Waterborne diseases are a serious health threat in Karachi, where many people lack access to safe and clean drinking water. According to a report by UNICEF, waterborne diseases such as diarrhea, dysentery, cholera, and malaria are responsible for the deaths of many children and adults in the city every year. The main cause of these diseases is the contamination of water sources by sewage, industrial waste, garbage, and floodwater.

One of the ways to prevent waterborne diseases is to ensure proper hygiene and maintenance of water tanks, which are commonly used by households and businesses to store water for domestic and commercial purposes. Water tanks can become a breeding ground for bacteria, algae, parasites, and other harmful microorganisms if they are not cleaned regularly and properly. Here are some tips on how to keep your water tank hygienic and safe:

preventing waterborne diseases

Clean your water tank at least once every six months

You should clean your water tank at least twice a year, preferably before and after the monsoon season when the risk of water contamination is higher. To clean your water tank, you will need the following supplies:

  • A bucket dedicated to this purpose
  • A siphon or a pump to drain the water from the tank
  • A scrubber or a brush to remove dirt and algae from the tank walls
  • A disinfectant such as chlorine or bleach to sanitize the tank
  • A hose or a pipe to refill the tank with clean water

The steps for cleaning your water tank are as follows:

  1. Drain the water from the tank using a siphon or a pump. Dispose of the dirty water safely and avoid using it for any purpose.
  2. Scrub the inside walls and floor of the tank with a scrubber or a brush to remove any dirt, algae, slime, or sediment. Rinse the tank with clean water and drain it again.
  3. Sanitize the tank with a disinfectant such as chlorine or bleach. You can use a ratio of 1/4 cup of bleach per 3-4 gallons of water or follow the instructions on the label of the chlorine product. Fill the tank with the disinfectant solution and let it sit for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Drain the disinfectant solution from the tank and rinse it thoroughly with clean water until there is no smell or taste of chlorine or bleach.
  5. Refill the tank with clean water from a reliable source. You can use a filter or a purifier to improve the quality of the water if needed.

Check your water tank regularly for leaks, cracks, and rust

You should inspect your water tank regularly for any signs of damage or deterioration that could compromise its integrity and hygiene. Look for any leaks, cracks, holes, rust, corrosion, or dents that could allow dirt, insects, rodents, or other contaminants to enter the tank. If you find any problems, you should repair them as soon as possible or replace the tank if necessary.

Cover your water tank securely and keep it away from direct sunlight

You should always keep your water tank covered with a tight-fitting lid that prevents dust, debris, insects, animals, or unauthorized people from accessing it. You should also avoid placing your water tank in direct sunlight, as this could increase the temperature and promote the growth of algae and bacteria in the water. If possible, place your water tank in a shaded, cool, and ventilated area.

Use clean utensils and containers to collect and store water from the tank

You should always use clean utensils and containers to collect and store water from the tank. Wash them regularly with soap and hot water and dry them thoroughly before using them again. Avoid using metal utensils or containers that could rust corrode and contaminate the water. Also, avoid touching the mouth of the utensils or containers with your hands or lips when collecting or drinking water from the tank.

Boil or filter your drinking water before consumption

Even if you follow all the above tips, you should still boil or filter your drinking water before consumption to ensure its safety and quality.

  • Boiling is one of the most effective methods to kill any germs or parasites that may be present in the water.
  • Bring the water to a rolling boil for at least one minute and let it cool down before drinking it.
  • Alternatively, you can use a filter or a purifier that removes impurities such as dirt, chemicals, metals, and microorganisms from the water.
  • Follow the instructions on how to use and maintain your filter or purifier properly.

By following these tips, you can prevent waterborne diseases and protect yourself and your family from their harmful effects. Remember that clean water is essential for good health and well-being, so don’t take it for granted.

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