Well Holding Tanks - Reserve Water Grows Mold and Bacteria

By: Anne Morris

Holding tanks to offer reserve water in the event of drought or simply to give large homes a reserve have become common in Texas, Georgia and Arizona and most recently in California and Florida. Typically these tanks are 5000 gallons or larger, involve repressurized and level switch accessories to keep the reserve water in place.

The treatment strategies or water quality concerns are no different than those warm water developing countries such as India where a water truck literally delivers the water to an underground holding tank two or three times per week to support 60 person dwelling units. No infrastructure plumbing of the water is part of the development and as with the upscale American single family dwellings the water begins growing algae, mold and bacteria in some cases.

ECOsmarte, Mpls. MN, has taken technology from three week Apollo missions to the moon in the late 1960’s to protect the holding tank water. This technology uses electrolysis to put low level copper ions into the holding tank to prevent the plant life growth and actually kills coliform, ecoli and pseudomonas bacteria as well. Water can remain “crisp” in the tank for weeks, and specific sites exist between 1,000 and 33,000 gallons since 1998. The 33,000 gallon tank in the Puget Sound also draws water from a storm water pond to supplement a marginal well in terms of recovery. The pond water is pre-filtered and oxygenated as it contains cedar tannins and other turbidity.

The site is used as a movie site for one of LA’s premier movie producer/directors and has zero volume water use for many days and heavy volume for one to two weeks straight. “This movie director has actually done this strategy in Beverly Hills and at his newest set in Maui as well,” said Joe Cantin, Regional Manager and the technical salesperson on the account.

In addition to the low level copper ion and oxygenation put in the water, specific filtration strategies and EPA/ETL lab water analysis is included with the equipment.

“We change the calcium from the scaling carbonate form to a soluble calcium bicarbonate, in essence giving the customer a non-salt water softener,” Cantin added.

Equipment costs installed range from $6,000 on the 1,000 to 5,000 gallon sites to as much as $20,000 on the 33,000 gallon application.

“We’ll do a movie set or a high density housing project for the same money, it’s sort of ironic,” says Cantin.