Potable Water Storage

Asked October 23, 2018, 7:04 PM EDT

I have purchased a 2600 gallon potable water tank to supply my house. I am having trouble finding information about safe usage. My questions are: Do I need to sanitize my system after I finish constructing it? If so, how do I do this? When the tank is filled with water I want to use in the house, do I put bleach into the water to keep it germ free?

Jackson County Oregon drinking water water quality emergency preparedness

1 Response

Hello,
Yes, you will need to sanitize the system after construction. Some references refer to this as a shock chlorination where bleach is used to disinfect the system from bacteria. There is a certain rate and method to follow. It is fairly simple, but you want to be careful to follow instructions.
Yes, you will need to add chlorine to the system periodically to keep it clean from bacteria.
Here is a link to my favorite resource - https://www-mwps.sws.iastate.edu/catalog/water-septic-systems/private-water-systems-pdf. Unfortunately, they charge $40 to download or $50 to purchase a hard copy. It is research-based and created by Iowa State University. There are probably other resources on the internet, but this is the one I use.
What is your source of water? Is it a spring, surface water or well? We recommend you get it tested for at least three parameters - arsenic, nitrate and bacteria. Chlorine will treat the bacteria but it will not help with arsenic or nitrates. You may need to obtain a reverse osmosis filter treatment system to make sure other materials are filtered from the water supply.
We have a website that is for people using wells - wellwater.oregonstate.edu. It has a lot of information that would be helpful regarding testing and water quality, even though you may not be using a well.
Feel free to contact me if you would like to talk about this in more detail. My email is below, and my cell phone number is 503-510-7582.
Derek Godwin