How to clean water tanks to prevent diseases

It is advised that water tanks be cleaned to reduce the risk of sickness, and this sort of container be cleaned at least three times every year.

How to clean water tanks to prevent diseases
Preventing sickness by maintaining clean water storage tanks. Photo by Mufid Majnun / Unsplash

One of the spaces to which the least attention is paid, in terms of cleaning, are the containers that store water in the home: water tanks, cisterns, and tanks, which are perfect places for the reproduction of microbes and the storage of sediments harmful to human health.

Although water reaches homes as drinking water, it is stored in containers and passes through pipes that, being static and not emptied frequently, could contain sediments and other organisms that affect people's health.

This water reaches dishes and sinks, and we even bathe or consume it by accident, but the storage systems may contain scale, mold substrates, fungi, organic residues, algae, garbage, and feces, which could affect health.

Other residues that can be found in water tanks are arsenic, mercury, lead, nitrate, iron, fluoride, magnesium, and fecal coliforms.

These, if consumed or used for certain household tasks, can cause long-term damage to the human body, including skin, bladder, kidneys, lungs, intestine, nervous system, liver, heart, gastrointestinal system, and teeth, as well as diseases like typhoid and salmonellosis.

So, the Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks (Cofepris) says that water containers should be cleaned at least three times a year.

How to clean the water tank

To clean water tanks you can use bleach, water, and new and clean utensils, such as brooms, brushes, mops, and rags, which are used exclusively for cleaning water tanks. They must be clean to avoid contaminating the water.

Pumps or water feeders should be deactivated.
Empty the water tank until only 15% or 10% of its water capacity is left.
Flush the water out of the tank until it is clean.
Then collect or remove the dirty water.
To throw chlorine, they should apply 8 milliliters per 100 of water.
Once the chlorine has been thrown out, enter it with clean shoe soles and scrub the areas that were not reached. It is recommended not to stay more than 10 minutes since the chlorine and the enclosure can affect the person cleaning the container.
Then it is cleaned again with chlorine.
When finished, the container is refilled with water and closed.

It is recommended not to use soap or detergent since these ingredients leave sediments and contaminate the water, whereas chlorine is in small proportions.