Underground water tanks are a cost-effective mode for storing healthy drinking water but only with proper maintenance. To lower operating costs and conserve water, water storage tanks should be maintained, cleaned, and inspected on a regular basis.
Documentation of tanks must be consistent, accurate, easy to analyse, accessible, and up to date to serve as a useful tool to decide priorities and set up a plan.
Close monitoring of the quality of water and its distribution lowers the risk of water loss and contamination, and prompt repairs will reduce insurance, liability, and property damage.
Detection and repair of leaks might be the most cost-effective mode to conserve water in an underground tank. Other dangers to underground water tanks are the growth of microbes and sedimentation.
As a result, it is vital to regularly inspect all underground water tanks and get them cleaned suitably. There are several steps to clean such tanks. This includes the following steps:
Step 1: Turn off and drain the water supply
In case the water tank is fed by an external water source, it must be switched off prior to starting the process of cleaning. However, there will be no external source of water in the case of the rainwater catchment system.
In this step, the remaining water in the tank should be emptied prior to cleaning. Since there is a frequent shortage in the supply of water, it is never a good idea to waste water. So, the drained water can be stored in barrels. Though such water is not safe for human consumption, it can be used for watering lawns, washing cars etc.
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In case it is not possible to save water, it is vital to drain it with care, far from buildings, since it can over-saturate the ground and seep into buildings and basements.
Step 2: Clean the area of the catchment
In the case of a system that is a cistern or a catchment kind of tank, it is suitable to clean the exteriors where rainwater is prone to make contact prior to cleaning the inside. Bleach mixed in soapy water is perfect for scrubbing the exteriors used with a stiff brush. After completion, it must be rinsed with clean water.
Step 3: Clean inside the tank
It is a must to open the access hatch, ideally with a wrench. In case the cleaning process needs a person to climb inside, it is ideal to find professionals with certification to work in confined spaces since oxygen levels are mostly low.
Persons who wish to clean their tanks themselves must preferably have an assistant beside them lest something goes wrong. A flashlight can be used to spot debris and sediments, so it is good to keep one handy.
Step 4: Cleaning of the tank
An underground water tank can be cleaned with unscented bleach in liquid form mixed with water. For scrubbing, it is suitable to use a stiff brush so that the insides of the tank are cleaned properly. After completion of cleaning, the tank should be rinsed.
Step 5: Disinfection of tank
Even though there will be reuse of bleach and water, this step must not be neglected since the surface requires scrubbing to remove all sediments and biofilms. Once the process of cleaning is complete, the water tank will need to be refilled with potable water.
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This water must also include liquid bleach albeit in a higher concentration.
It is best to use bleach with a strength of 5% to 8.25% for every 100 gallons of water. It is critical to permit the mix of water and bleach to stay in the tank for around 12 hours.
Step 6: Draining the tank
After completion of the soaking phase, the water within the tank requires total draining. The bleach may easily damage lawns and gardens, so it is better to empty the water into the street. Some people also let potable water run through their faucets to get rid of the scent of the bleach. However, some health authorities recommend refilling and draining the tanks at least once or twice to remove the bleach. After this, water can be added with a teeny bit of bleach to prevent microbial growth.
Step 7: Regular maintenance
Every year, concrete water tanks must be cleaned regularly. Once this is completed, regular testing is required to ensure that there is no contamination or infection in the water.
In sum, these are the major steps for maintaining and cleaning underground water storage tanks.
● How to clean a water tank?
Drain the tank, turn off any pumps at the mains, use a hose of high pressure for thoroughly flushing the inlet hose, clean the strainer or leaf guard thoroughly, replace any filters and sweep internal areas.
● How to clean an underground tank?
Make use of a mix of hot water and detergent to scrub and clean all the tank’s internal surfaces. This can be accomplished with a high-pressure jet or a stiff brush. When you attach the brush to a long pole, it becomes possible to clean the tank without going into it.
● How to take care of an underground water tank?
The sump is first emptied, and a pressure jet pump is used to clean it of algae, dirt, and silt. Next, the tank is disinfected with a solution of Potassium Permanganate. The cover of the sump must also be cleaned. Cleaning must also be done of foot valves, connecting pipes etc.