Many Australian homes have a rainwater tank, especially in arid, rural areas where fresh water is a valuable commodity. In order for your water remains viable and safe to use, it's important that you maintain your tank properly. Read on for some top tips.
Clean your gutters
If the gutters that feed your rainwater tank are dirty, it stands to reason that the water you collect will be less than pristine too. If your gutters are prone to accumulating leaves, have them cleaned out at least twice every year, before and after the winter storm season. Leaf detritus can also attract small mammals, and this could lead to your water becoming contaminated with their faeces and urine.
You could save yourself some money in the long term by having gutter mesh installed to prevent debris from clogging the gutters and by cutting back overhanging trees branches.
Mosquitoes and other insect pests
Your rainwater tank offers a perfect environment for mosquitoes and other potentially disease-carrying pests to set up home and multiply.
Make sure that you have mosquito mesh installed to keep these nuisance critters out of your rainwater tank, and check the mesh every few months for damage. If necessary, have the mesh repaired or replaced.
Monitor water quality and de-sludge
If you use the rainwater you've collected in your tank for your washing machine or toilet, its cleanliness is not absolutely crucial. However, if your home relies on rainwater for showering, cooking and drinking, the quality of the water is extremely important.
Check your water supply regularly to see that it's clear and odour-free, and look to see that there's little or no sediment in the bottom of the tank. You should have your rainwater tank emptied and cleaned out every couple of years to get rid of any sludge and sediment that has collected in the bottom.
If the rainwater tank pump and outlet are not in good condition, the water quality will be adversely affected, so these should be checked at the same time as the tank clean is carried out. The water switch must also be reliable and the foundations on which the tank is set must be level.
You can save money on water and utilise a natural resource if you have a rainwater tank. Keep your tank in good condition and your water clean and safe to use by following the guidelines above. Always use a professional contractor to carry out cleaning and maintenance work on your rainwater tank.