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
Since 1997 Ron Perrin Water Technologies has been a leader in the inspection and cleaning of potable water storage tanks and towers.
We serve municipal water utilities, federal parks and prisons and private industry. We deploy underwater cameras or remotely operated vehicles to perform inspections of drinking water tanks.
Our methods save our customers millions of gallons of treated drinking water every year. If the facility needs to be cleaned our potable water dive team can remove tank sediment with minimal water loss and little to no disruption in service.
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 tower cleaning rates start at only $2,450.00. Affordable protection for your water storage tanks affordable safety for the people you serve.
Call today for a free quote 817-377-4899.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention list these as the top 10 Causes – Outbreaks in Public Water Systems*
Since 1997 Ron Perrin Water Technologies has served the water utility industry. We use remotely operated underwater video cameras to get the most information for the lowest possible cost. We are able to inspect your tanks inside and out with no water loss or disruption in service.
If your water tank or tower needs to be cleaned our potable water dive crew can remove all loose sediment from the floor of the facility with minimal water loss. Give us a call at 817-377-4899 for a free quote. Check out and like our Facebook page facebook.com/ronperrinwatertech
Today is Earth Day. Every year on April 22, trees are planted, litter is cleaned up, and awareness for the issues plaguing the planet are raised, in honor of the holiday, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2020. The first Earth Day was on April 22, 1970. Environmentalists took to the streets with concerned citizens and pop culture icons, like poet Allen Ginsberg, who were asked to speak on behalf of Mother Earth.
The 1970s saw the passage of the most comprehensive environmental legislation in U.S. history, including the Clean Air Act, the Water Quality Improvement Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act, and the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act. In addition, just eight months after the first Earth Day, Richard Nixon approved the creation of a new organization tasked with monitoring the nation’s natural assets: the Environmental Protection Agency. You can find more facts about earth day at DO Something . ORG.
I manage a company that spends every day inspecting and cleaning water storage tanks and towers. Our goal is to save treated drinking water by performing required inspections without draining storage tanks. We use underwater cameras that allow us to enter the water system, inspect the tank, and produce a comprehensive report on its condition without disrupting water service. Over the years our “no water loss” inspections have saved tens of millions of gallons of treated drinking water.
Earth Day makes me think about what could be and how we could do more. In 2019 we inspected 651 potable water storage tanks and towers, but we only cleaned 105 of them. and that is a very typical year. Even on one of our best years in 2017 we inspected 863 facilities but only cleaned 95. There were hundreds more that needed to be cleaned but the decision was made not to clean the tank.
To understand why we only clean a fraction of the tanks that need to be cleaned and why that is a big deal, I need to give you a brief explanation of how water systems work. Your drinking water comes from ground water (aquifers), or from rivers and lakes (surface water). The most common disinfectant used is chlorine if it is from surface water it is also processed through different media at a water treatment plant. After the water has been processed it is pumped into a storage facility like a ground storage tank tank (GST), or an elevated storage tank (EST), where it sits and waits until you use it at your tap (60 Second Video Click here).
A few states have rules that require water storage facilities to be inspected every year but very few require tanks to be cleaned. Texas Administrative Code 290.46 (M)(1) requires all potable water tanks to be inspected inside and out annually. I guess it was assumed that when the inspection showed the interior floor was covered with sediment the utility would take action to keep it clean. That is not what is happening. Water regulations that keep us safe are much too complex for this article. The short answer is, as long as water testing is negative for coliform the water is deemed to be safe. Coliform is what is looked for to determine if microbes can live in the water. When it is not found the water is deemed safe to drink. About 7 years ago new rules under the Revised Total Coliform Rule (RTCR) required some additional monitoring of total coliform’s and E. coli.
There are now also requirements for assessments and corrective action when monitoring results show that public water systems (PWS) may be vulnerable to contamination.
In this case if no other breach can be found a good look at the water storage tank would meet the requirements for an additional assessment. If the results of the inspection showed that sediment was covering the floor of the tank, cleaning the tank could be the corrective action needed. Unfortunately, the complexity of the Revised Total Coliform Rule does not result in most tanks not being cleaned. In Texas, tank inspections are required but tank cleaning is often put off due to budget constraints or because those responsible don’t understand the dangers that can lurk in sediment.
The problem is as simple as a game of Hide & Seek. When conducting the required water testing a sample of water is taken from a tap on, or near, the water tank. Coliform must be found in the water to know there is a problem. Only a few feet away sediment on the floor of the tank may be hiding the contamination. A host of undetected microbes including bacteria, protozoa and even viruses, can use the tank sediment to get a foothold in the tank. Often left undisturbed for years, these contaminants continue to grow until they overpower the disinfectant in the tank. They can then be detected through required water monitoring but the damage is already done. The water system is compromised when testing finds too much Coliform in the system. Then boiled water notices are sent out to protect public health.
Sediment covering the floor of water storage tanks is a breach. It is as bad as a hole in the roof. Sediment can let almost any microbe or parasite that may have just passed through get a foothold in the water system, grow and become a public health problem.
Tank inspections are required in some states. However, even in those states tank cleanings still require a sales pitch unless the water system is compromised and testing finds too much Coliform in the system. That is often when we get the call.
Many well managed and well funded water utilities keep their water tanks and towers cleaned. This is why I came up with the tag line “Your zip code should not determine your water quality”. The fact is, like many other things in life, where you live affects almost everything, but it should not affect your water quality in the United States. Smaller systems that are not well-funded just need additional information about why keeping water tanks clean makes such a big difference. When tanks are clean the cost of disinfectants like chlorine goes down. The system is healthier and less likely to get a RTCR violation. In this case doing the right thing actually saves money and makes maintaining regulations easier.
This small, overlooked part of the world affects millions of people. Keeping tanks clean is just basic housekeeping and should be the standard at every public water utility. Unfortunately, it is not the first thing thought of when violations occur. The knee-jerk reaction is to add more disinfectants. However, when the maximum residual is reached, the decision is often made to change disinfectants. This just adds up to more time and money wasted if the tanks have not been properly inspected or kept clean.
Thanks for staying with me this far. This is where I decided to DO SOMETHING.
The Ron Perrin Clean Water Tank Project Inc. was established to educate water utility managers about the importance of keeping tanks clean. Help me get water utility managers to think about cleaning storage tanks FIRST instead of Last or not at all! We are producing a documentary, promoting our blog and creating literature on the importance of keeping tanks clean. Our non-profit is registered and can be supported through the SMILE program at AmazonSmile. Search for the “Ron Perrin Clean Water Tank Project Inc.” and you can round up the change on your Amazon Purchase to allow us to get the change and help us DO SOMETHING that needs doing. Together we can make a change by improving water quality for more people.
As we are getting close to the end of 2019, it seems to be the time of the year when we look back at where we have been. Since 1997 Ron Perrin Water Technologies has been inspecting and cleaning water storage tanks and towers in Texas and 14 other states. We have learned a lot over the years and we still strive to deliver the best services at the lowest prices. One of the ways we do that is by limiting our contracting to what we are very good at, and that is inspecting and cleaning water storage tanks and towers. If you are one of our customers we would like to say THANK YOU! If you are looking for an inspection contractor give us a call and see why our customers call us back year after year. .
Call toll free: 1-888-481-1768Ron.
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.
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
Specialist in Safety and health (SSH) 2013
Certified Safety and Health Official (CSHO) 2014
Safety and Health Environmental Professional (SHEP) 2015
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;
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
See our ROV Water Tank Inspection Post and Video Here: www.thetankdiver.com
I have posted multiple articles on linked in:
Ron Perrin Television Interview:
POSTED 10:35 PM, MAY 8, 2017, BY CHRIS HAYES,
UPDATED AT 03:24PM, MAY 8, 2017
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:
For more information on municipal water tank inspections see:
Office Phone: 817-377-4899 Toll free 1-888-481-1768