The standard household rain water tank is manufactured with the water outlet at the tank bottom– but that’s where the tank’s dirtiest water is located.
Rainfall washes roof catchments clean of dirt & debris, insects, bird poo, leaves & rodent droppings, which largely end up in the water tank. Gravity takes these “additives” to the tank bottom, where they accumulate in the sediment zone, & become a food source for micro-organisms.
Disease causing E. coli & campylobacter are common, and water parasites such as giardia & cryptosporidium (carried in the faeces of birds & animals), can live in the bottom sediment of many tanks. These bugs require oxygen, and create an anaerobic (low oxygen) zone in this water at the bottom of the tank.
The water outlet at the tank base inevitably draws the dirtiest and least oxygenated water- with the highest bug count- to the house for human consumption!
That is, rural households have traditionally been drinking the worst water in the tank. The freshest, cleanest, sweetest tasting & most oxygenated water is at the top of the tank water column.
A simple, highly effective idea is to elevate the water outlet to draw from the “top” of the water column. This is the job of SaferWater’s ‘Tankster’: a floating tank water intake which ensures the best water in the tank, regardless of tank depth, reaches the house.
‘ Tankster’ is a flexible food grade water hose with a floating intake at one end, and a connection to the existing tank outlet at the other. It picks up water from just below the surface, thereby optimising the drinking water quality.
Apart from providing better tasting water with fewer bugs, ‘Tankster’ extends the life of tank water pumps. Household washing machine, dishwasher & garden irrigation nozzles block less frequently, & drinking water filters last longer.
Between 1994 & 2001, 16% of Australian households used rainwater tanks, with 13% using tanks as their main drinking water source.
The driest state, SA, had 51% of households with a rainwater tank, with 36% relying on it for drinking. QLD had 15% of households using rainwater as main drinking source, with 14% in Tas, 11% in Vic, & 8% in NSW & WA respectively.
‘Tankster’ really is an affordable way to improve water quality for all rural households on tank water.