How To Clean A Drinking Water Tank


Drinking water should be refreshing, not unnerving. Tank maintenance is central to getting the water hygiene and quality standards right, and it’s surprisingly simple once you know what to do. Here’s a quick guide to cleaning a drinking water tank!

View Our Range Of Water Tanks

But Firstly… Why?

Water contains many minerals, compounds, and microorganisms, and some of these can cause problems for human and animal health. One of the most serious is the bacterium Listeria, which causes a flu-like intestinal illness that can be fatal in some cases. Like many water-borne pathogens, Listeria thrives because of the conditions of the water storage unit. Stagnant water allows the Listeria bacterium to multiply and grow. Water tanks are also vulnerable to algae, some species of which can be toxic.

1) Drain The Tank

All water tanks have a drainage nozzle, which will be located near the base. It’s advisable to direct the water onto a garden or into a water baffler so as not to waste it. Draining the tank can takes 30 minutes to an hour, although it can be longer if the tank has a large 30,000 litre capacity.

2) Scrub The Interior

Scrubbing the interior of a water tank is the same as doing any washing up. Simply take some detergent and a brush and use warm water to clear the sides of any grime or debris. If the tank is large, a pressure hose will do the same job in half the time. Be sure to pay attention to any areas where ‘sludge’ – soluble solids left behind by the water – may have collected.

3) Rise The Tank

Nobody wants bubbles in their water supply, so hosing the tank down is important. To rinse the tank, use a watering can, garden hose, or pressure washer. The aim is to remove any loosened particles as well as the detergent residue. Alternatively, fill the tank with hot water and leave it to sit for a few hours, as this will dissolve the detergent and kill any bacteria.

4) Disinfect The Pipes

Disinfection is very important in water safety. Pipes can harbour clusters of bacteria, especially in areas with limescale in the water, so they need to be sanitised regularly and thoroughly. Use an anti-bacterial spray or bleach to ensure complete eradication. Apple cider vinegar mixed with baking soda is a good eco-friendly alternative for small tanks in offices, schools, and workshops.

5) Drain, Fill, And Flush

To finish, drain the disinfectant and fill the tank with clean water from the mains or your rain harvesting system. Leave this to sit for at least half an hour to allow the water to absorb any remaining bleach particles. After 30 minutes, flush the system, and admire the gleaming results.

How Often Should I Clean A Water Tank?

Water tanks should be cleaned annually. However, if you have a tank that is not often used, it’s a good idea to do it more frequently. The health and safety risks of water tanks come from stagnant water, so if the taps haven’t been turned on in a while it’s sensible to give it a hose down.

What Next?

At Enduramaxx, our experienced team can offer advice and guidance about water tank maintenance, and we also supply tanks designed to make cleaning easy. For more information, get in touch today by calling 01778 562810.

How Much Do You Really Know About Tank Maintenance? - LARGE

Image Source: Pixabay