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water tank maintenance

Water Tank Maintenance: Top Tips!

Water tanks can be a significant investment to your property, saving you money while helping the environment. Twin Electrics & Plumbing are your local experts in water tank installation and maintenance. When owning a water tank, your water tank must be consistently maintained to ensure the tank water is safe to use at any time.

Mismanagement of water tanks can result in risks to you. There are two primary risks unmaintained water tanks can pose to you: harmful microorganisms and chemical contaminants. Water tank maintenance is critical in ensuring these risks are obsolete.

water tank maintenance - Microorganism
Photo by Edward Jenner 


Microorganisms can end up contaminating your water tank via animal droppings on roofs, leaking septic tanks, and wastewater drainage with underground tanks. 

Harmful microorganisms are not visible to the naked eye and can be present in water that appears clear. Water containing these microorganisms can cause severe gastroenteritis if consumed.

Chemical Contaminants - water tank maintenance

Chemical Contaminants 

While less common than microorganisms, chemical contaminants pose a risk to your health.

Possible situations that can lead to chemical contamination include: 

Contaminated soul from old industrial installations such as mining or agricultural industry. This soil may contain arsenic, heavy metals, pesticide residues or other chemicals. Blown dust onto your roof can wash into your rainwater tank. Consequently, the resulting chemical residues can build up in the water and make you sick.

Nearby crop-dusting can result in agricultural chemicals entering your rainwater tank.

Harmful smoky residues from solid wood heaters can condense near flues on your roof. If you live in a bushfire prone area, bushfire smoke and firefighting related chemicals can also infiltrate your water tank.

Particles from lead-based paints or flashing on older roofs and gutters can be washed into rainwater tanks. 

Tar-based roof coatings can bind other harmful organic chemicals (such as pesticides) to the roof surface and make it difficult to clean. They then can be washed into your water tank over time.

Runoff from roofs in urban or industrial areas can contain chemical pollutants from the air.

Another possible risk is from blue-green algae, which is extremely toxic to humans, domestic pets and stock. While the risk is low, blue-green algae can grow in unroofed water tanks. 

These contaminants can pose risks to you in several ways. If consumed, they can be a threat to your health, causing a wide range of illness and ailments. Additionally, as well as being used for drinking water, common usage of water tanks is for the upkeep of gardens. While this is a great way to conserve water and save money off your bills, a mismanaged water tank can harm your garden. Contaminants can negatively impact the growth and health of your garden plants. Contaminants are especially concerning if you use rainwater tanks to feed a vegetable garden, as these contaminants can seep into the food you grow to eat.

Related content: Why You Should Install A Water Tank

water tank maintenance

Tank Maintenance: The what and why…

To prevent any disasters resulting from your water tank, maintenance is highly essential. Hiring an expert in water tank inspection and maintenance will ensure you don’t miss anything that mightn’t be obvious to the untrained eye. 

Key areas of water tank maintenance that should be visually inspected every six months are:


Gutters will generally need cleaning as well as inspection. If an inspection finds that large amounts of debris are present, then you should increase the frequency of inspections and cleaning. 


This inspection checks for the presence of accumulated debris over the roof space. You should clear any accumulated material, for example, fallen tree debris or general rubbish. If tree growth has led to overhanging branches, prune them back.

Tank Inlets, Insect-proofing and Leaf Filters

These should be cleaned and repaired. 

Exterior of the water tank and tank roof 

Check the integrity of the water tank, including the roof and access cover. If you find any holes or gaps, you should repair them. 

Internal Inspection

This inspection should check the inside of the tank for evidence of access by animals, birds or insects. If present, identify and close access points. If there is any evidence of algal growth, such as green growth or scum on or in the water, find and seal points of light entry.


Ensure the structural integrity of all pipework. You should inspect sections of pipework that are not self-draining, and drain them if required.

In addition to six-monthly inspections, inspect water tanks every 2-3 years for the presence of accumulated sediments. Clean the water tank if the inspector finds the bottom of the tank covered with sediment.

When your water tank is due for a maintenance inspection, the professionals know best. A professional plumber has the training to inspect your water tank thoroughly and will spot items of concern not apparent to the untrained eye. Twin Electrics & Plumbing are experts in water tank installation and maintenance. You can rest assured that we have the skills and know-how to help you with all water tank enquiries. 

If you are looking for licensed plumbing services in Melbourne, we’ve got you covered. With more than 30 years of experience, our qualified technicians will sort any plumbing situation efficiently.

For all plumbing, enquiries contact us on 03 9808 7555, or via the online form. Twin Electrics & Plumbing attend a wide range of plumbing jobs for domestic and commercial needs and are your premier plumbing service in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs. 

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