Cleaning and maintaining a cistern may seem like a big feat, but with the proper preparations, these steps are quite simple. You can conduct most routine cistern maintenance yourself, often with minimal time or cost. Performing routine maintenance on your cistern tank is the best way to extend the tank’s life. Allow the following cistern maintenance tips to serve as your guidebook when cleaning, inspecting, or repairing your cistern tank.

Monitor the temperature

Temperature can have a surprising impact on your cistern tank’s integrity. As such, you must pay close attention to the temperature of your tank—especially if you live in an area that experiences extreme weather conditions. Take the time to prepare your cistern for changing weather conditions several times throughout the year.

The most important time to do this is at the onset of winter. Winterize your tank and take the necessary precautions to protect it against freezing. Likewise, it’s also important that your tank does not become too hot during summer. If the tank is too hot, it can compromise the liquid inside and make it unusable. If possible, place the tank in an area that receives an adequate amount of shade throughout the day, as this will ensure that it stays at a safe temperature, no matter how hot it gets outside.

Maintain a thorough cleaning schedule

One of the best cistern maintenance tips is to establish a regular cleaning schedule. Most cistern tanks only need to be cleaned a few times per year, so adhering to the cleaning schedule should be simple. Depending on the size of your cistern, however, this semi-annual cleaning may require several hours of your time. Begin by draining the contents of the cistern and moving them to a temporary storage barrel. Then, remove all debris from the tank and clean the walls and basin with a stiff brush and bleach-based cleaning solution. The initial cleaning may take some time, but if you adhere to a regular schedule, subsequent cleanings can likely be completed much more quickly.

When cleaning your cistern tank, it’s also a good idea to inspect the tank for any external signs of damage. This damage may come in the form of hairline cracks, rusted piping, or minor leaks. Such minor damages can often be repaired quite easily. However, multiple minor damages can really add up over time. If you regularly notice signs of damage, it’s in your best interest to install a cistern tank liner. Installing a plastic liner for your concrete tank will decrease the likelihood of further damages in the future, saving you time and money in the long run.