Contamination of water in tanks is a risk for the health of you and your family and can severely affect the taste and appearance of your water supply. Water contaminants can take the form of bacteria (coliform count), nitrates and pesticides (Water testing can be carried out by Coffs Harbour City Council Environmental Lab at 38 Gordon Street, Coffs Harbour).
The roof area, inadequate plumbing or poorly sealed entries to the tank can all contribute to the risk of contamination. We recommend a number of preventative measures to ensure this risk is minimised:
- Entries to the tank should be sealed and the roof intact to prevent the entry of vermin, mosquitoes and light. Light causes algae growth and should be avoided. Entries include the overflow pipe which should be fitted with a flap, and the manhole which should be covered by an opaque lid.
- Trees should be trimmed back from the roof area and gutters cleaned to prevent bird droppings, leaf litter, seeds and flowers from flowing into the tank.
- Overflows or discharges from any appliances on the roof, such as air conditioners and hot water systems containing glycol, should not flow into the water supply.
- A flush device (e.g. t-piece) should be installed and used at the lowest point before the down pipe enters the tank to prevent the first flush of water after a dry spell from flowing into the tank. The first flush of water typically contains a build up of dust, pollution, leaves etc from the roof.
- Plumbing between the roof and tank should always flow down wards. Any u-bends, sagging pipes or other configurations that allow water to collect and stagnate should be avoided.
- The tank should be properly located and well sealed (i.e. free from cracks) to prevent the leeching of water contaminants, for example by flood waters or sewage overflows, and roots from growing into the tank.
If you live in the Coffs Harbour area, talk to Steve Millward today for personalised advice on maintaining the quality of your water supply.
Examples of water contaminants: