Keeping your tank clean over winter

Whether you have an in-ground tank or an above ground tank, you must keep it clean. Although tanks are good for water storage, they can also hold a lot of dirt. More often than not, water tanks become dirty due to sedimentation of dirt particles in the inlet water. If you are collecting rainwater into your tanks, there are many sources of dirt. As rainwater runs own the tiles, it carries with it all the dirt on the roof. Moreover, gutters often accumulate dust and other debris during dry seasons. When the rain comes, all these particles find their way into water tanks.

A dirty tank is a health hazard. Waterborne diseases are among the most common diseases in any population. This is because there is no population that can survive without water. Unfortunately, we consume dirty water even in our households. Children are particularly more exposed to waterborne pathogens due to their inability to discern which water is safe to drink. As with any other problem, prevention is better than cure. Keeping water clean goes a long way in promoting good health. This begins by keeping our water tanks clean and free from pathogens. This winter here are a few tricks to keep your tank clean.

Sometimes the solution to our problems is obvious. Unfortunately, we often ignore the obvious. Keeping your tank closed goes a long way in keeping it clean. If you have an above ground water tank you have to keep the lid shut. These tanks are exposed to dirt and debris. A strong wind can empty dust or dry leaves into the tank. In an attempt to run from the winter cold, insects can also set up camp in the water tank. When they die you are left with a dirty tank.


In-ground tanks are also warm. Therefore, frogs and toads find their way into the tank to escape the winter cold. These animals lay eggs, feed and excrete in the tanks. In a matter of weeks, the water in your storage tank will be too dirty to be used. So keep your tank closed and you shall keep the dirt out. It’s an inexpensive and convenient way to keep your tank clean.

Another way to prevent your water tank from getting dirty is to install devices that divert the ‘first flush’ away from the tank. The roof, roof gutters and downpipes of a rainwater collection system are a source of dirt and debris. To curb this problem you can have a diversion system that disposes of the first 40 litres of the collected water. This system makes certain your tank remains clean. With detachable downpipes, you can also divert water away from your tank when cleaning the roof. Moreover, to avoid collecting dirty water from your roof, use the correct roofing material. Most roofs come with a label indicating whether they are safe for water collection. Therefore, be keen and get the best materials. You don’t want rust washed into your tank.

Winter is the best time to clean a water tank because you can easily refill it with rainwater. Therefore, to keep your tank clean over winter, drain the tank and get scrubbing. You can clean the water tank yourself but make sure you have an assistant. Air circulation is poor inside tanks and you must be cautious not to injure yourself. It would be prudent for your assistant to have a ladder in case he needs to access the tank quickly. On the other hand, if you are not up to the task, you can call professional tank cleaning services to carry out the job. They have all the necessary equipment and are certain to leave your water tank spotless.

In case you decide to clean the tank by yourself, here are a few pointers. Wear a respirator, a pair of gloves, gumboots and eye protectors. The inside of a tank may be a health hazard, therefore, it’s only prudent to be prepared. If things get too stuffy, just pop your head out of the tank and take in the fresh air. You definitely need fresh air to keep on working. A bottle of household bleach, a stiff-bristled brush and a broom are enough to clean a water tank. Scrub the bottom and the walls of the tank with the bleach and remember to drain out the sludge before refilling the tank.

Consistency is the most important thing when it comes to keeping anything clean. Your tank should be clean throughout the year, not just during winter. It’s therefore imperative that you clean your water tank regularly, at least twice a year. Moreover, make certain the tank is sealed at all times. For your tank to remain clean, your water source must also be clean. Therefore, clean your roof before the rain falls. If you opt for a refill from a tanker, make sure they are reliable suppliers. Finally, flush your pipes whenever possible. When it comes to dirty tanks, the pipes can be the culprit. By taking all these simple measures you can keep your water tank clean through the winter.

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