The heat of summer combined with the season’s normal diminished rainfall is taking its toll on household and rural water supplies, with tank levels dropping through regular use. With less input — barring those occasions where delivery by water carrier has been necessary — those who are familiar with living on a finite supply of water are adjusting their habits to make the most of the precious liquid resource.
Reports from medical professionals have highlighted a secondary issue above and beyond limited supply. Cases of water-borne illnesses have been in the public eye recently, calling for a reassessment of the systems, which protect those on tank water from diseases. Alarmingly, many of those who rely on tank-based storage do not have any filtration or purification measures at all between the storage tank and the tap.
These precautions are a wise move no matter where the water itself is sourced — from a bore, a well, a dam, natural spring or creek or from rainwater collected via the roof and guttering. In all cases, it’s possible for contaminants to enter the storage tank — everything from leaf litter and pine needles through to animal remains. Needless to say, these contaminants bring with them the threat of further complications, such as E coli and Campylobacter, among others. A truly effective system for screening out nasties comprises of filtration on two levels, bolstered with ultra-violet based purification and starting with protection from the source itself, if that source is the roof and gutters.
The fitment of meshes and grates to stop birds, animals and leaves collecting in gutters and pipes stops large contaminating agents at their source. Nevertheless, even those utilising bores, wells and dams benefit from particulate filtration — a coarser filter to sift out broken down organic materials, and a finer grade to trap the larger bacteria. An ultraviolet filter is the second line of defence, which kills microorganisms with UV light — however, these units cannot stand alone, as large particles passing through unfiltered can carry bacteria like a ‘trojan horse’, allowing them to avoid the light. With a comprehensive filtration system in place — and well maintained, with annual filter replacements and checkups — the home water supply will be healthier and safer. If you have concerns or are without drinking water protection currently, contact your local plumbing, pump and filter specialists and make a plan to fit your situation.