It is vital that drinking water is clean and safe for human consumption, as contaminated supplies can cause potentially dangerous infections for large numbers of people. Drinking water tanks that are poorly maintained, incorrectly installed, or constructed to poor standards may not comply with water regulations and could increase the risk of a waterborne infection. Therefore, it’s imperative that effective measures are implemented to ensure that water is safe to protect end-users from the dangers of contaminated water.
In this article, we’ll highlight the essential steps you should take to ensure that potable drinking water tanks comply with current safety standards.
1. Choose A Suitable Tank
Some drinking water tanks are specifically designed and manufactured to store water in a safe condition for human consumption. These food-grade tanks are constructed from materials, such as stainless steel or polyethylene, that are non-toxic, and feature components that pose a negligible risk to consumers, such as lead-free pipes and fittings. By choosing a food-grade water tank, you can be confident that it will meet minimum safety standards and will supply uncontaminated water for a range of uses, including drinking and cooking.
2. Check The Materials Used In Tank Manufacture
Water that tastes unpleasant can affect food and beverage quality, so it is important to choose a drinking water tank that is constructed from the most suitable materials. Excess zinc emitted by galvanised tanks can produce a metallic taste in water, while excess lime in concrete tanks can increase pH levels and cause water to be bitter. In contrast, polyethylene tanks tend to supply water that is fresher and more pleasant to the palate.
3. Prevent The Growth Of Algae
Algae – a type of microorganism that can contain highly dangerous toxins - pose a serious health risk to humans and animals, so it is imperative that algal growth is prevented in drinking water tanks. Soluble bleach and chlorine, dissolved in the water to a safe concentration, destroy the bacteria that algae depend upon for survival and break down the algae’s cell walls, rendering it harmless. Another effective measure that prevents the growth of algae in drinking water tanks is to use an opaque, UV-resistant tank, as the bacteria cannot thrive without sunlight.
4. Shield Your Water Tank From Sunlight
As well as using an opaque tank, you should carefully consider its position to prevent the growth of algae in the water. Underground water tanks are effective as they are completely shielded from sunlight; however, if this is an impractical solution due to the cost of excavation, positioning an above-ground tank in a cool, dark location out of direct sunlight will also be beneficial.
5. Implement Thorough Drinking Water Tank Cleaning
Regular cleaning of the water tank is highly recommended and will help to keep drinking water fresher and cleaner for longer. Ideally, cleaning should take place at least once every six months – or more often if possible – irrespective of the tank’s composition. The tank should be drained, scrubbed internally with a chlorine or bleach solution, and flushed, while the pipes should also be disinfected to eliminate lingering clusters of bacteria.