5 Tips To Prevent Algae Growth In Drinking Water Tanks
Capable of causing serious illness in humans and animals, algae is one of the primary threats to agricultural health and safety. Water storage tanks are one of their favourite environments, but thankfully there are some simple steps to make water tanks safer.
1) Always Use A Completely Opaque Water Tank
To grow, algae require sunlight, so a tank that prevents light from entering is vital. To achieve complete opacity, there are a few important design features to consider. Firstly, a water tank should be manufactured using a Water Regulations Advisory Scheme (WRAS) approved polymer, which guarantees quality standards. Secondly, they should be produced using a gentle turning method that enables complete and uniform integration of the polymer. If tanks are not turned, there is a risk of microscopic gaps that enable sunlight to enter.
2) Select A UV Resistant Tank
Ultraviolet (UV) light is one of the main causes of damage to outdoor water tanks on farms. Polymers are long strings of molecules, and UV radiation from the sun can easily begin to break down these chains. When this happens, plastic gradually begins to become brittle until tiny cracks appear. Once this happens, water tanks become highly vulnerable to algae. UV-resistant coatings resist the harmful rays, giving both the tank and the water inside it an extra layer of protection.
3) Add Bleach
Bleach is a controversial component of water tanks, especially in an era where environmental concerns are at the forefront of many people’s minds. However, without it, water tanks are at risk of algae. The purpose of bleach is to destroy the bacteria that the algae feed on, while creating a hostile environment for the algae itself. If algae enters a tank treated with bleach, it is less likely to grow to dangerous levels. The required ratio is ¼ teaspoon of 5.25% hypochlorite to every gallon of stored water.
4) Add Chlorine
Chlorine is one of the most important chemicals for algae control. As a powerful oxidising agent, chlorine will react to the oxygen in water to form hypochlorous acid. This acid breaks down the cell walls of the algae, killing the organisms. Although this sounds aggressive, the risk to human health from algae – which ranges from neurological damage, organ damage, to occasionally death – means it is a basic requirement for drinking water safety. The correct ratio of chlorine to water is 4 parts chlorine to every 1,000,000 parts water.
5) Monitor The pH
The effectiveness of chlorine as an anti-microbial agent is controlled by the pH of the water. If the water is even slightly too acidic, or slightly too alkaline, the chemical becomes either dangerously strong or useless. When installing a new drinking water tank, check the natural pH of the local water table. If necessary, simple chemicals can be used to adjust the pH level up or down as required. Additionally, checking the pH levels should be part of routine water tank maintenance. Chlorine requires a pH of 6.4 for full effectiveness.
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At Enduramaxx, we care about agricultural drinking water safety. Our team of experts can offer all the advice and guidance you need when designing a water management system, to ensure that your water is safe. Please get in touch to find out more.