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Why is water tank cleaning so important?

24, Apr 2017

In the busy world of building management water tanks can often be an afterthought and because of this regular cleaning is not always at the top of the agenda. Yet regular water tank cleaning is one of the most important aspects of building maintenance. Contaminated water poses a very real and common risk to human health and so careful attention must be paid to water tank cleaning to avoid the prospect of contamination, which can lead to the shutting down of water supplies and closure of businesses. Here, we overview some of the key threats posed by unmaintained tanks and the cleaning techniques used to help minimize the risk of contamination in your building or business.

Problems arising from contamination in water tanks typically manifest themselves as bacterial, viral or parasitic infections, all of which can lead to diarrhea, gastroenteritis and serious intestinal problems. Common causes of bacterial infections in water tanks include Salmonella, Shigella, Pseudomonas, Legionella and E. coli, while viral infections like Norovirus and parasitic infections such as Giardiasis are also potential hazards of poorly maintained water tanks. As such, even small instances of contamination in tanks can have significant consequences for public safety and with that in mind careful attention must be paid to the management of such facilities.  

A water tank that is regularly cleaned will greatly reduce the risk faced by the public or occupants of a building. Cleaning of water tanks normally happens in a several-staged process:

The tank is first emptied allowing the inside surfaces to be exposed.

Disinfection is carried out by spraying a combination of municipality-approved safe aqueous detergents and sanitizers on the inside of tanks to sterilize the surfaces which is then left for a period of time.

High-pressure power washing is employed to remove any biofilm of algae, fungi and other particles which are adhered to the floor, side-walls and ceiling of the tank. Particular attention should be paid to the higher reaches and ceiling of the tank as the presence of oxygen makes these areas particularly susceptible to colonization by unwanted microbes.

Alternatively, disinfection by super-chlorination is another common technique for sterilizing tanks and involves the addition of sodium hypochlorite to raise the chlorine levels of water inside tanks up to a set concentration which is enough to kill the most harmful microbes found in tanks. The water is left standing for a few hours allowing disinfection to take place and then flushed out using fresh water to reestablish acceptable chlorine concentrations. The super-chlorination method is often used when a system has already been identified as contaminated.

For continued effective operations, cleaning should be carried out regularly in line with municipality requirements.

Tetra’s DM approved Water Tank Cleaning Division have been operating throughout the UAE for the past 10 years and are experts in cleaning and disinfecting all types of water tanks. For more information, and for quotations and advice for water tank cleaning why not Contact Us

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