I’ve got dirty water in my rainwater harvesting system, what can I do?
Whilst this is uncommon with modern rainwater harvesting systems, we have seen early rainwater harvesting systems that have dirty water in. Here is a list of things you should check if you are experiencing dirty water:
- Do you have a leaf filter before or in the rainwater harvesting tank? The first point of call is to look to the filtration. Locate the leaf filter and make sure that it is cleaned regularly, especially when leaves are falling in the autumn
- Has the leaf filter been neglected? If you have only just discovered that there is a leaf filter, then the changes are over time, leaves have degraded and the organic material has fallen to the bottom of the tank. If so, you could have a lot of organic matter in the tank which will cause dirty water and possibly make the water smell. You can have the tank pumped out by a company that “desludges” sewage systems. They can suck out the water from the tank, ask them to try and take the water from the bottom where it is likely to be dirtiest. Following this, you will want to ensure the leaf filter is clean and refill some water into the tank. Don’t use the water for at least 30 minutes following this cleaning and refilling process.
- If there a filter on your pump? It is likely there will be a pump in the tank. It should be fitted with a filter to stop bits getting through the pump. Ensure this is there and clean.
- Are you getting a lot of leaves falling on your roof? If you are getting a lot of leaves then consider filters on the downpipes, these can “kick out” the leaves before they get into the tank.
- Check to ensure no surface water is entering the tank
These are the first things you should consider if you have dirty water. If you have done all of this and there are still problems, you should search for a local specialist that can come and inspect the system. They will likely be a cost for this visit, therefore it’s good to explore all other avenues first.
Last Update: December 5, 2019