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Are you cleaning your dirty water tanks the right way?

Scrubbing the walls and floor of the water tank, removing mud from the bottom and flushing out the water once a year… are these enough to keep a water tank clean?

Water tanks which are used to store potable water in housing societies have to be cleaned and maintained periodically. They could, otherwise, turn into a haven of algae, bacteria and fungus which in turn, could lead to the spread of water-borne diseases like diarrhoea, typhoid or jaundice. Most of the cooperative housing societies use a convenient, yet crude method for cleaning tanks – they either ask their watchman or arrange for some local labourer to clean the tank.

Unskilled labourers scrub the floor and side walls of the tank with brooms or brushes. Some even scrub the surface of the tank using detergent or other soaps. Water is then removed using buckets. In this process the tanks remain as good as not cleaned. Drinking water tanks have to be cleaned every quarter. The general trend in housing societies is to get the tanks cleaned before and after the monsoon.

Potable water tanks, which are the main source of water in housing societies, should not only be cleaned effectively but also rendered bacteria-free. Since most housing societies are not aware of the right methods, they use chemicals best known to them. In some cases, potassium permanganate is used. Though there are many chemicals which can be used to clean tanks, it is advisable to use only those chemicals which are eco-friendly, bio degradable, have a wide spectrum of anti-bacterial activity, safe and certified by a national agency and which conform to OECD guidelines.

Only professional agencies can provide scientific cleaning and disinfect drinking water storage tanks. While engaging professional help to clean tanks, the housing society should look at whether:

  • The agency being engaged has a reputed background and is capable of giving the highest standard of service every time
  • The agency employees are well trained in the tank cleaning activity
  1. They are hygienically and physically capable and free from any communicable diseases
  2. They do not chew tobacco or gutkha
  3. They are insured to a sufficient and proper extent
  • Sufficient procedures are adopted to remove dirt and sludge from all the nooks and corners of the tank, including the ceiling
  • The chemicals applied for cleaning meet with the guidelines of the government stipulations
  • The agency is approved by a Government body
  • The tank cleaning work causes the least amount of inconvenience to the residents and is done quickly

Many housing societies are reluctant to take the first step in getting professional help. For example, the Happy Valley Housing Society in Thane was getting its tanks cleaned through local agencies. On observing our scientific and professional approach, they have now entered into an annual maintenance contract with us. They have also advised other housing societies close by to opt for professional cleaning of drinking water tanks.

Sunil Uplap, Founder & Managing Director
Tanclean Pvt Ltd, Mumbai

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