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For most people, their rainwater tank is rarely thought of unless they’ve run out of water, or some unsightly smell or taste starts sneaking through the taps. 

There’s a myth that your water tanks should be cleaned every 3 to 5 years. While every geographic situation is different, this couldn’t be further from the truth!

See, it’s not until the most desperate of stages that we take action in servicing/cleaning our precious water supply system. Simple maintenance and regular cleaning and sanitising will save you getting to that stage of desperation.

Most water tanks collect rainfall that runs from the roof of the house and other buildings. In between periods of rain, dirt and dust will collect on the roof. Leaves and branches can build-up in gutters (even with a Gutter Guard system). Birds fly over or even land on your roof, possums, geckos, frogs, snakes, etc. All these animals can leave faecal matter on the roof or in the gutters and drain pipes.

When the rains come, all this dirt, debris and faecal matter wash into your water storage. If you don’t clean the bigger debris from your roof regularly, this too will eventually breakdown and wash into your water tanks.

  • Organic debris can leach tannins into your water, affecting colour and taste.
  • Faecal matter will introduce bacteria. Some of which can be very harmful. This cannot be seen, and most times you won’t even notice a taste difference.
  • And then if an animal gets trapped in your water storage tank and dies, you then have a carcass that is decomposing and leaching into your drinking water.

These are all very common problems that we see on a daily basis!


When is the best time to have my tanks cleaned?

First and foremost is “anytime you identify there is a problem”, such as what we have highlighted above. Bad tastes, smells, dirty water. At any time you find these issues, you should inspect your water tank/s and schedule your local Pristine Water Systems Operator to evaluate.

Regular cleaning is a preventative approach and will help avoid most of these situations.

Having your water tank assessed, vacuumed and sanitised annually or every 2nd year will help prevent a large build-up of sludge.

Sludge builds up on the bottom of your tank over time, and this is the breeding ground for bacteria. It attracts insects, which attracts animals which increases the potential for faecal matter and unhealthy water.

Winter, Summer or Autumn/Spring, has no influence on whether or not your water tanks can be cleaned. Water Tanks can be cleaned in the heat of summer and in snow covered areas during winter.

You don’t need your water tanks to be empty for them to be cleaned!

Many think that they need to run their water tanks dry so they can be cleaned and washed out. But this is not the case.

In fact, we can clean your tanks whilst they are full. We prefer to have the water at a lower level as it helps with moving our specialised equipment, so the minimum amount of water we like is approximately 1 meter to one third of the tank.

We can then sanitise the water to ensure it is perfectly pristine for your drinking needs.

Cleaning water tanks after a drought breaks

If you have experienced a drought, typically you would be sourcing your water from delivery or maybe creeks/dams or even Spear/Bore. You will still experience dirt/sludge build-up in these situations.

But when the drought breaks, as we mentioned earlier, you will find an increase in build-up which may require attention.

Give your freshly filled water tank a few days to allow the heavier dirt to settle at the bottom of the tank before you inspect and assess. And if you’re unsure, you can contact your local Pristine Water Systems Operator to discuss.

Regular maintenance and cleaning will ensure problems are dealt with quickly. An annual water tank clean will help prevent most of the big problems found with using water tanks for storing potable water.

But remember a tank clean needs more than just removal of sludge and debris.

This is why Pristine Water Systems has developed the Quadclean™ process. Sanitising and filtering the water are essential steps to ensure healthy drinking water is available to you and your family.

Contact Us

Contact Pristine Water Systems today if you have any questions about your water tank systems.