The article states that many water towers have been left to fester, sometimes making people sick. The federal EPA has been looking into uniform regulations for years.
When is the last time you took a look inside your water storage tank? Our company “RON PERRIN WATER TECHNOLOGIES, INC.” inspects about 800 tanks a year. Every week we find a tank or two that have never been cleaned. According to this article published in USA TODAY May. 21, 2021, by Kyle Bagenstose, there are also tanks that are seldom if ever inspected too.
In March of last year, residents in the small coastal community of Delray Beach, Florida, noticed something strange about the water coming from their taps.
It was discolored. Smelly. Flecked with bits of dirt.
“You looked at it, and it wasn’t clean,” resident Reeve Bright said. “You started seeing the ice coming out of the ice maker, and you’re going, ‘What the heck is going on? There is stuff in the frozen water.’”
Complaints to the city prompted the discovery of sediment that had accumulated inside one of the city’s massive water storage tanks. The sediment had traveled along with the water into cups, cookware, ice trays, and bathtubs.
It wasn’t a freak occurrence or the result of some unavoidable problem. An investigation found no records that the tank had ever been cleaned since it was built.
Escherichia coli, commonly referred to as E. coli, is in a group of organisms known as coliforms: common bacteria found in the digestive system of humans and animals.
There are only a few strains that cause serious disease in humans. One of these strains is responsible for causing Traveler’s diarrhea, and the second is E. coli O157:H7, which contaminates meat and leafy vegetables.
The “O157:H7” strain has caused serious hemorrhagic diarrhea and for some, long-term complications resulting in illness and even death in some cases.
The presence of E. coli is used as an indicator to monitor the possible presence of other more harmful microbes, such as Giardia, Shigella, Norovirus and the Protozoa Cryptosporidium. Diseases resulting from contact with water contaminated by E. coli can cause gastrointestinal illness, skin, ear, respiratory, eye, neurologic, and wound infections. The most commonly reported symptoms are diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, and low-grade fever. When E. coli exceeds the permissible level in recreational water, it results in the closing of public swimming pools and fishing areas.
Some possible sources of fecal contamination include wildlife, agricultural runoff, or runoff from areas contaminated with livestock manure, wastewater treatment plants, or private septic systems. Heavy rain may cause organisms to be washed into waterways, lakes, or groundwater. If contaminated water is then used as a source of drinking water and is not treated, or is inadequately treated, it may result in illness.
When this contaminant makes its way into a drinking water system sediment found on the bottom of water storage tanks can provide a safe habitat. E. coli along with other bacteria and pathogens, can find shelter from disinfectants under the soft sediment that accumulates in storage tanks.
The best way to insure that E. coli or other bacteria will not invade your tank sediment is to remove it. Clean your water storage tanks then maintain them by getting them on a cleaning schedule.
Since 1997 Ron Perrin Water Technologies, Inc. has been a leader in the inspection and cleaning of water storage tanks and towers. Our inspection methods cover all state required inspection points. We also include a video produced by a underwater camera and lighting system that are able to properly inspect the interior floors of your facilities to determine sediment levels. We do all of this with no disruption in service and no water loss.
Our potable water dive team can keep your tanks clean with no disruption in service and minimal water loss. When sediment is removed the habitat that allows bacteria and other contaminants to remain in your tank is also gone. This allows the disinfectants like chlorine to do a much more effective job. Our customers report to us that they use less chlorine, after their tanks are cleaned to meet standards. For more information go to: www.ronperrin.com, send an e-mail to email@example.com or call 817-377-4899 for a quote today.
E. coli – CDC –Escherichia coli (abbreviated as E. coli) are bacteria found in the environment, foods, and intestines of people and animals. E. coli are a large and diverse group of bacteria. Although most strains of E. coli are harmless, others can make you sick. Some kinds of E. coli can cause diarrhea, while others cause urinary tract infections, respiratory illness and pneumonia, and other illnesses.
Sep 26, 2020 Texas residents warned of tap water tainted with brain-eating microbe. Texas officials have warned residents of some communities near Houston to stop using tap water because it might be tainted with a deadly brain-eating microbe.
The Guardian Reported:
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) warned the Brazosport Water Authority late on Friday of the potential contamination of its water supply by Naegleria fowleri.
The commission issued an advisory warning people not to use tap water for any reason except to flush toilets in Lake Jackson, Freeport, Angleton, Brazoria, Richwood, Oyster Creek, Clute and Rosenberg.
Those communities are home to about 120,000 people. Also affected are the Dow Chemical works in Freeport, which has 4,200 employees, and the Clemens and Wayne Scott state prison units, which have 2,345 inmates and 655 employees.
The advisory will remain in place until the Brazosport authority’s water system has been thoroughly flushed and tests on water samples show the system’s water is safe to use. It said in a statement that it was unclear how long it would be before the tap water was safe.
See the full story here:
With everything going on last year I missed this story. My take on this story is one of the reasons I got into diving water tanks in the first place. To explain why this story made me think about how I came to build a company that puts divers into water storage tanks I need to tell you something about myself and even about my parents.
In the early 1990s I was working as a Texas police officer, and my passion was SCUBA Diving. My love of SCUBA Diving goes back even farther. My dad was Charles B. Perrin, he passed in 2016 at the age of 78. He claims to have purchased the first Aqua-Lung in Fort Worth in the mid 1950’s. He had to order it from a welding supply long before the first SCUBA store opened in Texas. Both my mom and dad spent time water-skiing and SCUBA diving on Possum Kingdom Lake (PK) west of Fort Worth on the Brazos River. They were both civil servants: my dad worked for the IRS and my Mom was an Executive for the Corps of Engineers. Raising their family in the 60’s-80″s this solid middle class income gave them enough extra money to not only afford to give us a great middle class lifestyle, it also allowed them to purchase a second home, something that seems out of reach for most of us today.
They purchased a lake house on Possum Kingdom Lake (PK) where I spent most of the weekends of my youth. Even before they purchased the first lake property my dad had taken me out to PK in a small fishing boat with his one set of Scuba Gear and instructed me how to SCUBA dive. In 1971, I was 12 years old. The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) was not even founded until 1966. My dad predated standard training practices that would come along after his diving years were done. With no formal courses available my parents taught themselves how to dive with the help of “The Skin Diver” (later renamed Skin Diver Magazine). Sea Hunt starring Lloyd Bridges*, was also a favorite TV program in our home. I personally would not get formally trained and certified until the early 1980’s.
I can still remember my first dive. I was so excited. It was a clear summer day and our 14′ “Little Dude” fiberglass fishing boat was anchored in a remote area over crystal clear water about 10′ deep. I put dad’s tank, mask and fins on just like Lloyd Bridges. I checked the regulator which gave me that great scuba diving sound as cold compressed air shot into my mouth from the 72 cubic inch steel tank strapped to my back. I sat on the side of the boat and dad explained to me how to make entry by going over backwards.
“Hold on to your mask,” he said as he pushed me over the side. The water was cold on my hot sun soaked skin, my heart rate shot up and I was breathing was as rapid as I could breath! I was sure I was going to die as I tried to get my head above water. Turning myself around underwater I shot back to the surface with all my strength but I was stopped by my dad putting his hand on my head and holding me underwater until my breathing finally slowed down and my initial panic subsided. My dad was the worst SCUBA instructor ever! Despite that first dive experience that could best be described as violent or even brutal, I fell in love with diving. By the time I was 14 I was exploring the lake on my own spearfishing in the many coves and inlets. I never had a buddy to dive with but I always had a sharp knife in case I got tanged in an abandoned trout line that seemed to be everywhere I wanted to dive.
Growing up on the lake the brain-eating ameba Naegleria fowleri is something I have been aware of most of my life at least as far back as I can remember. Diving and Water Skiing were my favorite things to do on the lake. In late summer the river flow would slow down. The water going through the dam would be reduced and water become more stagnant. At the same time the hot summer sun warms the water. Naegleria fowleri loves warm water and in late summer Texas lake water gets very warm. I remember news stories from water skiers (usually teenaged children) getting the organism in their nose and dying from it, going back to my teenage years. When the lake level went down too low we stopped diving and water skiing.
When cooler weather arrives in mid September, Naegleria fowlerilies dormant in the sediment at the bottom of lakes and riverbeds, which is why experts advise that you not stir up any more of that sludge/sediment than necessary. First discovered in 1899, Naegleria fowleri is a protist pathogen, known to infect the central nervous system and produce primary amoebic meningoencephalitis.
In 1991 I discovered that the American Water Works Association had a standard to put scuba divers into drinking water. Using a drysuit and a full face mask, a diver could be totally isolated from the water supply. To meet the standard that has been adopted by the USEPA and TCEQ the diver must also be washed down with a 200ppm chlorine solution. Taking the tank out of service and then decontaminating the entire facility with very expensive and time consuming super chlorination procedure. Decontamination of the diver is much more economical. In addition other advantages are the diver can move around all underwater areas. Equipped with a good underwater lighting and camera system the diver can document the condition of the facility and deliver a great inspection report with no water loss or disruption in service. After I mastered diving in potable water I saw a common problem potable water tanks have – over time, sediment collects on the floor of tanks.
I read everything I could about tank sediment. In 1990 the National Drinking Water Advisory Council stated that drinking water contamination from bacteria, protozoa and viruses may be the biggest challenge for drinking water professionals in the future. The future is here, over time almost all tanks collect sediment. Tank sediment can be a safe habitat for a wide host of microbes including crypto andNaegleria fowleri.
When I ask about sediment removal I was told the standard method was a bucket and a shovel. We immediately started working on a better way. First using some methods developed for moving sand to look for treasure off-shore a much simpler method was developed by 1999. We now use a 3″ trash pump to clean most ground storage tanks and with water towers we simply use gravity to create all the suction we need to quickly remove sediment from the floor of the tank. Cleaning water storage tanks is not as common as you may think. Our company inspects over seven hundred tanks a year. Every week we find tanks that have never been cleaned. Currently there are no USEPA rules on when tanks should be cleaned. Texas has administrative rules under 290.46 requiring all potable water storage to be inspected annually. However, Texas along with most other states, have no rules on how often water storage tanks should be cleaned. The interior of water tanks often remain, “Out-of-sight and out-of-mind”.
KEEPING WATER STORAGE TANKS CLEAN IS IMPORTANT
This story is about communities on the lower part of the Brazos River that have hadNaegleria fowleriturn up in their drinking water system. The standard remediation for this is often to perform a chlorine burn that increases the chlorine to a high level. This kills all contaminants it comes into contact with. So everything on the surface in the water system that is underwater, including all tanks and water mains is sanitized. But what about the contaminants that remain hidden under a layer of sediment in the water storage tank? Administrators often are unaware of any tank sediment that may still be lurking in water storage tanks again, Out-of-sight and out-of- mind. The chlorine burn will kill all contaminants on the surface of the sediment. This is why proper tank inspections that can determine the actual sediment levels are so important. One half to three inches of sediment is very common. Without removing the sediment, contaminants remain in the tank and will continue to be a problem in the future. All water storage tanks should be on a cleaning schedule. Some tanks may need to be cleaned annually while others may be able to be on a three or five year program.
First established in 1997, Ron Perrin Water Technologies, Inc. has been a leader in the underwater inspection and cleaning of water storage tanks and towers. We offer three different inspection methods: 1) remote camera, 2) Remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and 3) Potable Water Diver. Our divers are commercially trained from great schools like The Ocean Corporation where I serve on the Educational Advisory Board. We offer diver cleaning with no disruption in service and minimal water loss on ground and elevated tanks. For standpipes over 70 feet tall we have a Robot Cleaning Service.
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*Sea Hunt is an American action adventure television series that aired in syndication from 1958 to 1961 and was popular for decades afterwards. Click Hear to watch Sea Hunt
Naegleria fowleri is responsible for the death of a 6-year-old boy in Lake Jackson, Texas, and environmental officials say the city will be fighting the pathogen for monthsTPO ARTICLE HERE.
Sediment on the interior floor of a water storage tank is a breach and can be a serious threat to pubic health. Bacteria, protozoa and even viruses have been found to use tank sediment as a safe habitat.
Keeping your tanks clean will help keep your water system safe. Are your tanks and towers on a cleaning schedule? We want to help you keep your water tanks and towers clean and healthy! Do not allow dirt that builds up on the floor of your potable water storage tanks to be a safe habitat to grow Giardia, Legionella or viruses like Norovirus. Our water tank and tower cleaning rates are affordable and we have special pricing for tiny tanks under 10,000 gallons.
Check out our new video series on YouTube. Tap-Talk explores our water distribution systems as we take you along and let you see what we see as we inspect and clean municipal water storage tanks. Our cameras let you see what is inside, we never reveal the utility we are working for or our exact location unless our customer gives us permission. Episode #1 is posted below, less than six minutes, I explain what we do and how we do it, talk about my background and what led me to start my company in 1997.
There is a serious danger lurking in many water systems. Join me, along with microbiologists and a former EPA drinking water chief as they discuss the problem. If you like this video please give us a thumbs up and SHARE it! It is important that water utility managers understand the importance of keeping water storage tanks clean. PLEASE SHARE!
Wallie is a Deep Trekker DT640VAC robot crawler we use to clean water storage tanks that have deep water. The Deep Trekker DT640 robot crawler can work it water up to 165 feet deep. To see more check out our blog at http://www.tankdiver.us. To contact our office please call 817-377-4899 or contact Robert at firstname.lastname@example.org
Want More? This video is a 15 minute look back at some of the jobs we have done over the past three years.
Since 1997 we have been inspecting and cleaning potable water storage tanks and towers. Our crews take hundreds and often over a thousand photos a week. Of course, most are a little on the boring side documenting the inspection points of water tanks and towers. Occasionally we turn the cameras on ourselves as we do the work and those are the photos I use to promote our service.
Every time I see this photo I think about how it nails down what we do. I think it was the best of 2020. It is one of our divers cleaning a GST potable water storage facility. The tanks are always a lot cleaner when we are done, about half way through you can see a lot of sediment on the floor and less that perfectly clear water, it is a real working photo, not something produced in perfect pool water conditions.
Here are some other photos I found to be impressive in 2020 I hope you like them too.
Our Favorite ROBOT Tank Cleaning Photos!
Water Tank Inspection. Water Tank Cleaning.
KEEPING DRINKING WATER SAFE
Our goal is to get people thinking about their water, and allow utility officials to understand the choices they have when it comes to inspecting and cleaning potable water storage tanks and towers.
Be sure to check out number two in our new video series. “Tap Talk” will explore what we typically find in municipal drinking water tanks and why keeping water tanks clean is important. There is a serious danger lurking in America’s water systems. Join me, (Ron Perrin), along with microbiologists and a former EPA employee, Len Pardee, as we discuss the problem.
For several years we have been working on a feature length documentary with the working title, “Out of sight, Out of mind – What is in your water”. This episode features parts from that film. Keeping tanks clean is very important, but before you can fix a problem you must know it exists. Water tank inspections are essential to properly manage any municipal water system. Big or small, if you do not know there is a problem with your water system, you can not make plans to take care of it. Sediment builds up in almost all water systems over time. Sediment on the floor of the tank can be a breeding ground for bacteria, protozoa, viruses and a host of other contaminants. In some tanks this soft sedimentation becomes a safe habitat where contaminants can grow protected from the chlorine and other treatment chemicals. As billions of bacteria form in the sediment treatment chemicals can be depleted, causing utilities to use more and more until they reach, or exceed, legal limits.
“Wallie” is our DT640 VAC Deep Trekker Crawler Robot that we have purchased to clean standpipes. Standpipes typically have deeper water than other potable water storage tanks, with water depth often over 100 feet. Wallie can operate safely in water up to 168 feet deep. This will be a big asset to water utilities that do not want to take their standpipe out of service to remove the sediment from the floor of the tank.
It is important to keep potable water storage tanks and towers clean. Sediment builds up over time. A layer of sediment in your water storage tank or tower may allow bacteria, protozoa, viruses or other organisms to get a foothold in your water storage tank, grow, and become a community health problem.
Keeping your tank clean will also save you money! Our customers report that they use less chlorine to meet water quality standards after we clean their storage facility.
Since 1997, Ron Perrin Water Technologies, Inc. has been a leader in underwater inspections and tank cleanings. We offer a wider range of inspection and cleaning choices depending on your needs. Our underwater inspections may be performed with a Remote Underwater Video Camera, Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), or for the most detail, we also offer a Diver Inspection. We have a Small Tank Cleaning Service for tanks from 1,000 to 10,000 gallons, Robot Cleaning for Standpipes and our Potable Water Dive Crew is a good fit for most other facilities. Call today for a free quote: 1-888-481-1768.
Being a human being like most of you, I have political opinions and feelings like everyone else. I try to separate my personal feelings from my business life but that is getting harder to do all the time.
Keeping your tanks clean may be more important now than ever. Sediment on the floor of your water storage tank may become an inviting habitat that allows bacteria, protozoa and even viruses to get a foothold in your water system.
Since 1997 Ron Perrin Water Technologies, Inc. has been here to help water utilities inspect and clean water storage tanks and towers. We work for everyone, every type of person with every kind of skin tone and all political stripes with equal enthusiasm. Some I agree with and some I don’t, but since I am not a politician, how my customers think is not my business.
Lately, I have had to unfriend some folks because of the hate speech they have been posting or re-posting on face-book. I do not have time for hate in my life. You may not see the world as I do and we can agree to disagree on just about everything, but I draw the line at posting hate.
Recently, even wearing a mask during a pandemic has gotten politicized. For months I have been posting photos of my crew and me wearing masks. This is not political. It is a practical way for my company to keep helping water utility companies keep their water tanks and towers inspected and clean.
If you have contact with the public in any way you should wear a mask. I hope this gets understood by everyone sooner rather than later. No matter what or how you think, we are all in this together and the sooner we come together, the sooner we will stop the spread of Covid-19.
Dig deep into your wealth of compassion for your fellow man and wear a mask in public. It doesn’t matter if you’re red or blue – it just matters that you did your part to stop the spread!
Our goal is to get people thinking about their water, and allow utility officials to understand the choices they have when it comes to inspecting and cleaning potable water storage tanks and towers.
Potable Water Tank Inspection
We offer three types of water tank inspections.
1). No-Entry remote camera inspections. Our custom made underwater cameras allow you to see what is going on inside your water system. The underwater camera allows you to see if you have corrosion under the water line with no disruption to your water service. The camera can go to the floor of the tank allowing the inspector to check for sediment and record what he discovers.
2). Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). Our ROV inspection is recommended of water storage tanks and towers over one million gallons. In addition to the basic camera inspections the ROV can travel to the rear of the larger facilities to get a better look at tank conditions including corrosion and sediment levels.
Video Ray – Remotely Operated Vehicle
ROV being lifted up a water tower
3). Diver Inspection. Our potable water dive crew offers our highest level of inspection. This is recommended when accurate sediment levels need to be measured or specific area is needed to be checked. Potable water dives are also a great way to make minor leak or repairs to target float cables.
Potable Water Tank Cleaning
If the inspection confirms sediment on the floor of the tank our dive crew can make quick work out of cleaning it.
Sediment provides an environment for bacteria, protozoa and viruses to thrive, and it depletes chlorine reserves. Removing the sediment reduces the need for continual increases of chlorine, and enables you to deliver the cleanest, healthiest water possible to your customers.
We provide an after-cleaning video to let you see that there is no sediment left in your tank when we are finished cleaning it. We clean your tank while it is in-service, saving you time and money.
Additional savings can be realized when your chlorine usage drops because you are no longer trying to fight the microbes that were removed during the cleaning process.
In Texas the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s (TCEQ) Rules and Regulations for Public Water Systems requires documentation of annual ground, elevated, and pressure storage tank maintenance inspections.
There is a lot more going on in potable water than most operators really understand. Potable water is constantly tested but the sediment that builds up in almost all water storage tanks and towers is seldom thought of. Tank sediment makes a fertile habitat for a wide range of microbes. In 2013 we found these microbes in a twenty year old water tank that had never been cleaned. We used a video microscope to take a close look at a singe drop of water. It is amazing how many critters we found in this little drop of water. Keeping water storage tanks clean is a lot more important than many people understand. Microbes use tank sediment to hide from treatment chemicals, allowing them to grow and become a larger problem. Bacteria Protozoa and even viruses can get a foothold in your water system. Removing the sediment can lower your disinfectant cost and help you avoid RTCR violations. For a free inspection or cleaning quote call 817-377-4899. #watermanagement #drinkingwater #potablewater