Water tanks are usually made of either plastic, fiberglass, concrete, stone, or steel. And, standing water can create sediment on floors of this material. Cleaning a water tank is necessary if inspections reveals sediment has developed on the floors and walls. Some states require the inspection of and cleaning of the reservoir once a year. The sediment in the reservoir can contain bacteria, protozoa, or viruses. This can cause contamination, or, a bad taste or smell. Plus, the accumulation of sediment can create larger problems.
Before cleaning a water tank it has to be drained. The waste is drained through the washout valve. After the unit is empty it is scrubbed with a simple soapy hot detergent solution. A stiff brush is usually strong enough to remove any residue. If the unit is large, the brush is attached to the end of a pole to reach distant areas. It is also possible to clean away residue with a pressure jet.
After the unit is scrubbed with a soap solution and rinsed, it is disinfected through chlorination. This is the most popular method of disinfection. Chlorination reduces the existence of waterborne diseases, bacteria, and viruses. Chlorine is three times more effective in disinfecting against E.coli than Bromine, and, 6 times more effective than Iodine. A new alternative to Chlorine is Chloramine. It has a longer half-life and is effective in protecting against pathogens. The amount of Chlorine used depends on the volume of the container being cleaned. Usually, 80 grams of Chlorine to every 1,000 liters of liquid is used. The Chlorine mixture will remove any remaining contaminates left after scrubbing.
Next, the waste from the disinfection is drained through the outlet valve and into a container for disposal. After it has been emptied, it is flushed with a clean solution to remove any remaining chlorination solution. The unit is ether flushed with a pressure jet or by filling the unit with clean water. It is then allowed to stand for 24 hours before draining. After the waste is drained, the reservoir is refilled and is ready to use.
For the effective decontamination of a drinking source, it is necessary to do more than emptying the reservoir and refill it with fresh water. This is not cleaning a water tank. Colonies of bacteria can still remain under the sediment to spread diseases and taint the drink’s taste. Effective cleaning involves emptying the reservoir and disinfection it before its contents are considered drinkable.
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