water tanks becoming polluted

Discussion in 'Building DIY, Machinery & Tools' started by Flatland, Dec 28, 2016.

  1. Flatland

    Flatland Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Our tanks have only been in a year. There is no sludge on the bottom of them but the water smells terrible. I think what has happened is the B awful snails have been washed into the wet system and are rotting in the underground part of the system. We need to have some way of excluding bugs/snails from the gutters and or downpipes. Looking at leaf excluder diverters. As anyone got info on these. The good the bad and the ugly.

    The shed is a dry system and those tanks don't seem to be as bad but I think we will need to exclude snails etc from those gutters and down pipes but there is no room in the "fall" of the downpipes to add in anything so we will look at gutter guard for those gutters. Again an practical info appreciated

    Also how do you flush rotting snails out of the wet system. We have inspection points but they are at ground level and the lowest point on the pipes are of course lower that this. Once we open up the points and water flows out we were thinking of putting hose in the other end of the gutter to try and flush more water through the system but I wonder if this would have enough pressure to move snails along and up to the inspection point to get out of the system
     
  2. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Without gravity to help, you are forced to get the big vacuum truck in to do the job for you, Flatland.
    Wet systems that are built without a drain point are very badly designed & will end up being a health hazard to those who are forced to drink the polluted water.
    There is no domestic pump that will pump sufficient volume & pressure of water to flush 90 or 100ml pipes with enough force to clear the debris that has settled on the bottom of the pipe.
    Your only hope is if you can dig a long trench to a lower level & add in a flush pipe. But still you have to hit those pipes with a high volume, high pressure flow that is strong enough to clear the debris.

    Regarding gutter guards etc. In theory they work.
    But in practise they block up the gutters just as badly as leaf debris does in the end.
    By dint, their purpose is to filter out large particles which means the gauze must be fairly fine.
    That means it will block up very fast which means you have to get on the roof EVERY rain event & clear it all away so the water can run through the mesh.
    If you use a high pressure hose such as a gernie you will actually push all the small debris right through the mesh into the gutters so it's best to do the job while it is dry & use a commercial wet/dry vacuum or leaf blower but even that might not get the fines.

    So if that system belonged to me I would get rid of the wet system completely. You'll be sickened by what you find down in that underground pipe, trust me!
    A dry system means you can keep the pipes clean by manually flushing before each rain event.
    Install a 90 or 100ml 'run to waste' bypass ball valve immediately before the elbow that directs the pipes into the tank. Get on the roof , open the bypass valves & use high pressure hose to clean & flush the gutters & down pipes on a regular basis & always before a rain event. That will remove any snails & snail poo that is in the pipes or gutters.
    Put a proper mesh screen into the manhole of the tank where the pipe outlet is & keep it clean.
    I know all this because I have green tree frogs living in my pipes & their poo is big & copious so there is always a lot of debris to wash out.
    If you put exclusion gauzes or mesh screens on the gutters you will spend countless hours on the roof keeping it clean & the fine debris will always be getting washed through into the system.
    That plastic gutter guard stuff that you buy in rolls is 100% useless. The only gutter mesh that works is the stuff that is generally metal, shaped to fit the roof profile, professionally installed & screwed or siliconed in place. It is very expensive & still has to be kept clean & still the fines will get pushed through into the system & it MUST be kept clean or the water will overflow & be wasted.

    So it doesn't matter whether you use exclusion methods or not, you will spend a lot of time on your roof maintaining the system.

    As for that stinking water you already have, if the season is dry & no rain is imminent, you should get some chlorine from the pool shop & treat the water. That will cause a sediment to settle on the bottom of your tank which has to be vacuumed out by a rain water tank cleaning machine.
    Then if you get rain sooner than say 4wks (or while the chlorine is still active in the water) the incoming water will be killed also & leave a debris on the bottom of the tank & it will smell like death also & must be cleaned out by the vacuum truck.

    Rain water tanks are alive ecosystems & chlorine or purchased water that comes from municipal outlets, will kill that ecosystem & the water will smell like a dead possum is in there!
     
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  3. Flatland

    Flatland Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    thanks We didn't want a wet system but were forced to have it by council. Seems really stupid but that is what happened. We have always had dry systems before but now our house in wet. I can see that digging a ditch so that we can have access to the lowest point of the system would be a good idea but to do that would be very hard. the only way we could do it is to dig a big sump and flush the water to there and pump out the sump. Will have to think about it.
    I googled leaf diverters and have found one that is installed below the gutter and has the screen at an angle. Theory being the water flows out of the down pipe falls onto the screen, crap can't get through the screen and falls/blown off. While good water continues on to tank.
    It all comes down to why can't we have a dry system? Well I guess now that the house has been built and council has ticked it off we could replumb the whole water collection system. Will have to do some serious thinking. At least the shed which is bigger than the house has a dry system so that water is OK. at the moment we are buying bottled water form the kitchen. That's a pain in the neck when I am just used to having rain water no problems
     
  4. carrie

    carrie Member Premium Member GOLD

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    I have heard of leaf eater rain heads which would as an effective gutter protection system help gutters from getting blocked or flooded eaves which is usually mounted directly under the roof gutter. They are even said to prevent mosquitoes, vermin and debris. A 6-5/8"x 3" rectangular outlet comes with each rain head and provides an increased flow of water through the outlet making rainwater catchment efficient . But one drawback is they seem to keep gutter debris free at the cost of more spilled water. The moment muck collects on the mesh water splashes over the front and drip constantly. My friend who was least interested in spending much on diverter had a piece of mesh(exterior grade mesh and araldite ) over the hole which turned out to be too simple and cost effective. As with getting rid of snails, manual extraction is the best than chemicals. Most of the experts suggests flushing gutters like it is mentioned in this article on how to clean gutters in a easy way http://www.landmarkquality.com/blog/gutters/how-to-clean-gutter-the-easy-way . Another option is salt which would shrivel them up and kill them through dehydration. . Small slat filled plastic gutter would be fine. Copper is said to carry an inherent electrical charge which will shock a snail as they travel across a length of it. Try grabbing a roll of copper mesh. I guess they are tolerant to shots of chlorine or bleach.
     
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