Just had the tank water tested
Thanks - that looks like the simplest first flush solution, and we might even have the bits in the shed
the old ram;340932 wrote: Hi Xartep,The following suggestions may be of some help............How long has the tank been in use?What type of tank is it?I suggest you start a syphion and run the pipe into the tank through the large opening in the top,the biggest pipe dia you can get hold of.....You need a length 5times the height from the top to the ground...........once the syph starts you need to slowly move the pick-up around the bottom of the tank ,this action will remove most of the sludge on the bottom and will reduce the chance of it occuring again.....We devoloped a simple by pass,when the water leaves the gutter thereis usually a bend to direct the water to the tank,insert a "t"and run a length of pipe almost to the ground,put on a "screw on " cap ................This will trap most of the crap which comes off the roof and each time it stops raining ,simply unscrew the cap the junk falls out and its ready for the next time............
If on the other hand your down pipes go to the ground first,there is another system you can employ,if you need it,just ask and I will take some photos and explain it.....The result is the same as the above.................
Hope it helps................T.O.R.
The tank has only been in action for 3 years and there are no overhanging trees, so I doubt that there is much sludge in the bottom. It is probably a result of the couple of possums that were hanging about in the woodshed and playing on the roof [}] a couple of months ago.
3 Cocker Spaniels, 1 Huntaway, 3 Cats, Goats, Sheep, Pigs, Cows, Ducks, Chickens, Bunnies - small petting zoo?:rolleyes::cool:
Xartep;341014 wrote: It is probably a result of the couple of possums that were hanging about in the woodshed and playing on the roof [}] a couple of months ago.
Another good reason for turning them into slippers 
PeterNZ;340837 wrote: This is so funny! Sorry! The hype around E. coli. We have quazillions of E. coli in our body! Without them we wouldn't be able to survive! But the media is hyping us all up about E. coli. E. coli is everywhere! But hey as soon as it is in your water tank we sell you some stuff and also come back and charge you for another test! 
Only virulent strains of E.Coli are infectious. But nobody gives a shit ( so to speak) about what strain they actually found in your water. People usually rather prefer to drink chlorine than accepting that a natural occurrence of E. Coli is in their water. A healthy human body has no problem at all with E.coli! Except if it is a virulent strain.
Here is an excellent web page with some explanations: people.ku.edu/~jbrown/ecoli.html
My other comment: In the very very past, people drunk beer because it was the only sanitzed drink they had. They were even giving it to their children. Alcohol is preserving the beer and should kill all these bad bad E. Coli. 
The reason that E.coli is tested for in drinking water is that, while it is not necessarily harmful itself, it is a quick, simple indicator of faecal contamination in the water. Faecal contamination can potentially introduce Salmonella, Cryptosporidium and other organisms into the water that could make people sick, but these are often more difficult to 'find' in water samples (due to their presence in low numbers, expensive/long test methods, etc). So it is certainly worth looking at treating the water, particularly if someone has already been sick or if there are susceptible people in the household (usually children, pregnant women, the elderly or immune-comprised).
xartep, are you certain that you have got the dead birds and possoms out of the water tank? Chlorination will greatly reduce the risk of diseases, but it may be time to clean the inside of the tank.
5 retired Greyhounds ( Bridgette , Lilly, GoGo,Sam and now Lenny) 15 friendly sheep all of whom are named and come when you call them , 2 goats, Mollie and Eee Bee :
Olive trees , .. old bugger doing the best he can with no money or land
Tank water always has faecal coliforms in it (i.e. E. coli) from possums, birds on the roof and wind-blown dust from stock dung. I always boil my water even though I've got first-flush diverters and an overflow pipe that draws the excess water from the bottom of the tank, not the top so gunk doesn't build up. Giardia is a nasty bug to get and it only takes one cyst to infect a person. If you treat the water, you don't have to worry about it.
I got very ill using the water from my old tank. When it was cleaned out there were 4 dead birds in it, including a pigeon! One thing I've found especially good is a Marley leaf trap that sits in the downpipe and sieves the water through a mesh on it's way to the tank. Not even mosquitos can get in to set up shop now.