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;
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
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:
Do Your Own Potable Water Tank Inspection Page
For more information on municipal water tank inspections see:
Office Phone: 817-377-4899 Toll free 1-888-481-1768