Here are a few things to consider when shopping for a contractor to perform work in a potable water storage tank.
- Look for a specialist
- Check photos on their web site
- Check references
- Require an insurance certificate
- Proper training for employees performing work
Specialist: We live in an age of specialist. As a rule Specialist know their topic inside and out. When contracting a company to enter your potable water system it is better to deal with a contractor who is focused on entering potable water systems. Companies who do nothing but service potable water systems are more likely to have equipment only used in potable water system. Specialist in potable water work are also more likely to have disinfection procedures and a disinfection solution that meets AWWA standards. When it is your business to do it you are just more likely to do it right.
Photos: No matter what you see on advertisements, or told on the phone, a quick check of a companie’s web site can quickly show you what their focus is on. Many diving contractors are simply focused on Diving. Potable water diving may just be one of the things on their long list of things they do to make money diving. If the photos on their web sight show diving in lakes, rivers, and streams you need to trust them to somehow clean their equipment enough to enter your water system. Like they say, a photo is worth a million words. Some contractors say they have reserved equipment they only use in potable water. However, the photos on their own web site may show they actually use the same gear to do all diving services. If you can find a company that specializes in potable water diving, the photos on their web site should confirm that claim, not dispute it.
References: If a company has been working for more than a week or two, they should have references. Ask for a list of customers that you may be allowed to contact. Another way to check references is by looking at their company Facebook page, or the owner’s linked-in page.
Insurance: Ask for a certificate of insurance sent from the companies insurance agent. Do not accept a certificate sent directly from the contractor. It is just too easy to change dates or fabricate the certificate from scratch. Make sure the contractor has Liability, workers comp and commercial auto. While they are all important, the workers comp may be the most difficult and expensive for the contractor to acquire. Climbing and diving into potable water storage tanks and towers is “high risk contracting” by any measure. If an accident occurs, and the contractor is not covered by his own workers compensation insurance, the customer will be liable for the injured employee.
Training: High risk contracting may only be done safely if the contractor has required before employment, or taken the time to send each and every employee on the job site proper training. The majority, if not all diving contractors, require that divers have diving certifications before employment is offered. Beyond dive training, employees should also have documentation showing they have had both Confined Space and Fall Protection training.
Photo: Len Pardee is the Lead Tank Inspector for Ron Perrin Water Technologies. Len has a degree in Environmental Engineering from Syracuse University. He is retired from the USEPA where he served for 34 years. Among other posts while at the USEPA, Len was the Chief of the Region 6 Water Division for several years.
At Ron Perrin Water Technologies we take time to make sure the inspectors we send out to perform inspections have the right gear, insurance coverage and training to safely do your inspection or cleaning both efficiently and safely. By using a state-of-the-art under- water video camera and lighting system, we are able to collect all the information we need to produce your inspection report while the tank remains in-service. In addition to the underwater video, our reports also feature dozens of high quality digital photos covering all AWWA inspection points. Our innovative inspection methods have been refined by Ron Perrin since 1997 and are featured in a class he instructs for the Environmental Training Institute at UT Arlington. Information on the course may be found at the ETI Website See WTR308 Water Tank Inspection Techniques
For more information see www.rpwt.us. For a water tank inspection or cleaning quote call Debi at 817-377-4899 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.