One of the most important things a water utility can do is an annual water tank inspection on all potable water storage tanks in the system including both ground and elevated storage. Without proper inspections, the tanks often go out-of-sight and out-of-mind. Inspection should include all AWWA inspection points and a good look at the interior. The traditional way to do this is to remove the tank from service and drain the water. This is extremely labor intensive and often requires smaller communities to be without water for an extended period of time.
Water tank inspection contractors often use a remote underwater camera, a remotely operated underwater vehicle, or a commercial diver to perform this task. Following AWWA guidelines all equipment is washed down with a 200ppm chlorine solution before entering the water system. Once inside the underwater cameras can get a good look at corrosion and sediment that may be hidden underwater. Using an inspection contractor allows the treated drinking water to stay in the tank and any disruption is reduced to a bare minimum.
In Texas, all potable water storage tanks are required to be inspected inside and out. Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), mandates that under Texas Administrative code 290.46 water utilities in Texas are required to perform an annual inspection of each storage facility in their system with a utility employee or a contracted inspection service. The basic inspection form can be found here: TCEQ Tank Inspection Form.
On the form under WATER QUALITY,” the form asks if there are Insects, floating debris, or sediment on the bottom of the tank. While you may be able to see the bottom on smaller tanks, the majority would need to be drained or deploy some type of underwater camera to get a good look at the floor. Inspection contractors like Ron Perrin Water Technologies, Inc. offer some innovative tools to get inspections done with no disruption in service at all. From remotely controlled underwater cameras that can get a good look to see what is on the floor of the tank, to Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) that are able to swim to the back of a larger facility so no part of the tank has been unchecked. All of our reports include photos of every inspection point and interior photos and video. With our specially designed camera and lighting system, we are able to get a good look at the interior roof. This is a key inspection point and often has the most corrosion that we find on the facility. Our underwater camera is lowered into the tank taking a look at what is going on just under the waterline and lower wall areas. Finally, the floor comes into view and we are able to estimate sediment levels in the tank. Larger facilities often need to use the ROV to reach the back side of the tank or look at a specific area thought to have a problem.
It is extremely important to monitor sediment levels in water storage tanks. Sediment can be a breeding ground for bacteria, protozoa, and even viruses. When our inspection discovers sediment is starting to build up we can document what is going on with underwater photos and video. We then include a proposal to send our potable water dive team back to remove the sediment. This can also be done with minimal water loss and no disruption in service.
Ron Perrin Water Technologies, Inc. has been serving the needs of water utilities since 1997. We are here to help. Give us a call for a free inspection or cleaning proposal. Our toll-free # is 1-888-481-1768; Or our local number at 817-377-4899; or email Robert at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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