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Water tanks and dams – safety tips

water tanks

Water tanks, dams and channels on farms are an essential source of water for drinking, livestock and irrigation needs. However they can pose serious risks. Children can drown in tanks and dams, water can be contaminated and accidents can happen when tanks are being cleaned.

Tanks can also become breeding areas for mosquitoes which is a particular concern in areas where mosquito borne diseases like Murray Valley encephalitis virus, Ross River virus, Barmah Forest virus and dengue fever are a risk.

Seal water tanks so children, animals, birds and insects can’t get in.
Clean water tanks regularly but use safety precautions.

Ensure a safe and fenced off play area for children and always keep an eye on children near dams, troughs swimming pools, creeks and tanks.

If you obtain your drinking water from bores, rivers, dams or rainwater tanks. You should take special care to make sure that this water is safe to drink. Contaminated water can cause serious illness, and so can water from hoses.

Fast facts

References used for this topic page

More information:

Department of Health (Vic)

Making sure your rainwater water supply is safe

Department of Health (VIC)

Private water supply – rainwater

Department of Health (Australia)

Guidance on use of rainwater tanks – PDF


enHealth Council

Last updated: 21st November, 2016