In general your water tank requires very little maintenance to keep it working well and looking good. Here are some helpful hints in caring for your tank.
DIY Rainwater Tank Cleaning and Maintenance
1. Regularly Clean The Inlet Leaf Strainer
This is a fine stainless steel mesh about the same size as your typical fly screen. The water passes through this strainer as it enters you tank and is located on the top of your tank. This strainer should be cleaned regularly to ensure it does not become blocked.
2. Remove Debris from Tank Lid
It is a good idea to keep leaf build-up and sticks etc off the lid of your tank. These can build up over time and add weight to the lid of your tank and also stain its appearance. Potted plants or other items should not be placed on the top of your tank.
3. Clean the External Surfaces of the Tank
While not necessary to clean the outside of your tank, the occasional hose off (with rainwater of course) is recommended to keep you tank looking at its best. This removes dust and dirt build up. Ensure you keep debris build up away from the base/wall of your tank. Don’t allow dirt build up around the bottom lip.
4. Inspect and Clean the Water Tank Base Area
The most important aspect of your tank setup is its base. Inspect the base area every 6 months checking for any movement or damage to the slab or pavers.
If the base begins to move or crack etc., immediately empty the tank to remove the weight and have the fault corrected to prevent damage to the tank. Remember that there is no warranty for the tank if the base has failed, or it has otherwise been installed incorrectly. All tanks must be fully supported by a flat and level base.
5. Remove Sediment Build Up Inside
Over time your tank will build up a sediment layer on the bottom, which is normal. This layer build up is dust that settles out of the water, which has run off your roof and gutters. It is harmless and natural and should not be disturbed or removed until the build up reaches the tank outlet or approx 20 mm thick. This will take many years depending on the location and environment.
There are professional tank cleaning companies who will come and clean this sediment layer out for you. Another option is to wait for your tank to be empty and then open the bottom valve (disconnect from your pump if you have a pump installed) and with a hose through the removed inlet strainer you can stir up the sediment and allow it to run out. This will not do a 100% job but will remove most of the build up. You can also reduce the amount of material entering the tank by using a first flush diverter.
6. Treat Smelly Water (caution if your water is for drinking)
Some tank owners who have a lot of leaves in their gutters can sometimes have a smell from their tank. This is best dealt with by first ensuring the gutter and leaf strainer are clean, and then by placing a small amount of chlorine in the tank to kill off the bacteria causing the smell.
It is best to use the tablets from a pool supplier, but ensure you check with them the recommended dosage depending on your tank capacity. The chlorine will disinfect the water and then after a week or so most will be evaporated out of the water. If you tank is for drinking purposes this procedure is not recommended.
7. Treat Water for Mosquitoes
Most mozzies or wrigglers make their way into your tank from first breading in your sagging and leaf clogged rain guttering. They wash down the downpipe and are small enough to pass through the inlet strainer and into your tank. To treat your tank for this problem use the same method as described in smelly water above.
We hope these tips help you get greater life and better use out of your water tanks.