Industry best practice manual for water quality management and sterilisation on-farm

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Performance goal: Minimise the contamination risks from rainwater.
Description: Rainwater harvested off roofs requires the same treatment and safety precautions in its capture, storage and distribution as surface water. Opportunities for rainwater collection and use vary with location and the treatment applied. Rainwater is usually slightly acidic and has a lower mineral content than surface and groundwater.
For additional guidance, please refer to the
Australian guidelines for water recycling: managing health and environmental risks (phase 2)—stormwater harvesting and reuse (July 2009)
Performance criteria: Contamination risks to rainwater are controlled

Best practice range: Nitrate (as nitrogen): 0–10mg/L

Acceptable level: Nitrate (as nitrogen): 5mg/L
Minimum requirements
Only collect rainwater from roof types including:
  • cement
  • terracotta tiles
  • Colorbond®
  • galvanised iron
  • Zincalume®
  • Polycarbonate
  • fibreglass sheeting
  • slate
  • Do NOT collect rainwater from a roof that is:
  • made from preservative treated wood (copper chrome, creosote or pentachlorophenol)
  • coated with bituminous products, or
  • coated with lead-based paints (including any gutters).
  • Do NOT collect rainwater from parts of the roof with:
  • a chimney from a wood burner,
  • discharge pipes from roof-mounted appliances such as evaporative air conditioners or hot water systems,
  • chemically treated timbers, or
  • lead-based paints or flashings.
  • Inspect and maintain storage tanks and mosquito covers annually.
    De-sludge tanks (i.e. remove accumulated sediments) every 2–3 years.
    Drain and clean tanks every 5–6 years.
    Best practice options
    De-sludge tanks annually.
    Drain and clean tanks every 4 years.
    Install rainwater ‘first flush’ water diverters on all downpipes connected to tanks.
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