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Preventing algae growth in your water storage tank

How to Keep Water Clean in a Storage Tank

Water storage tanks are beneficial to homeowners for agriculture or emergency purposes. If the water is used for everyday tasks such as gardening, many can even save hundreds of dollars on their water bill.

According to the Water Quality and Health Council, “About 15% rely on a private well for some or all of their household water.”

To maintain longevity and, most importantly, the integrity of the water, tank owners must take measures to keep the tank clean. 

Read more to learn why and how you should clean your water storage tank.

The Importance of Maintaining a Clean Water Storage Tank

Water storage tanks must be kept clean to prevent algae growth. When algae is present in a water tank, it can lead to severe illnesses and even be fatal if consumed by animals or humans. Humans or animals who drink water that contains algae can experience symptoms within 30-60 minutes.

Humans who consume algae may suffer from:

  • Pale gums
  • Lethargy 
  • Seizures
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea

Signs of algae toxicity in animals can be an overproduction of saliva and tears. 

Algae just needs one source to grow: light. It also thrives in heat and humid climates. 

Steps that you can take to prevent algae growth in your water container can be placing the tank out of direct sunlight. At times, those who do not have a shaded area to put their water storage tank resort to painting the water tank black. 

Another prominent reason to clean a storage tank often is to prevent mosquito breeding. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that “Over 200 types of mosquitoes live in the continental United States and US territories; of these 200, about 12 types spread germs that can make people sick.”

Mosquitos are not only a nuisance that cause itchy blemishes in the skin, but some breeds can even spread deadly illnesses.

Common signs that you have mosquitos in your water tank include: 

  • Bumps or boils in the skin
  • The mosquitos are mainly appearing in a shady area
  • Finding mosquito larvae in standing water 

Cleaning Your Water Storage Tank

Water storage containers are to be cleaned and sanitized twice a year, meaning every six months. Some cities require that water storage tanks be cleaned more often. 

Disinfecting your water storage container is an easy process and can be done at home using products you may already have.

How much bleach or any other cleaning substance you will use will depend on your storage tank size. Refer to the back of your water storage container for details about its size. 

Steps to take when cleaning your water storage container are:

  1. Empty the tank: After emptying the tank, use a power hose and hot water to rinse all areas of the water storage tank. You can also use a mounted brush to scrub away all the residue from the tank. Do not also forget to clean any pumps or hoses connected to the water storage tank. 
  2. Add the cleaning substances to the tank: One of the most common substances used to clean water storage tanks is household chlorine bleach. The amount of bleach you will use to clean your storage tank will rely on the volume of your storage container. To properly clean the pipes, hoses, and pumps attached to your water tank, open all taps and keep washing until the smell of bleach becomes apparent. Close taps and let the chlorine sit in the water tank and its connecting parts for 12 hours. 
  3. Rinse: Do not drain your storage tank close to a body of water such as a river or pond. Draining your water storage tank near a lake or river can cause immense damage to an ecosystem. It can be illegal in some areas (city or state), and you may face having to pay hefty fines. The water should be disposed of in a sewer network. Rinse and hose the tank and its connections until the smell of bleach is no longer lingering. Lastly, you can finally fill your tank with water. 

How Do I Know What Water Storage Tank is Right For Me?

Plastic-Mart has an array of different tanks for every type of purpose. 

Whether you are storing chemicals for a facility or are collecting water in case of a wildfire, Plastic-Mart has the tank for you. 

Contact us to learn more about what we can provide you!