How to clean drinking water holding tanks

Written by robin neorr | 13/05/2017
How to clean drinking water holding tanks
Keep your water tank clean. (robertsrob/iStock/Getty Images)

Drinking water tanks are commonly found in caravans, campers and boats. People are also buying portable drinking water tanks for in home use in the event of a loss of fresh drinking water. Proper maintenance of your drinking water holding tank will ensure that your drinking water is clean and safe to drink. It is easy to clean and flush your drinking water tank once every year with these simple steps.

Drain your drinking water tank.

Prepare a bleach solution to put into your clean water tank. The solution needs to be based on a ratio of 59 ml (1/4 cup) of bleach for every 45 litres (10 gallons) of water your will be using to clean your tank.

Fill your tank halfway up with fresh water. If you have a 180 litre (40 gallon) tank you will want to fill it up with 90 litres (20 gallons) of water. You will then want to take 118 ml (1/2 cup) of bleach and funnel it into a gallon jug of water. Cap and shake. Funnel this solution into your clean water tank.

Agitate the tank so that the bleach solution is properly spread throughout the tank. If you drive an RV this can easily be done by driving it around the block. Let this solution rest in your water tank for four hours.

Begin to drain your tank by opening up the hot and cold water taps. Let them run until the tank is completely drained.

Fill the tank up completely with fresh water. Drain through the hot and cold water tap until empty. This will flush out any excess bleach that may linger in the tank.

Mix together 454 g (2 cups) of baking soda in 4.5 litres (1 gallon) of hot water. Cap and shake. Pour this solution into your tank then top off your tank with fresh water.

Drain your tank one more time. Refill it with fresh water to drink.

Fill with clean drinking water. Repeat every six months.


Clean your water tank after each winter.

Things you need

  • Bleach
  • Fresh water
  • Gallon jug
  • 454 g (2 cups) baking soda

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