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Importance Of Water Storage Tank Cleaning & Disinfection

Importance of  Water Storage Tank Cleaning & Disinfection

What is a Water Tank?

Cold water storage tanks can commonly be found in houses, residential homes, offices, schools, hospitals, commercial buildings, factories, industrial properties, leisure centres and many more.

They are used to store a large amount of water that is then used to supply the building and the tank is then replenished at a steady rate from the mains water supply.

They can be used to store water for hot and cold taps as well as drinking water, car washing, factory production, toilet flushing, water heating systems and various other applications.

Why is Water Tank Cleaning Important?

Water tank cleaning is an essential part of water hygiene and Legionella control. Over time, dirt, dust, debris, mould and harmful bacteria, including Legionella, can build up in the water tank. Conducting risk assessment-based regular cleaning will remove these from the system, ensuring it is clean, safe and compliant.

When Should a Tank Clean be done?

Importance Of Water Storage Tank Cleaning &Amp; Disinfection

Water tanks should be cleaned and disinfected annually (or more frequently if an inspection deems it necessary) for drinking water and only when the inspection deems it necessary for potable and non-potable water.

Before Tank Clean 1 - Importance Of Water Storage Tank Cleaning &Amp; DisinfectionStagnant, low-circulation water sources can be a potential breeding ground for unwanted and harmful bacteria. Stagnation can be caused by many factors including under-utilising water, using an excessively large tank, and issues in your water system causing blockages or poor flow. These factors aside, there will always be some stagnation in water tanks. Therefore regular cleaning and disinfection is essential even if these risks are low.

What are the Risks in Water Tanks?

Cold water storage tanks are also a common source of nutrients for biofilm and bacteria, including Legionella. Over time, a dirty tank can develop rust, sediment, and silt; unchecked tanks can become contaminated with organic matter, such as leaves and small animals in extreme cases.

Another risk is debris coming in from the mains. The tank can act as a catchment area for debris, causing it to harbour nutrients and bacteria.


Maintaining the cleanliness of cold water storage tanks through regular cleaning is vital for several compelling reasons:

  • Ensuring Health Safety: Regular tank cleaning is instrumental in preventing the proliferation of harmful microorganisms, thus protecting the health of individuals who depend on the water supply.
  • Preserving Water Quality: Routine maintenance guarantees that the water remains pure, free of unpleasant smells, and safe for consumption and daily use, which is essential for maintaining proper hygiene.
  • Enhancing Tank Durability: Consistent upkeep helps to prolong the service life of the tank by averting corrosion and structural wear.
  • Meeting Regulatory Standards: Compliance with established health and safety regulations is a clear indication of a commitment to delivering a safe and uncontaminated water supply, minimising the risk of legal consequences.


Before Tank Cleaning 3 - Importance Of Water Storage Tank Cleaning &Amp; Disinfection


“The risk from exposure to Legionella should be prevented or controlled; precautions include keeping the system and the water in it clean.”

ACoP L8, paragraph190.


Whenever water is stored or used in a way that may create a reasonably foreseeable risk of exposure to Legionella bacteria, there is a statutory responsibility which must be upheld.



The Five Principles

ACoP L8 stipulates that the person responsible for your water systems must follow these five basic principles:

  1. Identify and assess sources of risk.
  2. Prepare a written scheme for controlling the risk.
  3. Implement, manage and monitor precautions.
  4. Keep records of precautions.
  5. Appoint a person to be managerially responsible – more information.


In Summary

  • Overlooking the cleanliness of a cold water storage tank can have serious implications for health, safety, and well-being.
  • Regular cleaning and diligent maintenance are not merely practical steps towards ensuring a clean water supply; they are also crucial responsibilities that contribute to a healthier living environment and community.
  • By remaining proactive and making water storage tank cleanliness a priority, we can sidestep the unseen perils of neglect and continue to benefit from a secure and pristine water source.

Does LFS provide water testing or sampling?

Yes, we provide water testing and sampling for legionella. All water tests are carried out in UKAS-accredited laboratories.


What Next?

At LFS, our services provide our customers with the peace of mind in knowing that their water systems are safe, clean and carefully monitored to ensure that they are compliant and adhering to legal requirements.

If you have any questions or would like to know more about our services, then do not hesitate to get in touch and one of our advisors will be happy to help.

Info@legionellaandfiresafe.co.uk or Call: 0800 080 3045

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