How to keep water clean in a storage tank

September 18, 2023

Solving Bacteria/Virus Contamination

  • Regular Testing of Water Tanks
  • Ultraviolet (UV) Sterilization
  • Inactivates microorganisms
  • Chemical-free disinfection

Clean water is a vital resource that we often take for granted. In the context of storage tanks, it becomes crucial to maintain water cleanliness to ensure the health and well-being of individuals who rely on it.

Whether used for drinking water, agricultural purposes, or industrial applications, clean water is essential for sustaining life and promoting hygiene. The importance of clean water in storage tanks cannot be overstated.

Contaminated water can lead to severe health issues such as gastrointestinal diseases, skin infections, and even life-threatening illnesses. Inadequate maintenance of storage tanks can result in the growth of harmful bacteria, viruses, algae blooms, and the accumulation of sediment or debris.

Types of Bacteria in Water Tanks

Ways Contaminated Water Can Be Ingested

·       Drinking Water

·       Bathing/Showering

·       Brushing Teeth

·       Eating Food Exposed to Infected Water

Water cleanliness is necessary for human health and impacts the quality and efficacy of various processes reliant on stored water. However, maintaining optimal water cleanliness in storage tanks comes with its own set of challenges.

One common problem is the accumulation of sediments and impurities over time due to inadequate filtration mechanisms or poor tank design. Additionally, exposure to sunlight can facilitate algae growth within the tank if not adequately controlled.

Temperature fluctuations may also impact microbial activity within the stored water. To overcome these challenges and ensure clean water is readily available from storage tanks requires a comprehensive understanding of tank systems and strategic implementation of maintenance measures.

This article will explore various aspects of keeping water clean in storage tanks. From tank selection to filtration systems and preventative measures against contaminants such as algae growth, we will explore practical strategies that can help maintain pristine water quality within these essential vessels.

Different types of storage tanks

Tank Selection Considerations

Various types of tanks are available when storing water, each with its characteristics and benefits. Concrete tanks, known for their durability and longevity, are often used in industrial or agricultural settings. Steel tanks offer strength and corrosion resistance, making them popular commercially.

Plastic tanks, on the other hand, are lightweight and easy to install, making them suitable for residential use. The choice of tank material primarily depends on budget, intended use, and environmental conditions.

Components of a storage tank system

A storage tank system comprises several key components that ensure efficient water flow and proper functioning. The inlet allows water to enter the tank from an external source, such as rainwater harvesting systems or municipal supply. The outlet is responsible for controlling water discharge from the tank when needed.

Additionally, an overflow outlet helps prevent flooding by diverting excess water from the tank during heavy rainfall. Other essential components include vents facilitating air circulation within the tank to maintain optimal pressure levels.

Factors influencing water quality in storage tanks

The quality of water stored in a tank can be significantly affected by various factors that must be considered for effective maintenance. Temperature plays a vital role as warm environments promote bacterial growth, while cold temperatures can cause freezing issues in some regions.

Sunlight exposure can lead to algal blooms if not correctly managed through shading techniques or UV-resistant coatings on the tank surface. Also, poor ventilation can reduce oxygen levels within the tank, leading to unpleasant odors and potential contamination risks.

Preparing the Storage Tank for Clean Water

Proper tank installation and maintenance

Proper installation and regular maintenance are crucial in maintaining clean water in a storage tank. The initial installation of the tank should be carried out with utmost care and attention to detail. Following manufacturer guidelines and ensuring the tank is installed on a stable, level surface is essential.

This will prevent any structural stress or distortion that could lead to cracks or leaks in the future. Furthermore, choosing a tank size appropriate for your needs is essential, as an oversized tank may result in stagnant water. In contrast, an undersized tank may need to provide adequate storage capacity.

Choosing the right location for the tank (away from pollutants)

Selecting an appropriate place for your storage tank is paramount in ensuring clean water quality. The chosen site should be away from potential sources of pollution, such as chemical factories, waste treatment plants, or areas prone to flooding.

Avoid placing the tank near trees whose leaves may fall into it or nearby areas where birds frequently perch, as their droppings can introduce harmful bacteria. Additionally, keeping the tank away from direct sunlight can help prevent excessive heating of the stored water and minimize algae growth.

Regular inspection for cracks or leaks in the tank structure

·    Perform routine inspections of all water storage tanks

·   Inspect all areas of the tank, including:

o   Walls

o   Seams

o   Joints

o   Fittings

·       Look for any visible cracks or leaks that could contaminate water

·       Pay special attention to vulnerable spots:

o   Welds on steel tanks

o   Connections on plastic tanks

·       These areas are more likely to fail

·       If any issues are found during inspection, promptly repair using:

o   Appropriate materials

o   Recommended techniques

o   Guidance from professionals

·       Proper tank inspections and timely repairs help maintain integrity

o   Prevents contamination

o   Ensures water safety

Ensuring proper ventilation to prevent microbial growth

Proper ventilation is often overlooked but crucial in preventing the growth of harmful microorganisms inside the storage tank. Stagnant air trapped inside can create a favorable bacterial and fungal growth environment, contaminating water and unpleasant odors. To ensure adequate airflow, vents or breathing valves should be installed on the tank to allow air exchange without compromising water quality.

These openings should be equipped with suitable covers or screens to prevent the entry of insects, debris, or contaminants from the surroundings while still facilitating proper ventilation. Attention to these aspects during the preparation phase sets a solid foundation for maintaining clean water in your storage tank.

Filtration Systems and Techniques

Sediment filters:

Sediment filters play a crucial role in maintaining water cleanliness within storage tanks. They effectively remove physical impurities such as sand, silt, debris, and rust particles that may accumulate over time.

Two commonly used types of sediment filters are sand filters and cartridge filters. Sand filters employ a bed of fine sand to trap solid particles as water passes through.

The varying sizes of the sand particles create multiple filtration layers, ensuring efficient removal of sediments. Regular maintenance is essential for sand filters to prevent clogging and maintain their effectiveness.

Periodically backwashing the filter helps remove trapped debris and rejuvenate the filter bed. Cartridge filters, on the other hand, consist of replaceable cartridges with different filtration capacities.

These cartridges are typically made from pleated fabric or spun polypropylene that capture sediments while allowing water flow. It is crucial to regularly check these cartridges for debris buildup and replace them when necessary to ensure optimal filtration.

Chemical filtration:

In addition to sediment filtration, chemical filtration methods are employed in storage tanks to address specific water quality issues effectively. One common approach is using activated carbon filters, which are highly efficient at removing organic compounds and unpleasant odors from the water. Activated carbon has a large surface area with tiny pores that can adsorb organic molecules onto its surface as water flows through it.

This process helps eliminate contaminants such as pesticides, herbicides, industrial pollutants, and even certain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) responsible for foul smells. Furthermore, chemical disinfection methods like chlorination are widely used to eradicate harmful bacteria and viruses in stored water.

Chlorine-based disinfectants effectively kill microorganisms by damaging their cell membranes or interfering with their metabolic processes. It is important to note that regular monitoring of chlorine levels is crucial to maintain an appropriate balance when using chemical filtration methods.

Excessive chlorine concentrations can adversely affect human health and may lead to an unpleasant taste and odor in the water. Thus, periodic testing and adjustment of chlorine dosing are vital to ensure adequate disinfection and safe water consumption.

By employing sediment filters and chemical filtration techniques like activated carbon filters and chlorination, storage tank owners can significantly improve water quality within their systems. These methods help remove physical impurities, organic compounds, odors, bacteria, and viruses that may risk the stored water's cleanliness.

Preventing Algae Growth and Contamination

Controlling sunlight exposure:

Limiting sunlight exposure is crucial in preventing algae growth in storage tanks. Sunlight provides the necessary energy for algae to flourish. To combat this, you can employ two effective strategies.

Firstly, covering the tank with opaque materials creates a physical barrier that blocks sunlight from reaching the water surface. This prevents photosynthesis, which is essential for algae growth.

Alternatively, UV-resistant coatings on the tank's surface can effectively filter out harmful UV rays, promoting algae proliferation. By implementing these measures, you significantly reduce the chances of algae contamination.

Planting shade-providing trees near the tank area:

Another natural approach to reducing sunlight exposure and maintaining clean water in storage tanks is strategically planting shade-providing trees around the tank area. The foliage of these trees offers a natural shade canopy that shields the tank from direct sunlight during peak hours.

Choosing trees with dense foliage and fast-growth characteristics ensures adequate coverage and keeps excessive sunlight at bay. This greenery also creates a visually appealing environment while contributing to reduced temperature fluctuations around the storage tank.

Maintaining proper oxygen levels

To prevent stagnant water conditions that can promote bacteria growth and compromise water quality, it is crucial to maintain proper oxygen levels within the storage tank. Stagnant water lacks sufficient oxygen and becomes a breeding ground for harmful organisms.

Regular water circulation within the tank through periodic flushing or stirring helps maintain oxygen saturation levels and inhibits bacterial proliferation. We are installing aerators or diffusers to increase dissolved oxygen levels by introducing air into the system, promoting healthy microbial balance, and preventing foul odors caused by anaerobic decomposition.

Balancing nutrients:

Maintaining an appropriate balance of nutrients within storage tanks plays a vital role in preventing excessive algae growth and water contamination. Algae thrive in nutrient-rich environments, so it is essential to restrict nutrient inputs into the tank. Limiting the introduction of organic matter such as leaves, grass clippings, or animal waste helps minimize nutrient availability for algae.

Additionally, avoiding using fertilizers or chemical additives near the tank area prevents runoff that can introduce excess nutrients. By carefully managing nutrient levels, you create an environment where algae growth is suppressed, ensuring clean water quality.


You can ensure a steady supply of high-quality water by implementing strategies to prevent algae growth and maintain water cleanliness in storage tanks. Controlling sunlight exposure through tank coverings or UV-resistant coatings significantly mitigates the risk of algae contamination.

Planting shade-providing trees adds aesthetic appeal, offers natural shade, and helps regulate temperature fluctuations around the tank area. Maintaining proper oxygen levels by avoiding stagnation and introducing aerators promotes a healthy microbial balance within the tank while preventing foul odors.

Carefully balancing nutrient inputs limits algae's access to necessary resources for growth. With these proactive measures, you can safeguard your water supply and enjoy its pristine quality with peace of mind.

Contacts Us

Have questions, need assistance, or are ready to explore your water solutions with Desert Pump Company? Reach out to their dedicated team today for the expert guidance you deserve. Whether you're looking for advice on pump selection, require well repair services, or want to discuss your unique water needs, Desert Pump's friendly experts are just a click or a call away. Our contact information, including phone number and email, is on our website. Don't hesitate to get in touch and take the first step towards reliable and efficient water solutions.

Hire Us!
White X