A Guide to Getting the Best from Your Tank Water
Rainwater is an excellent free resource with many great applications. We use it to keep our gardens green and healthy, to lead a sustainable lifestyle, to save money and to reduce or eliminate our reliance on public water supplies.
Whatever specific needs that you are using your rainwater tank for, it is critical that your rainwater is as clean and pure as it can possibly be. This becomes even more important when you live somewhere that is exposed to pollutants, such as a city.
The most important first step to water that is always clean and free of impurities is to begin with a high-quality Poly Water Tank and associated accessories, such as water tank pumps and filters. You should also have your entire rainwater system installed by a licensed plumber according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Next, spend the time to make sure that your down pipes and gutters are kept clean and free of leaves and other forms of debris. Also be sure to regularly clean and replace your inlet mesh.
The installation of a filter and diverter between your house and your pump is the next step, which will ensure that you minimize any grit or sand that can get into your washing machine or toilet as part of the collected rainwater.
You should check on your inlet strainer weekly, and your filter cartridge and pump every three months. You will need to change your filter cartridge every six to nine months and rinse your strainers to keep them clean from leaf litter and dust. If you bought a cover for your water tank pump, it will aid you in keeping the pump clean and operating effectively, and help the the noise reduction of your pump's motor.
If you use an underground tank and a back-up connection to the public water system, then your plumber should inspect the back-flow prevention valves once each year.
When rainfall is scarce, there can often be a build up of sludge that will lower the quality of the rainwater held in your tank. Even when rain is not scarce, it is still possible to have sludge build up from not flushing your tank with rainwater. If the rainwater in your tank is being regularly refreshed from new rainfall, which contains fresh oxygen, then this will only apply to the area above the outlet.
Even with strainers and filters, microscopic organic particles will enter your rainwater tank, and then proceed to accumulate at your tank's bottom. This accumulation will become a layer of sludge because the bottom of your rainwater tank is an anaerobic zone, without oxygenation. Too much of this sludge will affect the quality of the rainwater in your tank, and will need to be removed only if the tank water is used for human consumption.
Ideally you want to check the bottom of your tank once every two to three years as part of a routine maintenance plan.
Regular maintenance programs for pumps and rainwater tanks save owners money and time, and can usually be arranged with the plumber who installed the system. If not, there are always plumbers who are willing to take on a maintenance and repair contract for a rainwater tank and pump system.
Your small initial investment into a rainwater tank will offer you many years of healthy and free rainwater. All it takes is a small amount of looking after on your part.
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