Many businesses and community groups use a private water supply for drinking water or food preparation. One source of private water supply is rainwater. In this guide ‘rainwater’ is used to describe the water that falls on your roof when it rains. It does not include rainfall that is collected from the ground, which is usually called ‘stormwater’.

Unfortunately, rainwater can be contaminated by a number of sources. These include roof materials, animals and birds, leaves, debris, emissions from wood heaters and pesticides and fertilisers from aerial spraying. If humans consume contaminated water, they can become sick.

If you are registered under either the Food Act 1984 (Vic), Prescribed Accommodation Health (Prescribed Accommodation) Regulations 2001 or Residential Tenancies (Caravan Parks and Movable Dwellings Registration and Standards) Regulations 1999, the law requires you to treat and manage your drinking water supply to make it safe for human consumption.

How to ensure your water supply is safe

To keep your water supply safe for human consumption, you need to take the following steps:

  • Step 1: Manage the risks to your private water supply
  • Step 2: Treat the water to make it safe for drinking
  • Step 3: Monitor and maintain the water supply system
  • Step 4: Plan how to respond if an emergency occurs


Publication Type
Policies and Guidelines
Date Published
01 Jan 2009
12 pages
Update Frequency
Available format
Department of Health & Human Services