When Lawrie (CEO Tankvac) contacted me about his self-cleaning water tank system it didn't take me long to realise this was a product/invention worth writing about. If you do have a water tank then keep reading because here is a simple and effective way to keep the inside of your water storage unit clean!
Once upon a time water tanks were the main way people stored their water supply for household usage, but with the invent of grid water supplies (town water) it seemed like localised storage of water was a thing of the past in built-up areas. Until, of course, metered water costs started rising rapidly and prolonged dry periods caused councils to enact water restrictions on the general population.
Pretty soon residents realised capturing rainwater off their own roofs was a great way to save money and have extra water to use even if not for drinking but for rudimentary tasks such as gardening, washing the car, etc. Subsequently, it's common to see rainwater tanks on a standard suburban block and I would go as far to say it's unusual not to have one – this is a good thing!
It's true most people these days use their own water tanks for other things besides drinking; however, there are still many households and organisations (like schools) around the world that do rely on tank water as their sole water supply. Therefore, it's obvious that for health and hygiene reasons water tanks used for drinking purposes should also be as clean as possible.
But what about if the tank water is only used for the garden or to wash the car – does it really need to be that clean? I say yes, and here's a few examples: dirty water can become high in minerals and contaminants which may damage the paint work on your car, or affect/inhibit the growth of your plants. My rule of thumb is if the water isn't safe to drink then it's probably a little dodgy to use for other things as well.
So how does a tank get dirty?
You may be thinking, our tank has a leaf capture device and debris strainer which stops any rubbish getting into the water tank and this is true to an extent. However, just as dust settles on an outside table it also settles on your water catchment area (usually the roof) and this dust along with heaps of other particles inevitably get washed away and into your water tank when it rains. These particles end up settling on the bottom of the tank and over time this build up forms a thick sludge, which can end up in the water supply if the build-up is allowed to get too big or it can become disturbed during rainfall as the tank fills. This sludge can also be a breeding ground for bacteria and other nasty bugs so no matter what you use the water stored in your tank for, it's best practise to ensure it's clean.
And keeping your water tank clean used to mean draining it and sucking out the sludge or getting in the tank (if possible) and doing the job manually. Thankfully, with the Tankvac system this process of keeping the water tank sludge free is done automatically when it rains.
How does Tankvac work?
Essentially, the Tankvac system is just a few pipes and joins that can be easily fitted to an existing water tank. Most people with a little DIY experience should be able to fit the Tankvac system themselves and it consists primarily of a base pipe with holes along its length that sits on the bottom of the tank which is then connected to several segments of piping to take it up and out replacing the old overflow outlet.
In Layman's terms, the Tankvac system uses natural water pressure created when the water tank overflows in a normal rain event. This pressure is used as a vacuum in the pipeline laid at the base of the tank, which in turn sucks up any sludge and flushes it out through an overflow pipe called a flow generator.
Once the rain stops and the tank is no longer being overfilled the Tankvac syphoning system ceases. This constant flushing out from the bottom of the tank (whenever it overflows) ensures that a sludge made from sediment dust, animal droppings, fine vegetation, algae, etc doesn't get the chance to form thereby keeping the tank clean and the water safer to use.
Example of Tankvac being used
The following short video shows how the Tankvac system flushes out dirty water from a water tank.
Testimonial from Mount Nebo School after fitting the Tankvac system:
My email has been a long time coming but here it is.
We are very impressed and pleased with the tank vac system that has been installed in the tanks at Mount Nebo school.
I have been at the school for 18 years and have never seen clear water come from our taps. When we have had visitors come to the school I’ve always had to explain about the water colour when I provide water for them. We always keep a bottle of water in the fridge and it has always had a colour to it.
NOW I am not at all concerned about providing water to visitors or staff since the installation of tank vac as our water is very very clear. Even the water to our toilets is no longer coloured which makes our cleaner happy. So far when the tanks go into action there is very little colour comes out in the water which obviously means that there is little sediment in our tanks.
Thank you again Lawrie for our clean clear water.
You can see more about what others think on the TankVac Facebook Page
If you own a Tankvac system consider visiting our Review Section on this product here and create your own review – it will only take a few minutes and it could help others. I've also created an "Editors Review" on the system – I'm a liitle critical on the price but you can see my full review also at the previous link mentioned.
Personally, I think the Tankvac system is a very clever invention! I like how it uses natural forces to work rather than a motor and the fact that it's easy to install or retro fit to most existing water tanks is a real plus.
Installing a self-cleaning system such as Tankvac has the potential to save a heap of money and lots of time not having to clean the tanks out manually but more importantly it could protect the health of all those using the water source.
Having said that, I think they could work on pricing the system a little fairer – that's just my honest opinion…
Read more about Tankvac
If you'd like to find out more information go to http://www.tankvac.com.au/