In some parts of Australia, collecting rainwater is a necessity to have an adequate water supply for plants and livestock. For rural areas, the farmers have the luxury of putting up as many rainwater tanks as they want. For urban areas, with space restrictions and greater concerns about aesthetics, the placement of rainwater tanks is more limited.
Although a more slimline corrugated rainwater tank is more adaptable, it is important to consider maintaining the quality of the collected water. As stored water is standing water, it is vulnerable to contamination, whether through animal droppings or insect larvae.
Rainwater is not like water from the tap, so it hasn’t been through basic filtration and chlorination to guarantee it is fit for human consumption. Therefore, as well as air pollutants, where ever it collects, there is a risk of contamination. One common source of rainwater harvesting is run-off from roofs. Although harvested rainwater is often used for washing or gardening, and the water quality isn’t as high as tap water, you don’t want to be storing bacteria that can enter the food chain, for example, when using the water for vegetables. One way to do that is to have a filter installed where the rain gutter flows into the collection barrel. It is also a good idea to have another filter with a finer mesh placed where the water enters the rainwater tanks.
The rainwater tank should be cleaned regularly, preferably before the rainy months. Empty the rainwater collection barrels; the best way to clean tanks is to use bleach on the insides of the tank to prevent any risks of microbial growth. Make sure you follow instructions for bleach quantities.
Keep Away Algae
Painting the insides of water barrels a dark colour also helps to keep them clean. Algae are a common growth in standing water. Even after the tank water has been flushed, there might still be a film of algae formed along the inside. Algae and other biological contaminants are dependent on sunshine to propagate, so the darkness inside the tank is a preventative measure.
Rainwater is a valuable resource, which can be used for a wide range of purposes. However, even if the water is not for human consumption, the growth of particulates and contaminants may be hazardous. Cleaning them out ensures that you are safe from the worst threats from waterborne disease and dangerous contaminants.