Shopping for a Potable Water Tank Inspector? Think about This-

Here are a few things to consider when shopping for a contractor to perform work in a potable water storage tank.

  1. Look for a specialist
  2. Check photos on their web site
  3. Check references
  4. Require an insurance certificate
  5. Proper training for employees performing work

Specialist: We live in an age of specialist.  As a rule Specialist know their topic inside and out.  When contracting a company to enter your potable water system it is better to deal with a contractor who is focused on entering potable water systems.  Companies who do nothing but service potable water systems are more likely to have equipment only used in potable water system.  Specialist in potable water work are also more likely to have disinfection procedures and a disinfection solution that meets AWWA standards.  When it is your business to do it you are just more likely to do it right.

Photos: No matter what you see on advertisements, or told on the phone, a quick check of a companie’s web site can quickly show you what their focus is on.  Many diving contractors are simply focused on Diving.  Potable water diving may just be one of the things on their long list of things they do to make money diving.  If the photos on their web sight show diving in lakes, rivers, and streams you need to trust them to somehow clean their equipment enough to enter your water system.  Like they say, a photo is worth a million words. Some contractors say they have reserved equipment they only use in potable water.  However, the photos on their own web site may show they actually use the same gear to do all diving services.  If you can find a company that specializes in potable water diving, the photos on their web site should confirm that claim, not dispute it.

References:  If a company has been working for more than a week or two, they should have references.  Ask for a list of customers that you may be allowed to contact.  Another way to check references is by looking at their company Facebook page, or the owner’s linked-in page.

Insurance:  Ask for a certificate of insurance sent from the companies insurance agent. Do not accept a certificate sent directly from the contractor. It is just too easy to change dates or fabricate the certificate from scratch.  Make sure the contractor has Liability, workers comp and commercial auto.  While they are all important, the workers comp may be the most difficult and expensive for the contractor to acquire.  Climbing and diving into potable water storage tanks and towers is “high risk contracting” by any measure.  If an accident occurs, and the contractor is not covered by his own workers compensation insurance, the customer will be liable for the injured employee.

Training:  High risk contracting may only be done safely if the contractor has required before employment, or taken the time to send each and every employee on the job site proper training.  The majority, if not all diving contractors, require that divers have diving certifications before employment is offered.  Beyond dive training, employees should also have documentation showing they have had both Confined Space and Fall Protection training.

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Photo:  Len Pardee is the Lead Tank Inspector for Ron Perrin Water Technologies.  Len has a degree in Environmental Engineering from Syracuse University. He is retired from the USEPA where he served for 34 years.  Among other posts while at the USEPA, Len was the Chief of the Region 6 Water Division for several years.

At Ron Perrin Water Technologies we take time to make sure the inspectors we send out to perform inspections have the right gear, insurance coverage and training to safely do your inspection or cleaning both efficiently and safely.  By using a state-of-the-art  under- water video camera and lighting system, we are able to collect all the information we need to produce your inspection report  while the tank remains in-service. In addition to the underwater video, our reports also feature dozens of high quality digital photos covering all AWWA inspection points.  Our innovative inspection methods have been refined by Ron Perrin since 1997 and are featured in a class he instructs for the Environmental Training Institute at UT Arlington.  Information on the course may be found at the ETI Website See WTR308 Water Tank Inspection Techniques

For more information see www.rpwt.us. For a water tank inspection or cleaning quote call Debi at 817-377-4899 or e-mail tankinspections@aol.com.

 

The Importance of a Water Tank Inspection

I write a lot about inspecting and cleaning water storage tanks.  My focus is on tanks that store potable water, or more simply, municipal drinking water.  To understand why this is so important you need to understand how water systems work.  The water we drink comes from lakes, rivers, streams or water wells and is also known as ground water.

It is then processed at a water treatment plant, smaller. Systems on well water may simply inject chlorine into the water as it goes into a storage tank.  The larger systems that most of us are on filter and process the water to perfection then send it out into the distribution system where it waits in water storage tanks and towers until it is needed.

The water storage tanks and towers serve two critical functions, they allow enough water to be at the ready so it is always available to us, the end user; it provides enough water pressure to not only get it to your tap, but also keep it safe.  The positive water pressure insures that contaminants will not enter the system.  If there is a line break the system will lose water, the break or leak also allows contaminants to be sucked in.

Any time pressure can not be maintained for any reason the system is at risk and will issue a boil water advisory or order to protect public health. The water storage tanks and towers you see around town are the last stop water makes before being served at your tap.  Water storage tanks on the ground are known as Ground Storage Tanks or GSTs, Water Towers are referred to as Elevated Storage Tanks or ESTs. These facilities have a life span of 30 to over 100 years if properly maintained.

Over time sediment builds up on the floor of GST, and EST, storage facilities. One particle at a time over several years and sometimes over several decades, sediment levels can continue to grow.  The soft sediment can become a nutrient rich habitat that according to the USEPA can support bacteria, protozoa and even viruses.  Sediment can also offer a safe harbor from treatment chemicals. As the sediment grows, more and more chemicals are used in an attempt to meet water quality standards set by the USEPA and enforced by state health or environmental agencies.

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This is why an annual inspection of water storage tanks and towers is so important you can not make plans to fix a problem unless you know you have the problem in the first place.

Inspection contractors often use underwater cameras to get a look at the interior conditions of the facility.  This can be done while the facility remains in service and full of water.  If the tank is found to have sediment potable water divers can be contracted to clean the water tank with minimal water loss.  Removing the layer of sediment on the floor along with all contaminants that may be living in it, this quickly restores the facility to the point that much less chlorine is needed to maintain water quality standards.

 

About our company:

Since 1997 Ron Perrin Water Technologies has been a leader in the inspection and cleaning of potable water storage tanks while they remain In-Service. Our company is located near Fort Worth, Texas in the DFW area. We serve Texas and fourteen other states including Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Kentucky and Florida. Of course, we inspect more tanks in our home state of Texas than any other state.

We offer three types of underwater in-service tank inspections to better meet your needs: 1) Remote Underwater Camera.  Our underwater remote video camera and lighting system is our most popular and economical inspection method. This allows you to see underwater conditions and get a good look at the floor of the facility.  2) Remotely Operated Vehicle or (ROV).  The ROV water tank inspection is the right choice for larger tanks, the ROV is equipped with motors and is able to swim to the far side of the tank for a better look. 3) Diver Inspection.  Potable Water Divers are dressed out in dry suits and washed down with a chlorine solution to meet AWWA and EPA standards.  The diver is a good choice when you want to get a good look at a specific spot in the tank.  Our most common diver inspection follows our tank cleaning service.  Divers cover the floor of the tank and any problem areas they may see using a high resolution camera and underwater lighting system this is our best inspection and it is free with each tank cleaning.

About the author and owner of Ron Perrin Water Technologies.

A former Texas Master Peace officer (1984-2006), Ron Perrin was an avid scuba diver and dove his first water storage tank in 1992.  Forming two separate companies with fellow police officers, Ron became the Director of Operations for U.S. Underwater Services in 1995.  In 1997, Ron established Ron Perrin Water Technologies.

Ron Perrin Water Technologies inspects over 800 water storage tanks a year. The methods Ron has developed to inspect and clean potable water storage tanks and towers have saved millions of gallons of treated drinking water and have improved the quality in hundreds of water systems. In 2013, Ron Perrin became an OSHA outreach trainer and is currently an authorized construction trainer.

In 2015 Ron was contracted by the Environmental Training Institute at the University of Texas at Arlington to develop a training program to safely inspect water storage tanks. WTR 308 Water Storage Inspection Techniques was offered for the first time in the 2015 summer catalog. One of the techniques is the proper use of remote underwater cameras and Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) to inspect water storage tanks and towers.

Office Phone: 817-377-4899   Toll free 1-888-481-1768

E-mail tankinspections@aol.com

Specialist in Safety and health (SSH)                                                2013

Certified Safety and Health Official (CSHO)                                    2014

Safety and Health Environmental Professional (SHEP)               2015

Published Works:

Inspecting and Cleaning Potable Water Storage   (Second Edition Due out in 2020)

By Ron Perrin. 158 page book. SBN 10: 1-4415-3244-7

Municipal Sewer & Water magazine: September 2010 edition; Pages 94-95;

Article title: Look Inside – Inspection & Cleaning of potable water storage tanks

Treatment Plant Operator Magazine: September 2017 edition: Pages 22-23

Article title: Denying Safe Harbor to Pathogens

 Texas Water Utility Journal; August 2014 edition; Pages 20-22 Article title:

Record High Temperatures May Activate Hidden Microbes in Your Water Distribution System–   What’s hiding in your distribution system

Web sites: www.ronperrin.com   http://www.watertankinspection.com

See our ROV Water Tank Inspection Post and Video Here: www.thetankdiver.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ronperrinwatertech

I have posted multiple articles on linked in:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/ron-perrin-40609522

Ron Perrin Television Interview:

POSTED 10:35 PM, MAY 8, 2017, BY CHRIS HAYES,

UPDATED AT 03:24PM, MAY 8, 2017

http://fox2now.com/2017/05/08/town-with-brown-water-has-no-record-of-cleaning-its-water-tower/

Since 2011 I have served on the Educational Advisory Board for The Ocean Corporation commercial diver and ROV educational program.

And last, if you are tasked with inspecting a water storage tank and are not allowed or do not have funds for an inspection contractor click here to see our post on HOW TO INSPECT YOUR OWN WATER STORAGE TANK:

Do Your Own Potable Water Tank Inspection Page

For more information on municipal water tank inspections see:

www.watertankinspection.com

Contact info:

Office Phone: 817-377-4899 Toll free 1-888-481-1768

E-mail: tankinspections@aol.com