One of the many ways employed by those who are conscious of the necessity of conservation of water in today’s world is rainwater harvesting, which is easily done by installing water tanks that collect and store rainwater. It is essential to ensure that the collected rainwater is safe and germ-free before you use it.
Sources of pollution in the rainwater in your water tanks
Domestic water tanks are usually installed above ground, which collect rainwater from the roof via guttering. Enteric pathogens maybe introduced into the rainwater if it comes in contact with faecal materials of birds and animals and sometimes their dead bodies, which maybe present on the roof.
Tanks can act as a breeding ground for mosquitoes, which may be vectors of arboviruses (Aedesnotoscriptus, a species widespread in Australia), of dengue (Aedesaegypti), etc. A 2002 survey conducted in Torres Strait Islands found adult mosquitoes, including A. aegypti, intanks with missing or faulty insect-screens (Ritchie et al. 2002).
Industrial and urban traffic emission and agricultural pollution add air-borne contaminants to rainwater.
Heavy materials in rainwater sink to the bottom and create a layer of sludge, which may contain high concentrations of chemicals like lead.
Ways to reduce pollution in your water tanks
To prevententry of animals and birds into your tank, keep the roof catchment clear of overhanging branches,keep your tank securely covered at all times with a manhole cover and attach a mesh to the inlet and overflow of the tank. The cover also prevents the water from coming in contact with sunlight, thus preventing growth of microbes. You can also use a leaf trap.
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