Know what’s in your tank
Water won’t be the only thing being topped up when you receive some much needed rain. Despite having strainers and first flush diverters, dust, debris and other contaminants can still make their way into your tank.
Over time, this debris and sediment breaks down into sludge. Without a regular cleaning schedule, the sludge builds up until it reaches your outlet and starts coming through your taps. Once this happens, you risk damaging your pump and any plumbed appliances not to mention replacing filters more than usual.
Even without sludge in your tank, you may find a change in your water quality. It could be an odd taste, smell or colour. This can be caused by contamination or stagnant water.
Nearby vegetation increases the chance of animal or bird droppings washing into your tank. Animals also have a tendency to enter your tank for a drink or shelter but unfortunately are unable to get out again. The main problem associated with animals and tank water is increased levels of E.coli and Cryptosporidium contamination. Keeping nearby trees and bushes pruned can greatly reduce the risks.
While uncommon, tank water can suffer from a microbial bloom, which can have severe health effects. These usually occur during hot weather as this creates ideal conditions for bacteria and microorganisms to start multiplying. Aside from illness, the first indication is a distinctive sewage or rotten egg smell.
A bad odour in your water can also be caused by stagnant water. The water will still be clear but can smell and taste extremely unpleasant. Stagnant water is normally caused from still water sitting in your downpipes and being exposed to heat. It is therefore highly likely to happen during the summer periods. The installation and use of a simple flush system on your pipes can prevent this problem occurring in future.
Should your tank get to this point, we are able to either clean and drain your tank or treat it with a sanitiser to return it to a healthy state. This will drain the pipes of any water between rainfalls and only fresh rainwater makes its way into your tank.
Aside from animals, stagnation and decaying debris, contamination can be from roof restorations or ash from bushfires entering your tank.
Protect your pump and filters
Sludge and sediment in your tank increases the risk of damage to your pump and plumbed appliances as well as frequent replacement of filters.
Using first flush systems on your downpipes to prevents “off” water entering your tank.
If you are having a roof restoration done or there is nearby bushfire activity, disconnect your downpipes until the next big rain. This prevents contamination of your tank water.