A new report from the University of Sydney and the University and College London suggests there are more than a few potential health and safety risks associated with placing your body into a container.
The report, published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, looked at the water tank systems of six countries and found the majority of the facilities in the top 10 contained no significant safety measures.
“Our findings suggest that water tanks should be designed to limit the amount of water that can be used in a day, and to reduce the risk of an overflow that can result in serious injury,” the researchers wrote.
“This would mean the addition of a water tank to the home would be unnecessary, as water tanks have already been proven to reduce health risks from water-borne infections.”
The study looked at more than 12,000 cases of waterborne infections in the country’s 10 biggest cities, where there were more than 500,000 people.
It also looked at whether there were any health risks associated in other ways with the water system, such as leaking or overcrowding, or with the storage tanks.
The water tanks, which can be found in public parks, swimming pools, gyms and daycares, can contain as much as 25 litres of water a day.
“The researchers found that of the 14 water tank types that were used in the study, four of them had an average capacity of 20 litres per day,” the report said.
“A similar analysis of the total capacity of all public water systems across Australia found that the average capacity was 16 litres per person per day.”
The water tank system study was funded by the Australian Medical Association, the Australian Research Council and the NSW Department of Health.
The authors concluded that while some water tanks could be used for public use, they were often not designed with appropriate precautions in place to ensure the health and welfare of people in them.
The Australian Water Corporation is among the organisations to take action to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in water systems, the report found.
“While the health risks of water tanking are clear, it is important to note that in many cases there is not sufficient information available to determine whether these risks are acceptable,” the authors said.
“While there is a need to ensure that water tank facilities are designed with adequate water management, the public health risks and the need for additional measures to ensure safe and sanitary water storage in public water facilities are less clear.”
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