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Algal Overgrowth in Overhead Tank: Solution?

I am facing a very unique problem with my over head drinking water tank. The problem is as follows:

Drinking water from the Municipal source is collected into a sump at the ground level. The Algae does not from or grow in the sump which is made of cement and bricks. Then it is pumpe to an over head Tank (polymer built)  but not black, it is white and is supposed to be a tank for use in the house. I am forced to get it cleaned very often and the quantity of Algae that is taken out is really surprising for a tank with a storage capacity of only 150 Lts.

Problem is that there is great amount of Algae being formed very frequently and the algae blocks or chokes the inbound line to the water purifer. I would be very grateful, if you will please suggest what can I do, to arrest the growth of Algae.

I look forward to your reply.

Anil Kumar SIngh



1. Please refer the earlier

Please refer the earlier discussions on controlling algal growth in a water fountain at the link given below. Check the algal growth after regular chlorination of water at the sump.


Algae are plants and they grow only if water has nutrition for algae, in a particular bandwidth. Plants need nitrates and other inorganic nutrition. These are pollutants for water and for humans. Algae, are cleaning the water because they are removing the water pollutants, as their nutrients.

There are two ways of preventing the algal problem: either clean water(using some natural eco-technology) or take the pollution to higher band where algae cannot grow.

Most of the old peer reviewed methods use the latter method. Algaecides are used; this makes water more hazardous for human health, just to 'shut up' the algal signal.

Only ecology and 'ecological engineering' journals may recommend the latter method that is eco-friendly. But these branches of science and engineering are new to most of the scientists and experts.


Dr Uday Bhawalkar

Director R&D

Bhawalkar Ecological Research Institute (BERI), Pune


Please refer to an intresting solution that appeared in The Hindu "Farm Query". You may try this method and let us know the results.

FARM QUERY (THE HINDU) dated 22 January 2009
Problem with algae
While pumping water from my well for irrigation, algae get clogged inside the water pipes and my motor gets damaged. Is there any body who can guide me as to how this problem can be overcome?
S. Pawan Kumar
A farmer, Mr. P. Vellaimaya thevar in Madurai in Tamil Nadu practices a simple method of cutting paddy straws into small pieces and bundles them in gunny bags which are immersed into the algae infested well. This simple method is efficient to control algae menace, according to the farmer.

You can contact Mr. Vellaimaya thevar at Kinnimangalam (via) Sekkanoorani, Madurai, mobile: 9942016696 for details.

Chandrasekhar, Nemani
Program Associate
Watershed Support Services and Activities Network (WASSAN)
H.No. 12-13-450, Street No.1, Tarnaka
Secunderabad - 500 017, Andhra Pradesh, India
Website: ,


In my view you should get your water supply checked for phosphorous content.


Dear Mr.Singh,

Direct exposure to sunlight accelerates the growth of algae. One major reason could be because you have a tank that is white and hence allows sunlight through the tank walls to the water.Change to a black coloured tank.The ultra violet rays in sunlight damage the plastic material of the tank and hence all tanks meant for storage of water in the open are moulded from plastic to which carbon black has been added,
as this prevents sunlight from damaging the plastic.

Your white tank is at best suitable for use INSIDE the house.I have a black sintex tank on the roof of my house for the last 10 years and I have not had any problem of algae growth.Earlier,I had an RCC tank where I had regular problems of algae growth,but once I closed the opening on the top of the tank with a lid, the problem stopped. I removed the RCC tank since it started leaking after it was over 5 years old and replaced it with a Sintex tank.

I hope this will help you overcome your problem.



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