Anaerobic Activity and Water Tank Sediment

Anaerobic Activity and Water Tank Sediment


Johanna has a question. Will the anaerobic sediment
in the bottom of a water tank introduce potential bacterial risk? Clostridium species live
in anaerobic wetness. Would that mean it might not be safe to drink the water or
irrigate crops with it? Well Johanna, everybody in
Australia in a rural area lives on water tanks and
more or less always has. This water tank I’m stood
on is a concrete tank I built 18 years ago. It’s 20,000 gallons. And we haven’t cleaned the
bottom of the tank yet. The outlet pipe is above the bottom to allow sediment to build up. And you can see, we have
a lot of trees around us, and there’s 300 square
meters of roof that come in. The catchment comes in
through these down pipes into the tank. There are little first flushes on this, but there’s a lot of material that does go down into the tank. And you get this anaerobic
layer at the bottom. Now generally, if it’s not overpowered with some kind of imbalance of input, like you’ve got one particular tree that has a lot of essential
oils in it or it’s allelopathic, so you get a concentration
of an allelopathic oil in the tank, and therefore
you get an imbalance in the anaerobic ecosystem
of the composition at the bottom of the tank. As long as it’s reasonably well balanced, the material going in all
breaks down to safe… It’s a safe ecosystem,
it’s a balanced ecosystem. So the water coming out
of this is first rate. We’ve had it tested. It’s nicely slightly alkaline
because it’s concrete. That’s why I like concrete tanks. They don’t burn in a bushfire or that they could crack in
an intense heat of a bushfire. They’re long-lasting, but because they’re made out of concrete, they’re slightly alkaline and that’s a little bit
better for our health. So we don’t have any problems with that. Irrigating crops, not a problem at all. But mainly this is drinking water. This is the water that
I drink and I bathe in. And all our tanks at a tuna
farm are concrete tanks. Around Australia, people have
plastic polypropylene tanks and also the traditional tin tanks, the metal tanks, which
are now today Arcoplate and guaranteed for 20 plus years. But this one’s 18 years
old, still going fine. I don’t see why it won’t be here in another sort of 50 years. We probably would have cleaned
out the bottom by then. That’s easy enough to do. Or there are devices that take
the sediment off the bottom while it’s in position and keep
the tank continuously clean. I like the fact that we
have an anaerobic ecosystem involved in our drinking water. I think it boosts our immunity system. One of the worst things
you can do for your health is be too sterile.

9 thoughts on “Anaerobic Activity and Water Tank Sediment

  1. The sludge becomes a healthy biofilm, an ecosystem. Generally you would not clean your tank, despite what some experts tell you. (Yes, I've researched this, and believe it's reliable information).

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