www.watertankinspection.co

A DIY Guide to Inspecting Potable Water Storage Tanks.

GST – Ground Storage Tank Inspection                                                                                      EST – Elevated Storage Tank Inspection

In Texas, potable water tanks are required to be inspected inside and out each year.  Of course, that is our business and we  are sure we have the best inspection method and offer the most information for the lowest cost.   Sometimes circumstances may arise that prevent funds from being available.

In that case, follow these steps to safely inspect your own water storage tank to meet state standards.

There are safety concerns before you get started. The first step is to be sure the person assigned to climb any type of water storage facility is fit.  Obviously climbing a water tower is physically challenging, but even smaller ground type storage tanks can require an exhausting amount of physical effort to climb.

Make sure everyone who is working on elevated surfaces (any water tank or tower) has completed a basic OSHA approved course on working at height.  Employees who conduct work on elevated surfaces are exposed to fall hazards and are required to receive fall-protection training. If you are going to make entry into the tank you will also need to acquire confined space training.  Employees who work in confined spaces face increased risk of serious physical injury. Hazards involving a confined space include entrapment, engulfment, and dangerous atmospheric conditions. As a result, employees who conduct work within confined spaces must be properly trained.

Next, you need the right equipment. Starting with a full body safety harness with Fall Protection Shock Absorbing Lanyards. If you are going to enter the tank for an inspection, a multi-gas monitor to perform atmospheric testing prior to entering a confined space is required under OSHA’s 1910.134.  You will also need at least a three man entry team that includes a supervisor, entrant and attendee.

Len Pardee

Len Pardee Environmental Compliance Officer and Inspection Supervisor (c) 2017 RPWT.

Inspection Technician on tower, using an underwater inspection camera and lighting system for a no-entry inspection.

Check the vent screen as it is the most common problem we see day after day.  The chlorine & other treatment chemicals used in potable water are very hard on steel mesh screens, so do not use stainless steel – it may seem like an upgrade, but it won’t last any time at all.

Vent Structure on EST

Vent Structure on EST

Next, check the level of the sediment on the bottom of the tank floor.  If you don’t have an underwater camera handy, you should drain the tank at least down to the level you can see the sediment on the floor. Make a note of the sediment depth & what it looks like, and make sure there are no insects, birds or other contaminants in the tank.  DO NOT ENTER the tank!  If you need to make entry into the tank you should follow all Confined Space Entry protocols including having at least a three- man trained team.  This is really important!  Chlorine gas can form above the water line in potable water storage tanks that have been treated with chlorine. In addition to that, corrosion on the steel can deplete oxygen levels in the tank making a deadly combination.  Our crews go in on their own air to dive the facility or use a remote camera to view the interior.  We NEVER ENTER THE TANK alone or unprotected!

If you choose to use an underwater camera to get a look inside, make sure it is purchased for, and only used in, potable water.  Cross contamination is a serious issue that you need to be aware of!  Visit our other blog at  www.ronperrin.us for more information on water storage tank contamination.

If you are inspecting a tank or tower with a ladder, be sure to have the fall protection equipment you need to get the job done safely.

View from the top of the ladder

Inspector on tower www.ronperrin.com

The proper safety equipment & training is the key to performing a water tower inspection safely.

Proper Safety Gear Must Be Worn

Get a copy of the Texas State Rules  for water tank inspection directly from the TCEQ here:

TCEQ 290.46 go to : Chapter 30,   TAC §290.46(m)(1)(A)

The State Form is also available HERE:

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Tank Inspection Log

water tank inspection requirements: Some other states follow AWWA recommendations. Here are the main components that are required to be inspected annually in Texas, and  should be included in any potable water tank inspection.

Foundation: settling, cracks, deterioration

Condition of  Exterior Coating: rust, pitting, corrosion, leaks

Water Level Indicator: operable, cable access opening protected

Overflow Pipe: flap valve cover accessible, operable, sealed

Access Ladder: loose bolts or rungs

Roof: low spots for ponding water, holes along seams, rust

Air Vents: proper design, screened, sealed edges and seams

Cathodic Protection Anode Plates: secured and sealed

Roof Hatch: proper design, locked, hinge bolts secured, gasket

Interior inspections should include:

Condition of  Interior Coating : Check for rust, corrosion, blistering & scaling.

Water Quality Check for:

Insects in the tank both on the surface of the water and on the interior floor.

Floating debris

Sediment levels on the interior floor – (Sediment can be a habitat for bacteria & other contaminants).

Is your tank a HydroPressure Type Tank?

Pressure Type Tank

Check Operational Status: pressure release device, pressure gauge, air-water volume device

In Texas Pressure  Type Tanks that are large enough to have an inspection port are required to be inspected annually.

They are also required to be opened up and have the interiors inspected at least once every five years.

All inspection reports performed in Texas should be kept on file and available for TCEQ review for five years.


Do you need a Texas Inspection form?  Click here:  TCEQ TANK INSPECTION LOG.


Do you know how to inspect a water tower and stay safe?  Click this link to find out!

This should help you gat started on your potable water tank inspections.

If you need an inspection contractor call 817-377-4899 or see: www.ronperrin.us

Since 1997 we have performed thousands of inspections for water utilities in 14 states.

We have the proper training, inspection and safety equipment to safely deliver you the most information for the least cost.

ROV

Video Ray ROV

ROV Controller & Video Recorder

My book is a great reference point for state rules and requirements.

For safety training check out the OSHA Regional facility near you.https://www.osha.gov/otiec/

For online safety training check out https://www.oshatrain.org/

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For a price quote to inspect your water storage tank with our custom made remote water tank inspection camera and trained crew call toll free 1-888-481-1768 or use the online form at this link: Inspection Quote Request Link.
Visit my Web site at www.ronperrin.com or my other blog at www.thetankdiver.com
 
 

SAFETY FIRST –

Entry protocols including having at least a three- man trained team.  This is really important!  Chlorine gas can form above the water line in potable water storage tanks that have been treated with chlorine. In addition to that, corrosion on the steel can deplete oxygen levels in the tank making a deadly combination.  Our crews go in on their own air to dive the facility or use a remote camera to make entry we NEVER ENTER THE TANK alone or unprotected.

If you choose to use an underwater camera to get a look inside, make sure it is purchased for, and only used in, potable water.  Cross contamination is a serious issue that you need to be aware of!  Visit our other blog at  www.ronperrin.us for more information on water storage tank contamination.

If you are inspecting a tank or tower with a ladder, be sure to have the fall protection equipment you need to get the job done safely.

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http://www.watertankinspection.co has been set up as a page on this blog to assist people who need guidance to properly inspect a potable water storage tank or water tower.

This should help you gat started on your potable water tank inspections.   My 157 page book is another great resource – it includes tank inspection and cleaning methods as well as state rules and common contaminants that are found in our nations water system.  It is available HERE: “Inspecting & Cleaning Potable water storage”

My book is a great reference point for state rules and requirements.

(c) Ron Perrin 2020

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For a price quote to inspect your water storage tank with our custom made remote water tank inspection camera and trained crew call toll free 1-888-481-1768 or use the form:

 

Visit my company web site at www.ronperrin.com or my other blog: The Clean Water Tank Project at www.ronperrin.us
(c) Ron Perrin 2014 – 2019

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