How To Clean A Water Tank


If you own a water tank, you probably know that it requires regular maintenance to keep it clean and operating at its optimal level. Over time, tank water can become contaminated with particles, bacteria and other debris.

For example, ash and dust from bushfires and dust storms can blow into your tank and leaves can collect in the water. Water tanks also make an attractive breeding ground for mosquitoes, potentially causing your tank to become a dangerous site of disease.

When sediment and debris is left to collect in your tank, it can quickly decompose into sludge which can spread bacteria throughout your water supply. Contaminated water can pose a serious risk to your health if it is consumed. Luckily, it’s fairly simple to clean your water tank. Here’s our tips on how to get the job done.


Drain your tank in summer

It’s recommended that you clean your tank out at the end of summer, because that is when water levels are usually at their lowest. If you have an electric pump, make sure the power is turned off and the plug is pulled out before you start cleaning.

Use any remaining water in the tank around your garden or to top up your pool or wash your car and then run some fresh water from a hose through your tank inlet to flush out any remaining dirty water. You’ll need to ensure that you’ve given it a thorough rinse so that the water runs clear before moving onto the next step.

If there has just been a bushfire or a storm near your home, you should check your tank. If water is contaminated, your tank should be drained and refilled.


Remove the sludge

Once your tank is drained, it’s time to clean it out. Slimy sludge can make the bottom of your tank fairly dangerous to work in, so you may want to consider using a professional tank cleaning service at this point.

To remove sludge, you may need to pump it out using a tube inserted through the tank inlet. To help prevent sludge build up from happening, you should use a first flush diverter or a leaf strainer. If you’re already using these on your tank, don’t forget to clean them out as well.

If you use your water tank as a drinking water supply, it’s also worth considering adding a UV filter and a carbon filter to kill pathogens in your water.


Refill the tank

Now that your tank is clean, you’ll need to reconnect the power and fill it up again. Fill the tank to the level that it covers the pump opening and then flush the taps around your property.


How often should I clean my water tank?


It’s recommended that you clean your water tank at least every six months or so. Each of the below components should be inspected when cleaning your tank.

  • Tank and tank roof – you should regularly check your tank internally for the presence of debris, animals and insects, as well as externally for signs of damage to the tank or roof cover.
  • Tank inlets and leaf filters – tank inlets and leaf filters should be inspected as they may need to be cleaned or repaired.
  • Gutters – your gutters should be inspected and cleaned regularly to help prevent debris from falling into your tank.
    Roof – your roof should be checked and cleared of organic debris.

Looking for advice on cleaning and maintaining your tank? Contact us today on 1800 115 552 or through the form on our website.