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How to reduce pollution contamination in water tanks

With some regular general maintenance of the roof, gutters, downpipes and tank, the risk of contamination to the water in your tank can be reduced greatly.

  • Roof catchments should be kept clean and clear of leaves. Overhanging branches of trees and shrubs should be removed, as decaying leaf matter can taint the water giving it a tea like colour.
  • Leaf catchers are recommended to be installed on downpipes to limit the build up of leave matter.
  • First flush diverters should be installed on all downpipes suppling a water tank; these will divert the first lot of water away from the tank. The first lot of water will be the dirtiest and carry the most contaminates. These should be regularly checked and cleaned.
  • The inlet and overflow of the tank should be screened with a mesh (stainless steel) to prevent birds, rodents, insects etc, from gaining access to the water.
  • A cover over the inlet screen can be installed, this will limit the amount of light entering the tank, reducing the algae growth. This needs to be installed as to allow access to the tank for cleaning and inspection purposes.
  • Rainwater generally contains few chemicals, however, airborne contaminants in urban and industrial centres may increase pollution.
  • Heavy materials in rainwater settle on the bottom of the tank and over time will form a thick layer of sludge.
  • Removable of sludge and general internal cleaning of the water tank should be carried out by a suitably qualified contractor, depending on the site conditions but generally every five years is recommended.

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