How to maintain rainwater tanks

how to maintain a rainwater tank

Learning how to maintain rainwater tanks is a great step towards preserving the life of your tank. If you wouldn’t neglect your car, your home, or your own health, nor should you neglect your rainwater tank! With a little regular care, you can ensure an ongoing clean water supply and a tank that is trouble free.


Choosing the right accessories at the time of installation is important, because this reduces the ongoing maintenance work.

A first flush device can be used so that the first portion of water runoff is diverted away, to prevent contaminants. Similarly, a mosquito proof inlet strainer is made of very fine mesh, and is used to prevent debris from entering the tank as well as insects and mosquitoes.

Government recommendations

The Australian Government Department of Health provides extensive information about rainwater tanks in a document available here. However, specifically in relation to how to maintain rainwater tanks, it recommends at least a six monthly check of the following areas.


They generally will need cleaning as well as inspection. If inspection finds large amounts of leaf material or other debris, then the inspection and cleaning frequency may need to be increased.


Check for the presence of accumulated debris including leaves. Accumulated material should be cleared and if tree growth has led to overhanging branches these should be pruned.

Tank inlets, insect-proofing and leaf filters

If there is any build up or damage, these should be cleaned and repaired.

Tank and tank roof

Check the structural integrity of the tank including the roof and access cover. Any holes or gaps should be repaired.

Internal inspection

Check for evidence of access by animals, birds or insects including the presence of mosquito larvae. If present, identify and close any access points. If there is any evidence of algal growth (green growth or scum on or in the water), find and close points of light entry.


Check for structural integrity. Sections of pipework that are not self-draining should be drained. Buried pipework, such as with ‘wet systems’, can be difficult to drain or flush. Where possible drainage points should be fitted.

In addition, the advice also suggests that tanks should be inspected every 2-3 years for the presence of accumulated sediments. If the bottom of the tank is covered with sediment the tank should be cleaned.
It advises that rainwater tanks can become a mosquito breeding site when they are no longer used or when they fall into disrepair. Tanks that are no longer used should be drained, cut up and disposed of.

Of course, you can contact us for more information or if you have any questions about your tank.

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