How to safely fill your emergency water tank
Posted On July 9, 2021
The ABC has obtained a letter from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) warning that residents may be subject to fines if they fail to fill a water tank in a safe and effective manner.
The letter says the water tank should be filled with clean, dry water with no sediment or sediment particles in it.
“It should be placed at a depth of at least 1 metre, with a minimum of 1 metre and no less than 1 metre in depth,” it says.
“The tank should not be in the open air.”
The letter warns that in cases where there is no water source available, residents may face fines of up to $1,000 if they are found to have filled the tank without obtaining a permit.
It also warns that if water is leaking into the ground it could lead to “the risk of damage to structures and infrastructure”.
The ABS warns that while the letter is meant to protect residents, it is not legally binding.
The Australian Bureau Of Statistics said the advice came from a draft report prepared by the water safety office and that the advice was not yet available to residents.
The department said the draft report was not a recommendation for residents to fill their tanks, but it was “considered by staff”.
“The draft report is intended to provide guidance for water safety and to assist in developing water-safety policies,” the ABS said in a statement.
“We encourage people to use common sense when filling water tanks and when using their own equipment.”
The Australian Water Safety Authority said it was not aware of any recent water tank breaches.
“If an incident occurs, it will be reported to us, we will look into it and we will investigate,” a spokesperson for the authority said.
“However, we do not have any recent instances of water tanks being breached.”
However, it does appear that a number of Australian jurisdictions have increased the requirements to secure a permit before a water-tank breach can be reported.