Maintaining your rain water tank system

A common misconception is that rainwater harvesting tanks and systems are ‘fit and forget’. Even simple water tanks storing municipal, borehole or other water should be inspected at regular intervals.  The article below gives a brief outline of how often and what to check on your rainwater system and rain water tanks.
maintaining rainwater systems

Simple preventative measures you can follow:

A regular and proactive approach to maintaining your rainwater tank system will improve water quality, extend the life of the system and avoid potentially costly work down the track.  Below are some simple preventative measures that will help maintain your rainwater tank system.

Maintain clean gutters and roof

Regularly clean leaves, debris and overhanging branches from your roof and gutters. This helps prevent leaf litter, bird droppings and dust from entering the water tank or water tanks, where it can cause water discolouration, odour and bacterial growth.

Check leaf / insect screens

All water tank inlets and outlets should be covered with leaf / insect screens, to help prevent mosquitoes and other particles from entering the water tank. Check these screens for blockages and damage every 6 months and clean and repair if necessary.

Check and clean tank pump

If your water tank has a pump, check that it is in good working order every 6 months. The pump filter should also be cleaned every 6-12 months. Refer to manufacturers operating instructions to maintain your pump.

Clean first-flush diverters and rain-heads

Clean and empty your first-flush diverter and rain-head every 3 months. This ensures that they are effectively preventing roof debris, insects and other particles from entering the water tank system.

Check structural condition of tank

Regularly inspect your water tank, including the tank roof, for structural soundness. Any cracks, holes or gaps should be repaired. A sealed tank will prevent access by animals / insects and avoid algal growth.

Maintain water filters

Your water tank may have a water filter if it is connected to a toilet or washing machine. These filters remove fine sediments that can discolour and block internal appliances. Water filters need to be replaced every 6-12 months, depending on usage and manufacturer’s instructions.

Inspect water tank for accumulated sludge

Check the bottom and sides of your water tank for sludge (sediment) every 2-4 years. If sludge is present, the tank should be cleaned. Contact a professional water tank cleaner if you are unsure of how to de-sludge your tank. Removing sludge prevents blocked tank outlets, damage to pumps, filters and internal appliances and bacterial/algal growth.

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when maintaining your rainwater tank / pump


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