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

 

 

 

DEEP TREKKER ROV – Test Run June 2013

We recently Purchased a DEEP TREKKER ROV to use inspecting potable water storage tanks and towers.
This video shows our first “Test Flight” in a clearwell and the second inspection we did on a ground storage tank. We added a safety rope to protect the tether and found the lighting system caused a little bit of glare when we went into darker parts of the tank, but it was reduced when we got closer to the inspection points we needed to look at. Overall, we found it to be a very good inspection tool!

To learn more about what may be in potable water tanks and towers visit:

“THE CLEAN WATER TANK PROJECT”

For more information on RON PERRIN WATER TECHNOLOGIES click here or visit www.ronperrin.com

Are you linked in?

I have over 600 professional contacts, come join my professional network. Find me:   Search: “Ron Perrin Water Technologies” on the main Linked in page or google “Ron Perrin Water Technologies on Linked in”.  

Do you need a Potable water tank or tower inspected?

Our inspection methods offer the most information for the least cost,  all of our inspection methods include an underwater DVD allowing you to see what is in your storage tanks.  Remote video camera, ROV or potable water diver we have a method for every budget.

Call us toll free at 888-481-1768 or simply fill out the form below:

Remote Underwater Camera Vs Diver inspection

The remote underwater camera gives you a lot of information for the money, allowing you to see a good portion if not all of the interior roof and floor area of most tanks and towers under 500,000 gallons.  Our next step up from the Remote Camera is a Remotely Controlled Vehicle (ROV).

iNSPECTOR USING A REMOTE VIDEO CAMERA

Underwater Tank Inspection Camera & lighting system

Underwater video cameras designed to inspect potable water storage towers can deliver the most information for the lowest cost when used by a skilled inspection technician.

Inspection Technician

The right equipment makes the difference.  In addition to a underwater camera and lighting system the inspection contractor should be equipped with proper safety & climbing gear along with the ability to properly document all inspection points on site.

While some water utility operators prefer to have their tanks inspected by Certified divers others prefer the safer method of using an underwater camera or remotely operated vehicle (ROV).  The ROV shown below is a Video Ray, it weighs about eight pounds making it an excellent inspection tool for potable water tank inspections. The small ROV can get to the rear of large water storage tanks and look at specific points of interest.

Video Ray Remotely Operated Vehicle
Potable water Diver with communications mask & redundant air

It is true the diver can deliver a more detailed inspection, it is also true that is usually at a much higher cost both in money and risk to human life.  The diver needs at least two tenders to safely enter a confined space, while a field technician with an underwater camera sends his camera into harms way.   Our company employs all three methods each has its advantage and disadvantage.  The remote camera is by far our most popular way to inspect water storage towers, due in great part to the low cost.

The remote underwater camera gives you a lot of information for the money, allowing you to see a good portion if not all of the intirior roof and floor area of most tanks and towers under 500,000 gallons.  Our next step up from the Remote Camera is a Remotely Controlled Vehicle (ROV).  This is a unit that has an underwater camera and motors with props that allow it to go to the rear of large tanks or look a a specific point.  Be carful with deceptive contractors that try to pass off a remote underwater camera as an ROV saying it stands for Remotely Operated Video.

Interior Roof of A water storage tank

Interior Roof of A water storage tank

All three inspection methods will document Interior conditions including the interior roof, walls and floor areas.  All outside conditions are also photographed including exterior roof, vents and overflows. Using a diver or ROV inspection on tanks Tanks under 500,000 gallons may be overkill unless there are specific objectives to me met that the simple underwater video camera can not meet.  In larger facilities the underwater video system may not give you 100% coverage but still gives you a first hand look at interior conditions including the sediment levels on the floor of the tank.

Both the remote underwater camera and the ROV put the equipment not the person into the confined space containing potable water.  The diver inspection requires a much larger operation.  The diver can use a remotely controlled underwater video system that is being viewed and recorded by the top side dive team or he can use a diver held camera that is actually a camcorder in an underwater housing.  All the equipment he is using and wearing should be purchased for and only used in potable water.  When selecting a ROV or diving contractor you should do your homework.  Check out their main web site and see what kind of work they are promoting. If the Web site is focused on off shore activities, the company may only be working in potable water as a sideline. Further investigation may show them using the exact same identifiable  gear in potable water storage tanks that they use in muddy canals or even waste water.  A little online research will go a long way when you want to determine who to trust the safety of your water system to.  Microbiological contamination is a real concern when allowing access to your potable water storage tanks.  For more information on bacteria and other contaminants visit my Water Project blog at http://www.ronperrin.us  scroll down to the contaminate article or watch the bacteria reproduction video.

Water Tank ROV

Water tank ROV – Used in public water storage tanks.

This is a Video Ray.

Remotely Operated Vehicle Water Tank Inspection (ROV)

with No Disruption in your water service.  Ron Perrin Water Technologies offers experienced inspection crews with all safety climbing gear.

Our ROV was purchased for and is only used in Potable water!

See our SAMPLE VIDEO – Diver & Remotely controlled vehicle inspecting water storage tank.

The video also shows divers cleaning potable water tanks.

The Video Ray is a great inspection tool, to read more about it see our video Ray page.

https://potabletankdiver.wordpress.com/video-ray-rov/

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Video Ray - Remotely Operated Vehicle

LVTower3

Video Ray ROV on its way to inspect a water tower

Rov underwater

Video Ray

View From the top

Visit our web site at www.ronperrin.com

and our blog at www.ronperrin.wordpress.com

Call Toll Free 888-481-1ROV                          or    817-377-4899