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Rainwater Tank Maintenance

Rainwater Tank Maintenance Gives Your Family The Gift of Clean Water


Rainwater tank maintenance is a public health concern that Whywait Plumbing Services, your local professional Gold Coast Plumber has undertaken for 40 years, since 1976.

rainwater tank maintenance - Westfield HelensvaleIt is now nine years since the water management crisis in South-East Queensland was at its peak. Rainwater tanks were the flavour of the month and were being sold and installed by every man and his dog aided and abetted by generous subsidies from the Queensland Government.

Unfortunately rushed policy changes by the Queensland Government at the time and the relaxation of standards with many shoddy installations is now beginning to bite. This has lead to a situation where government agencies are picking up the pieces of repairing bad policy.

Fortunately, there has been some significant publications and research undertaken by the Environmental Health Committee, of the Australian Health Protection Committee which has published an excellent publication called “Guidance on Use of Rainwater Tanks” which we advise you to download and read if you have a rainwater tank by clicking here

Rainwater tanks in an urban environment were always going to be an issue with regards to maintenance and the plumbing technicians at Whywait Plumbing Services see this issue constantly:

  • Poorly maintained or completely failed rainwater tanks are everywhere
  • Pumps that no longer work are commonplace
  • Leaking rainwater tanks are commonplace.

Rainwater tank systems are low maintenance, but they are most definitely not maintenance free. Routine maintenance of a rainwater tank is required to maintain the life expectancy of the infrastructure and to ensure compliance with the Public Health Act.

Maintaining your rainwater tank is your responsibility as the property owner. The biggest threat posed is the potential to create a health risk in the tank becoming a breeding site for mosquitoes. All rainwater tanks must be fitted at all times with:

  • inlet strainers that are 1mm or less to prevent mosquitoes entering the tank
  • All overflows must be installed with a high flow flap valve which automatically closes and seal when not in use to prevent mosquitoes entering the tank.

Recommended Rainwater Tank Maintenance Routine

rainwater tank maintenanceThe recommended maintenance required plus the routine regularity is listed below:

  • 3 months: remove debris from gutters, downpipes & first flush devices. Check insect screens on rainwater heads & overflow outlets are debris free, intact & in good condition.
  • 6 months: check roof & flashing’s, remove overhanging branches & repair any defects. Check for signs of mosquito’s & larvae plus any evidence of animal, bird or insect access. Check for algal growth & if detected locate & seal light entry point. Check tank, fittings & pump for any leaks or defects & repair.
  • 12 months: check the integrity of tank support base, check pumps & solenoid valves along with all plumbing bypass or backup systems & repair as necessary.
  • 24 months: check the level of sediment in the tank along with water quality. Accumulated sediment should be removed from the tank at intervals not exceeding three years.

If you are no longer using your rainwater tank, then you are required to cut it up and remove it from the site. It cannot be allowed to become a mosquito breeding site or a home for vermin such as rats or mice.

Finally a word of warning. Many property owners are unaware that in Queensland that if you fail to maintain your rainwater tank in a permanent status of it being mosquito proof you can receive an on the spot fine of 4 penalty units which are $504.60.

For more information on rainwater tank maintenance, please contact us at Whywait Plumbing Services on (07) 5580 4311