Bushfire and water quality

Bushfires pose a great risk to drinking water quality in water tanks, water catchment facilities and water supply infrastructure. Generation of large amounts of smoke, ash and debris leads to contamination of water in water tanks and on roof catchment infrastructure like gutters. In extreme cases, it is possible that fire retardants or foams used to control the fire may also be deposited on roof catchment areas.

The ash and debris deposited into drinking water deliver an increased concentration of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus which stimulate the growth of blue-green algae and harmful microorganisms, such as viruses, bacteria and parasites. The harmful microorganisms are not visible to the naked eye and may even be present in water that appears to be clear. The bacteria cause an adverse effect on the colour, odour, turbidity and taste of the water. The contaminated water poses a health risk if consumed with a range of illnesses, including gastrointestinal diseases with symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting.

Treatment of the contaminated water

Natural Water Solutions are assisting and working in collaboration with bushfire affected residents facing water contamination in their tanks by conducting trials on how to eliminate ash, odour and foul taste from their water using Chlorine dioxide.

Natural water solutions have developed innovative and highly efficient water treatment products that would be essential in eliminating harmful micro-organisms, odour and foul taste that may be present in the drinking water. This is made possible by utilising the unique properties of Chlorine Dioxide which is sold under the brand name CleanOxide® liquid or tablets which are available in different sizes.

CleanOxide is a Natural Water Solutions trademarked brand that has been registered in Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines. CleanOxide is a brand name that represents a number of Chlorine Dioxide products that are sold and used in a wide range of applications in Australia and also distributed in other parts of the world.
Despite the presence of the word Chlorine in Chlorine dioxide, the two chemicals have completely different properties and chemical structures. Chlorine dioxide is an ecofriendly and highly effective anti-microbial agent with no production of harmful byproducts which are common with Chlorine use.
The amount of Cleanoxide® liquid or tablets required to sanitise the water will be dependent on the quality of water being treated; dose rates are site-specific and vary according to the water quality and impurities present in the water.

If you have any questions or doubt regarding your water quality and what might work best for you, please do not hesitate to contact Natural Water Solutions representatives.


Please note the chlorine dioxide demand will always be dependent on the quality of water being treated. The greater the level of contamination in water, the higher the chlorine dioxide demand leading to more chlorine dioxide required. Inexpensive water quality test kits are available for purchase.

Standard Maintenance Dose

The standard maintenance dose for any drinking water tank is about 1PPM of CleanOxide®. The recommend standard maintenance dose should be applied to the water tank at least 4 times a year. The purpose of the standard dose is to control bacteria, viruses, biofilm and algae. CleanOxide ® does not contain chlorine and at a dose rate of 1PPM will be safe to drink within 1 hour of application.

Shock Dose (High contamination levels)

A shock dose is used if significant water contamination has occurred in your water tank. A shock dose should be considered necessary in the following instances:
• High levels of algae, fungi, bacteria, or virus in your water.
• A dead animal in your tank or near the runoff to your tank.
• Bad odour or taste present in the water contained in the tank.
• Have not cleaned your tank for a very long time.
The shock dose rate is generally between 2-10 PPM depending on the water quality.

Please contact Natural Water solutions if you require more information on how to get involved with the trials and the specific application of the products.

Dose rates and approval information can be found on this link;

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