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Water Tanks And Water Hygiene

Author : Fred Dronga

Water storage tanks are an important resource in many structures. They provide provision of the water supply at a constant pressure and act to fill peak fast flow requirements not achievable directly from the mains supply. They are also helpful where mains supplies need to be protected from potential back contamination.

However, water storage tanks can become dirty and contaminated with both debris and germs and once this occurs they can become a breeding ground for harmful micro organisms such as E. coli, coliform bacteria and Legionella. Legionella control is particularly important as Legionella can induce a possibly fatal disease called Legionnaires' Disease.

Water storage tanks must therefore be regularly cleaned and disinfected to get rid of this dirt and get rid of dangerous pathogens. The process is relatively easy but does require specialist help if the tanks are sizable.

The water storage tank is initially drained to get rid of all the water. Submersible pumps may be utilised if there are no drain valves present on the tank. Once the tank is empty it needs to be physically cleaned to remove debris and dirt. This should be carried out using only clear water and detergents should not be used. The tank must be fully vacuumed out to get rid of all traces of contamination. When clean, the tank is ready for the disinfection phase. This is typically performed using chlorine through a method known as chlorination .

The tank should be filled with fresh clean water and chlorine added to the water. The chlorine donor routinely used is sodium hypochlorite, a liquid. Care needs to be taken when handling sodium hypochlorite as it is dangerous. Sufficient chlorine is added to give 50 ppm of chlorine inside the tank. The ball valve and above the water line also need chlorination and this is commonly carried out by spraying a high concentration (1000 ppm) chlorine solution directly onto the tank surface.

The water is left to remain in the tank for 1 hour and the system is then classed as having being chlorinated. At this point sodium thiosulphate crystals might be added to remove the chlorine if significant volumes of chlorinated water could cause problems with sewerage. The tank is then drained and refilled with fresh water.

If using an external service provider then a chlorination certificate will be issued to prove that the chlorination has been carried out to the correct regulations and that the tank is clean and ready for use. Bacterial analysis should also be carried out.

A clean tank gives confidence that the water within it will not become contaminated and will stay safe for use. Preferably, tanks should be examined at least once a year and then cleaned if required.

Author's Resource Box

Water Hygiene Solutions are a leading supplier of chlorination. They can also provide Legionella risk assessment.

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Tags:   chlorination, chlorination certificates

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Submitted : 2011-01-30    Word Count : 870    Times Viewed: 381