Is Water in a Storage Tank Safe to Drink?

Is Water in a Storage Tank Safe to Drink?

Storage Tank Water Safety

At Precolor Tank Division we specialise in manufacturing storage tanks for water.  But perhaps you have heard people expressing doubts like “is storage tank water safe?”  You might wonder what the truth of the matter is.  Should you invest in cold water storage tanks for your business?  We have the answers that you need.

The simplest answer is that a safety use is possible, but it depends on three factors – the quality of the tank, the installation as part of the wider system, and how well it is maintained in a clean fashion.  If the setup is appropriate and maintained in a clean condition, then it is possible to safely drink stored water.

The problem is that the opposite is also true.  If the system is not clean or maintained carefully, then the water may be unsafe to drink.  Your health and safety is important, as is that of the other people who use your property.  You need to make sure that you can provide safe drinking water that is free from algae or contaminants, and only a well installed and maintained system can achieve that.

To ensure that the water is safe to drink, it needs to be maintained in a condition that is clean and uncontaminated.  This means that it needs a cool temperature of 20°C or below, it must be clear and odourless, it must have a very low microbiological population and there must be only a trace amount of chlorine, about 0.5mg per litre.  If the temperature exceeds 20°C, it has a high microbiological population, visible sediment in the tank, evidence of rust in the tank, algae in the liquid or on the sides of the tank, then it is not safe to drink.

Drinking Storage Tank Water

The first thing that you need is a good quality tank.  It goes without saying that an old, rusty tank is not appropriate or safe, nor is one with a cracked lid.  The storage tank water safety relies on having a good cover.  Our GRP tanks can be used for water storage, as they are designed to be rust free and stored with a well-fitting lid to keep out vermin and contaminants.

The tank alone is not enough – it must be installed in an appropriate system.  The first think is the location.  If it is constantly in sunlight, it may develop algae growth within the tank.  Similarly, if it is fitted in a well-insulated loft space with the sun heating the roof above it, you might find that it is impossible to keep the temperature down, which can lead to bacterial growth like legionella.  The tank should also be flushed through regularly with mains water.  Generally speaking, the larger the storage tank, the less regularly the water will be completely replaced and the more chance of microbiological growth.  Some businesses ensure a regular changeover in the tanks by having a rota to flush the taps on a regular basis to prevent water standing for long periods.  It may also be necessary to have a filtration system fitted in your system to make sure that the water is pure.

The third factor is the cleanliness of the system.  The tank and components need to be kept free of dust and pests, using a well fitting lid but also preventing contaminants from reaching the tank if the water is to be drinkable.

As you can see, it is possible to be safe whilst drinking storage tank water.  But you are only safe drinking stored water if it is an appropriate tank, fitted in the correct system and maintained in a clean fashion.  At Precolor Tank Division, we can help you to assess your setup.  If you want to discuss tanks for a drinking water system, contact us for more information.