Five Cistern Maintenance Tips

April 15th 2021

Cisterns are a common source of water for homes on Vancouver Island, and as water treatment specialists, Holman Plumbing & Water Treatment can provide access to clean water and well pumps throughout the Island.

What is a cistern?

A cistern is a large vessel (often a tank) used to hold a reserve of water. Many homes in rural areas have cisterns as a back-up water supply. In some areas, cisterns are used as the primary water source for a household. They come in a range of sizes and are made from a variety of sturdy, waterproof materials. A 15,000-litre cistern can store enough water to serve the needs of an average-sized family for up to three months. They are fed by pumps, shipping water in, or by harvesting rainwater.

It’s important to maintain a cistern correctly to avoid problems and extra expenses down the road. Here are five tips on maintaining your cistern.

Test Your Water

Cistern water should be checked twice weekly using test strips or a chlorine test kit to ensure it is safe for consumption. At least a couple of times a year you should have the cistern water sampled to ensure there are no harmful bacteria present. At Holman, we have developed a specific analysis that covers all potential issues that require treatment.

Visual Inspections

You should visually inspect the ground surrounding your cistern regularly to make sure no roots are threatening to invade the area, or other problems occurring. You can inspect the access lid to make sure it’s snugly closed and look inside the cistern for evidence of dirt, insects, or rodents. If you think there may be a problem, you should ask a professional.

Clean Your Cistern Annually

Immediately after installation, your cistern needs to be cleaned and the sediment removed. After that, it’s important to drain and clean your cistern annually to remove sludge and sediment build-up. You should also clean it if you notice rodents or surface water due to flooding have entered the cistern.

Disinfect Your Cistern

Whenever you clean your cistern, you should take the time to disinfect it as well. As well, if you receive a positive bacterium test you should take the time to properly clean and disinfect.

Protect Your Water

Your cistern box should have a tight-fitting lid that is at least 15cm above the ground to keep rainwater runoff out.

Reach out to us at Holman Plumbing & Water Treatment for help with cistern maintenance, pump issues, or water purification between the cistern and your home. Water is vital to our health and happiness and we will do everything necessary to make sure the water coming into your home is safe and great tasting. From a full range of fully licensed plumbing services to water well pumps and rain catchment to the newest technology in water treatment, Holman is your go-to on Vancouver Island for improving water quality in cost-effective and eco-friendly ways.

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    Now with our new water system there has been a tremendous change. Most importantly we are healthier, the water tastes and smells like water again and not some chemical cocktail, also the skin problems have been reduced to minimal.

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    As a result our drinking water was limited to the designated R.0. tap in the kitchen; however, with no way to monitor the efficiency of the filters we were never certain that our drinking water was safe.

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