A quality water tank is an important investment. Unfortunately, just owning a water tank doesn’t guarantee safe, potable water when you need it most. Proper care and maintenance are essential to ensure the water in the tank is pure and ready for use when needed.
Below are four steps to help you take care of your water tank:
Your Maintenance Plan Should Begin Before You Purchase Your Tank
There are a lot of different options and features available, so it’s important to determine your needs early on. The size, the material and the opening will all impact how your tank is cleaned and maintained.
One important consideration when choosing a plastic water tank is its ability to keep sunlight out. Sunlight fosters the growth of algae, which can cause disease in both humans and animals. If you are looking for a tank, you will want to make sure it has a total block out color that eliminates any sun penetrating the water because that allows algae to grow in your tank.
Filter the Water Before It Goes Into the Tank
This is especially important when collecting rainwater to fill your tank. If the water comes through your downspouts it’s a good idea to use a diverter until the rain has washed away the layer of dirt and contaminants that have been sitting on your roof since the last rainfall.
You should also fit your tank with a screen to filter leaves, sticks and other debris you won’t want swimming in your emergency water supply. Be sure to keep the screens clear to prevent debris from clogging the opening.
Develop a Regular Maintenance Routine
Proper maintenance is important to ensure the quality of your water and avoid contamination. Some items you want to include are:
- Make sure your tank remains covered. The cover should fit tightly enough to keep out sunlight, debris, animals, insects and organic waste.
- Clean and clear debris regularly. Check for damage and repair or replace all screens as needed.
- Keep roof and gutters clean and clear. Trim branches around your home to keep animals off the roof.
- Sediment and sludge on the tank bottom should be cleaned and removed. This should be done every one to three years, depending upon how well the tank has been maintained.
- If you have any question as to the purity of your water, you may choose to have it tested. Do-it-yourself kits are available, or for more serious concerns you can contact a professional.
Thoroughly Clean and Disinfect Your Tanks
Tanks should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected at least once a year. The specific steps depend on the size of your tank and whether it is accessible, but the process includes using a mixture of bleach and water to remove debris and kill harmful bacteria.
The water in your tank should also be sanitized a couple times a year to inhibit contamination. One of the easiest ways to do this is to pour a mixture of Clorox bleach and water into the fill pipe. Use one ounce of bleach for every 500 gallons in your tank and mix with a quart of water before adding to the tank.
Developing a regular maintenance schedule and properly protecting your tank will lessen the chances of contamination, providing you and your family a well-stocked, safe water supply.