In 2020 Texas officials Found Brain-Eating microbe in water supply

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.

PFAS have been detected in the drinking water of more than 1,400 communities in 49 states, according to research.

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 fowleri lies 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 and Naegleria 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”.

Photo: Potable Water Diver wearing a dry suit and Kirby Morgan B-17 Diving Helmet

KEEPING WATER STORAGE TANKS CLEAN IS IMPORTANT

This story is about communities on the lower part of the Brazos River that have had Naegleria fowleri turn 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.

Photo Above: Remotely controlled Cleaning Robot being deployed on a 158′ standpipe water storage tank

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.

See more about what we do and how we do it at our website at: www.ronperrin.com.

Also check out our new video series: www.TapTalk.blog.


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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

Other References:

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 months TPO ARTICLE HERE.

Texas Monthly – “The Risk Of Exposure To Brain-Eating Amoeba Spikes In The Summer Months”

Do you need to inspect your own water storage tank? See our DIY Guide to Inspecting Potable Water Storage Tanks. HERE: www.watertankinspection.co

Top Ten Reasons to clean your potable water storage tanks in 2021

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 GiardiaLegionella 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.

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*

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.

Episode Two:

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!

Episode Three:

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 perrinsales@gmail.com

Want More? This video is a 15 minute look back at some of the jobs we have done over the past three years.

Call today for a free quote 817-377-4899 or

e-mail Robert Perrin at perrinsales@gmail.com

Tap Talk: What’s in Your Water? Ep. 2-

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.

Simple tank cleaning remains the best solution.

Water Tank & Tower Inspection and Cleaning

Since 1997 Ron Perrin Water Technologies, Inc. has been a leader in the inspection and cleaning of potable water storage tanks and towers. We are based out of Fort Worth, Texas with personnel that also call Houston home.

We work in over a dozen states with the bulk of our customers located in Texas. We offer the most information for the lowest possible cost. Our most popular inspection uses a remote underwater camera. With this close look below the waterline we are able to give our customers a first hand look at their water storage facilities with no disruption in service.

For a free quote call 817-377-4899, use the free quote form on the right side of this blog or e-mail a list of your tanks to perrinsales@gmail.com.

Ron Perrin Water Technologies, Inc. may also be reached toll free at: 1-888-481-1768

Tank inspection camera
water tank inspection camera (C) 2010 Ron Perrin Water Technologies

In addition to our remote camera inspection we also offer a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) inspection and for the most detail our potable water diver crew is available.

Water Tank Inspection ROV
DEEP TREKKER ROV (c) 2014 Ron Perrin

All of our inspections cover all AWWA and State inspection requirements documented with photos of each inspection point a video that covers the exterior and interior roof and underwater areas. The remote underwater camera also called a drop camera inspection is a excellent inspection tool for smaller and mid-sized water storage facilities. The ROV is useful when specific areas need to be looked at or to get to the rear of larger facilities.

The dive crew may be the best choice if a more detailed report is needed or if additional work is needed such as tank cleaning or leek repair. We have a new service that was developed exclusively for standpipe type water storage tanks. Standpipe tanks have deeper water than most other tanks making it extremely hazardous for divers. Our cleaning robot offers a unique way to remove sediment and allow your tank to stay in-service. See our other blog post for more information and photos.

Ron Perrin Potable Water Diver Photo (c) 2020 RonPerrin.us

Pricing is quick and free, simply give us a call toll free at 1-888-481-1768. If you prefer using a fax just fax a list of your tanks to 817-246-1740. Be sure to include exactly what type of inspection you would like us to quote. We will need to know the gallon size of the tanks and if they are GST, EST, clear-wells (underground) or standpipe type.

If you prefer to email your request send it to perrinsales@gmail.com.

After the Storm

All Potable Water Tanks should be Inspected. This may not be the first thing water utilities think about after severe storms. With damage to utility offices and vehicles, the potable water storage tanks and towers are often overlooked. If you need your tanks and towers inspected we are here to help. Ron Perrin Water Technologies, Inc. has been inspecting tanks and towers since 1997. We use underwater video cameras so there is no disruption in your utility water service. Call 1-888-481-1768 or see www.ronperrin.us for more details.

In-Service municipal water tank inspection and cleaning

Our business is to help water utilities keep drinking water up to standards and safe to drink. We save utilities time, and money while saving millions of gallons of treated drinking water each month (sometimes each day). 

We do this by inspecting water storage tanks with remote cameras while they remain in-service and full of drinking water.  If the tank or the water tower has sediment build up our potable water dive crew can remove sediment from the facility with minimal water loss and usually no disruption in service.

Ron Perrin – Inspecting water tanks and towers since 1997.

This process removes bacteria, protozoa, and even viruses that can live, thrive and grow in the tank sediment that builds-up on the floor of virtually every water storage facility.  Your zip code should not determine how safe your municipal water is to drink.

Our remote camera inspections are very affordable and our cleaning process cost much less than draining and removing the tank from service for cleaning. Of the top eleven contaminates for municipal drinking water systems according to the CDC, our method of removing tank sediment eliminates the habitat that eight of them can use to get a foothold in water systems.

Water Tank Cleaning
Water tank cleaning with potable water dive crew.

Photo: Potable Water Storage tank being cleaned by potable water dive crew.

For a quote to inspect or clean your municipal water tanks or towers give us a call toll free at 888-481-1768.

Visit our web page at: www.watertankinspection.com

We Are All in This Together

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.

Potable water tank cleaning

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.

Water tank & tower inspection and cleaning
Water tank & tower inspection and cleaning

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!

Water Tank Cleaning – Water Tank Inspection

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.  

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.

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.

For more information on water tank and tower cleaning visit: https://www.watertankinspection.com/tank-cleaning

For more information on inspecting Texas water tanks see: www.texaswatertankinspection.com

For a list of potable water tank inspection requirements see our article on DIY Water Tank Inspections  .

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.

For a TCEQ Tank Inspection LOG Click HERE.

For a free quote please call 817-377-4899 Fill out the form on the side of the page or          e-mail: tankinspections@aol.com

Our professional dive crew can be a valuable part of your tank maintenance program.

IMG_20200422_125907
Keeping your tank clean removes the habitat that bacteria, protozoa and even viruses can use to get a foothold in your water system.
What is the top reason to clean your tank?
Microorganisms
Microorganisms can use the sediment that builds up on the floor of almost all potable water storage tanks and towers to get a foothold in the water system. Hidden from treatment chemicals under the protection of the sediment these contaminants can grow until they deplete chlorine reserves and become a public health problem.
Microorganisms causing waterborne diseases include protozoa and bacteria, many of which are intestinal parasites, or invade the tissues or circulatory system through walls of the digestive tract. Various other waterborne diseases are caused by viruses. (In spite of philosophical difficulties associated with defining viruses as “organisms”, it is practical and convenient to regard them as microorganisms in this context.)
Removing the sediment removes the habitat that allows these microbes to remain hidden in your water system and thrive.
I found a great article on contaminants found in potable water check this out.

Water Tower Inspection and Cleaning

IMG_20200430_133707_025.jpg

Since 1997 Ron Perrin Water Technologies, Inc. has been a leader in the inspection and cleaning of potable water storage tanks and towers.

Water Tower cleaning.

Sediment removal from water tower.

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*