, there are several options available to you (see below):
tanker top up

Keep your existing rain tank and continue to order top-ups from private water carriers:

  • This is a good option if you rarely run out of water. However, during dry periods, there can be long delays in receiving top-ups from private water carriers due to high demand.
  • This summer, the amount private water carriers will pay Watercare for 1,000 litres of water will increase from $1.386 to $3.90 (+ GST). This means the amount they pay for 10,000 litres of water will increase from $13.86 to $39.00 (+GST). The new price better reflects the actual cost of providing services to water carriers, ensuring our existing customers are not subsidising them.
House with two rain tanks

Install an additional rain tank:

House with rain tank and pipe running to water meter

Get a town to tank water connection:

  • This is a good option if you want to increase your resiliency while remaining self-sufficient most of the time. It’s also a good option if you do not have the space to accommodate an additional tank.
  • A town to tank connection is designed to top-up your existing rain tank over a few days. 
  • The flow rate is around 2-8 litres per minute.
house with a pipe running down to a water meter

Get a standard water connection:

  • This is a good option if you want a safe, reliable and resilient water supply that requires little ongoing maintenance or effort.
  • A standard water connection is plumbed directly into your house.
  • The flow rate is around 25 litres per minute.
To compare this option to the town to tank option, see the price comparison in the 'how much will I pay to connect' section below.

How do I apply for one?

You will be able to apply for a town to tank connection in December. In the meantime, please click here to register your interest.

When we start to accept applications, they will be processed on a first in, first served basis. If there is a high demand for these connections in December 2020, it could affect the processing and installation timeframes. We will give you an indication of the timeframe at the time of application.

What will I need in order to apply?

  1. When you access our building development portal, you will need to create an account to track your order.
  2. You will need to provide us with your existing account number which is found at the top of your Watercare invoices.
  3. You will also need to provide us with a drawing which details your preference for the location of your meter. Click here to see a basic sketch.

Check out our FAQs below for further information

How is a town to tank connection different from a standard connection?
A town to tank connection provides water at a lower flow rate than a standard water meter.
  • Town to tank water meter: 2 to 8 litres per minute
  • Standard water meter: at least 25 litres per minute
This means that with a Town to tank connection, it could take around three days to top up a rain tank with 10,000 litres. With a standard connection, the water is plumbed directly into your home, not via your rain tank.
What are the connection and ongoing charges?
Will my wastewater charges change?
Can I upgrade later to a standard connection?
Why do I have to pay an infrastructure growth charge?
What type of water meter and backflow device will be installed?
How do I connect to a town to tank connection?
How do I operate a town to tank connection?
Why does a town to tank connection require a backflow prevention device?
Why do I need a wastewater connection in order to apply for a town to tank connection?
How quickly can you connect my property after I apply?
Can my neighbour and I share a connection?
If I install a tap at my boundary, how can I stop other people from using it?
My house and rain tank are uphill of my property boundary. Is the low-flow connection suitable for me?