Water storage tanks and towers are assets that represent a major capital investment. In 2015 I developed a class for the Environmental Training Institute at The University of Texas at Arlington. The class “WTR 308 Potable Water Storage Inspection Techniques” is next being offered May 23-24, 2017. This class covers common contaminants that may be found in tank sediment such as Legionella bacteria and Cryptosporidium along with new deadly threats like Naegleria fowleri that has turned up in multiple Louisiana water systems in the past few years.
The class also covers basic safety procedures when inspecting water storage such as safety issues associated with working in confined spaces and working at height. The course also covers inspection strategy development, selection and use of underwater cameras, sediment sampling devices, gas monitoring instruments needed for human entry into the tank, and best practices for inspection documentation. To enroll in the May 23-24, 2017 class contact the UTA Environmental Training Institute at 866-906-9190.
About the Instructor:
Ron Perrin is a Certified Safety and Health Official (CSHO), a Safety and Health Environmental Professional (SHEP) and a OSHA certified Construction Safety Trainer. Ron is the owner of Ron Perrin Water Technologies in Fort Worth, Texas. Since 1997 his company has inspected thousands of water storage tanks and towers in 14 states. Ron may be contacted through his web site at www.ronperrin.com. Or contact RPWT Office Manager Debi Wheelan: email@example.com Call: 817-377-4899 Fax 817-246-1740
Ron Perrin Clean Water Tank Project elevator pitch, why I started this in about a minute!
Our Mission: To promote the safe inspection & cleaning of water storage tanks and towers with: 1) Publications, 2) Video projects, 3) Safety training and 4) Support research to explain the dangers hidden in tank sediment and the need to remove it from tanks.
Our fundraising efforts for this project will help fund education of safe water system practices for smaller at risk systems, like this one. The purpose of our organization is to highlight the need for clean public water storage tanks. Cleaning tanks is something that is often overlooked in smaller systems.
The need for training is real. Again this week we found tanks that have not been cleaned in over a decade! Tanks in many smaller systems simply fall through the cracks, going year after year, Out of Sight, Out of Mind, and there simply is not enough education on this subject.
Please take another minute to check out our blog and take our poll: Lower on the page at
It is official! The Ron Perrin Clean Water Tank Project, Inc. is now designated as a 501 (c) 3 by the Internal Revenue Service and has been Incorporated by the Texas Secretary of State as a Nonprofit Corporation.
Our Mission: To promote the safe inspection & cleaning of water storage tanks and towers with: 1) Publications, 2) Video projects, 3) Safety training and 4) Support research to explain the dangers hidden in tank sediment and the need to remove it from tanks.
The Foundation Group, Inc. was a big help in getting everything done right. This will greatly help our efforts to raise funds for education and promotion of safe water system practices. The purpose of our organization is to highlight the need for clean public water storage tanks. This blog is now the property of Ron Perrin Clean Water Tank Project, Inc. Up to this point, the “Clean Water Tank Project” (now officially know as the “Ron Perrin Clean Water Tank Project”) has been 100% funded and supported by Ron Perrin and his company, “Ron Perrin Water Technologies” (RPWT). The posts that are made and the advertisements that are posted will remain in exchange for the development of the blog. Water tank service companies, even competitors, are encouraged to write posts free of charge. Posts must be on-topic and meet our guidelines. Advertising on the side bar is available as a way to promote your business and help fund our mission.
The need for training is real. Just this week we found tanks that have not been cleaned in over a decade! Tanks in many smaller systems simply fall through the cracks, going year after year, Out of Sight, Out of Mind, and there simply is not enough education on this subject.
Recent Photos of potable (drinking water) storage tanks being cleaned:
8-18-2016 – Photos taken by Ron Perrin Water Technologies. RPWT was contracted to clean these potable water storage tanks.
These photos are from a small system that complies with every regulation including annual tank inspections. Deciding when to clean their tanks is still something they struggle with as there are not actual regulations that specify when they should do it. For too many systems, “No Regulations”, translates to: “It’s just not that important”, therefore they don’t spend money on it. This is why it is imperative to educate water utility managers, board members, owners or anyone responsible for public water storage tanks.
Sediment that accumulates on the floor of water storage tanks can become a safe habitat for bacteria, protozoa, invertebrates and even viruses. The EPA recognizes an unclean tank as a breach, the same designation they give an open hole in the side of the tank. There is still no specific EPA regulation that requires water tanks to be cleaned on any specific time line. Texas requires potable water storage tanks to be inspected every year under Texas Administrative code 290.46, but they (and most other states) do not have specific requirements for when tanks are cleaned.
That, in a nutshell, is the impetus behind the Ron Perrin Clean Water Tank Project, Inc. There is a job to be done, and we hope to find fun ways to raise the money we need to educate and raise awareness on this issue. With that in mind, we are interviewing for an unpaid intern position, or volunteer, to help us work with the Foundation Center to acquire our first grant. Our first paid position will most likely be given to one of the interns that help us get this project started. If you are interested in this position or know someone who may be interested, check our our current Job Posting for FALL 2016:
There is a link between many water contamination outbreaks and poorly ran water systems. The link is dirty water tanks. After water is treated at water plants it is stored in water tanks and towers near your home or business waiting to be used. Failure to properly inspect and clean these facilities is a big part of the problem in many systems. Legionnaires Outbreaks simply do not happen at well maintained systems that properly inspect and clean their water storage tanks. Over time sediment builds up on the floor of tanks and towers that store drinking water. Layers of sediment on the floor of the tank can become a safe habitat for bacteria, protozoa and even viruses! The contaminants grow under the sediment until they overtake the disinfectant chemicals. This is not rocket science it is basic housekeeping. Floors need to be kept clean, especially floors inside your drinking water tanks.
Potable Water Line Air divers equipped with surface to diver communications can remove sediment efficiently from water tanks and towers with a vacuum cleaning process.
Potable Water Line Air Diver
Several inches of sediment may contain countless bacteria, protozoa or even viruses. The AWWA recommends that tanks be cleaned every 3 to 5 years or as needed. Keeping your tank floors clean is the best way to insure the health of your water system. Photos- Ron Perrin Water Technologies http://www.ronperrin.com
The EPA is considering requiring ALL POTABLE WATER STORAGE TANKS in the U.S.A. TO BE INSPECTED AND CLEANED.
Ron Perrin in Washington D.C. on 10-14-14 to attend EPA meeting
Washington D.C. 10-14-14
On October 15th 2014, the EPA held a public meeting in regards to Distribution System Storage Facility Inspection and Cleaning. I attended that meeting in person to express my opinion on this issue. During the meeting a couple of surprising things were revealed. Many were under the impression that water tanks and towers were already being inspected during Sanitary Surveys performed by state regulators, when in fact most, if not all, state agencies do not allow their employees to climb to the top of water tanks and towers. The few states that climbed the towers in the past did not do an internal inspection of the facility.
A survey had been sent to state regulators to get their opinion on this issue. About half thought a regulation would be a good idea, the other half thought a paper on guidance would be sufficient. I went away from the meeting more convinced than ever that there should be a national regulation requiring all potable water storage tanks to be inspected and cleaned on a regular schedule.
The webinar is over but the EPA is still taking comments until the end of 2014. If you would like to make a comment on this issue, please send an e-mail to: SFIWebinar@cadmusgroup.com. Or take the poll below and I will send in the results at the end of the year. This is a chance to let your opinion be known!
My customers tell me they need less chlorine to meet water quality standards after I remove the sediment from their water storage tanks and towers. Sediment enters the tank one particle at a time and eventually accumulates enough for bacteria, protozoa and even viruses to use it as a habitat to grow and become a serious health problem. If proper inspections are not done to determine sediment levels, corrective action is seldom, if ever, taken. My opinion is that potable water storage facilities should be inspected inside and out every year, and a cleaning program to ensure tanks and towers are cleaned every 3 to 5 years should be in place on all tanks. What do you think? Take THE POLL BELOW and also visit http://www.tankdiver.us.
Topic:Distribution System Storage Facility Inspection and Cleaning
Background: The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water announces a public meeting and webinar on distribution system storage facility inspection and cleaning. The purpose of the meeting and webinar is to gather input and information from the public and stakeholders on the appropriate frequency of distribution system water storage facility inspection and cleaning, current practices, and the risk management approaches that can be taken to assure that inspection, cleaning and corrective action occur as necessary to help maintain facility integrity and finished water quality. The presenters and panelists will provide background information concerning storage facility inspection and cleaning, existing state programs and available guidance documents. For additional background information, please refer to the Federal Register notice published on Thursday, September 4, 2014 (79 FR 52647).
Public Comments: This meeting is open to the public. EPA encourages public input and will allocate time on the agenda for public comment. To ensure adequate time for public involvement, individuals or organizations interested in making a statement should mention their interest when they register. All presentation materials and statements should be emailed to SFIWebinar@cadmusgroup.com by October 8, 2014, so that the information can be incorporated into the webinar as appropriate. Only one person should present a statement on behalf of a group or organization, and statements will be limited to five minutes. Availability to make public comments will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis in the time available. Additional comments from attendees who did not pre-register to make comments will be taken if time permits. Comments, written statements, data or information can also be sent to SFIWebinar@cadmusgroup.com after the public meeting and webinar.
In the Federal Register notice for the proposed Revisions to the Total Coliform Rule (75 FR
40926, July 14, 2010), the EPA requested comment on the value and cost of periodic distribution
system storage tank inspection and cleaning. The EPA received comments regarding unsanitary
conditions and contamination that can be found in storage facilities, which are not routinely
inspected and cleaned, including breaches and accumulation of sediment, animals, insects and
other contaminants. Some commenters suggested the need for a Federal regulation requiring
systematic inspection and cleaning because the existing practices are not successful in all cases.
Others suggested that regular sanitary surveys conducted by States and the adherence to existing
industry guidance could resolve such issues. The comments can be reviewed in the docket for the
rule at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=EPA-HQ-OW-2008-0878-0283. This
meeting and webinar and the subsequent opportunity to submit comments are intended to collect
more data and information about the frequency of distribution system water storage facility
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inspection and cleaning and the need for more or better risk management approaches.
National Primary Drinking Water Regulations: Finished Water Storage Facility Inspection Requirements Addendum to the Revised Total Coliform Rule.
EPA is planning to propose an addendum to the Revised Total Coliform Rule (RTCR) to strenghten public health protection by including finished water storage facility inspection (SFI) requirements. In the preamble to the July 2010 proposed RTCR (75 FR 40926), EPA requested comment on the value and cost of storage facility inspection and cleaning. (Hide)
EPA received comments regarding unsanitary conditions and contamination that can be found in finished water storage facilities that are not routinely inspected and cleaned, including breaches and accumulation of sediment, animals, insects, and other contaminants. The Agency is developing an SFI proposal in order to allow interested parties to again comment and provide any additional relevant information. EPA is planning to propose and request comment on requirements for public water systems to periodically inspect the interior and exterior of their finished water storage facilities at least and to correct any sanitary defects found. Any potential requirements would apply to all public water systems that have one or more finished water storage facilities. Like the 2013 final RTCR, the proposed storage tank inspection requirements would maintain or improve public health protection by reducing cases of illnesses, and possibly deaths, due to exposure to waterborne pathogens.
8/15/14 UPDATE: At a Water Quality Conference in Austin, Texas earlier this month, I spoke to an EPA official who advised me the inspection requirement of the RTCR will stop short of requiring storage tanks to be inspected. The rule will be implemented by the States and in full effect by 2015. We may see a wide range of different interpretations as we compare State to State.
Another EPA spokesperson confirmed to me that a water storage tank inspection would be an important part of assessing the system if there would be a violation under RTCR. In addition, if sediment was found in the storage tank, cleaning the tank and removing the sediment would be considered a corrective action. The official refused to go on camera and asked not to be named due to EPA rules against speaking for privately owned companies.
This blog will post new developments on the RTCR as news becomes available.
Under the RTCR, there is no longer a monthly maximum contaminant level (MCL) violation for multiple total coliform detections. New revisions require systems that have indicators of coliform contamination in the distribution system to assess the problem and take corrective action that may reduce cases of illnesses and deaths due to potential fecal contamination and waterborne pathogen exposure. This final rule also updates provisions in other rules that reference analytical methods and other requirements in the 1989 TCR, like public notification and ground water rules.
The rule says “The Distribution System” of course, what that means is, “The Water Utility Manager or Operator” is now required to assess the problem and take corrective action when there are indications of coliform contamination.
Getting started assessing the problem:
A tank inspection may be the best place to start with the assessment. Is the vent screen in place? Are there birds or insects in the tank? There are at least 12 steps to a water tank inspection and at least one of them should be to get a look inside the facility to see if there is sediment on the floor of the tank. Over time, sediment can build up on the floor area of almost all water storage tanks and towers. Sediment is known to be a habitat for bacteria, protozoa and viruses. Inspection contractors can offer great documentation of the interior condition of water storage tanks with no disruption in water utility service. Using remotely operated cameras, inspection robots, or even potable water divers, high tech contractors can deliver great information about the water storage tank or tower. For information on in-service Water Tank and Tower Inspections, see our inspection page at www.ronperrin.com. For tips on doing your own potable water tank or tower inspection, see: Do your own potable Water Tank Inspection at: THE TANK DIVER blog.
Corrective actionmay be as simple as basic housekeeping. If you know the facility has never been cleaned there is more than a good chance sediment inside the structure needs to be removed. Again, a qualified diving contractor can save time, water and money by removing all loose sediment with minimal water loss or disruption in service. For more information on using a Potable Water Dive Crew to clean your potable water tank or tower see our cleaning page: www.ronperrin.com/cleaning
Our tank cleaning customers tell us time and again that their chlorine use was significantly reduced after we cleaned their facility. With regular inspections and cleanings your likelihood of a coliform contamination are greatly reduced, if not completely eliminated.
August 2013, the death of a 4-year-old boy staying near Violet, Louisiana, was linked to the Naegleria fowleri amoeba. The child had been playing on a slip and slide connected to the St. Bernard Parish’s water system that was later found to be contaminated with the amoeba.
According to NBC NEWS Sept. 16, 2013 –
“Deadly brain amoeba infects US tap water for the first time”
Naegleria fowleri infects people when water containing the amoeba enters the body through the nose. This typically occurs when people go swimming or diving in warm freshwater places, like lakes and rivers. The Naegleria fowleri amoeba then travels up the nose to the brain where it destroys the brain tissue. It has now attacked a potable water system in the United States. Despite the “First Time” Headline given to this recent incident by NBC NEWS, the amoeba has been seen here before, showing up in an untreated geothermal well used for drinking water in Arizona.
After the death in August, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for assistance due to the fact that they could not find a lab in the continental United States to test for the amoeba.
Only because of the related death, the CDC was able to test the water system for the amoeba. They also tested DeSoto Parish Waterworks District No. 1 because it was the site of one of two 2011 Naegleria fowleri-related deaths in Louisiana.
The (CDC) confirmed the presence of the rare Naegleria fowleri amoeba in five locations in DeSoto Parish Waterworks District No. one. Now we can see, this once rare amoeba is making its way into our public water systems.
One of the reasons Naegleria fowleri has not been found in other United States water systems is that it is simply not tested for. The Naegleria fowleri amoeba is a single-celled organism, a naturally occurring parasite that is found in freshwater and can only grow in a water system if the water is untreated or is venerable due to depleted chlorine. Free chlorine or chloramine residuals of 0.5 mg/L or higher will control the amoeba. St. Bernard Parish has flushed its water system with extra chlorine (known as a chlorine burn) to kill the amoeba. The DHH and local officials are now monitoring the chlorine levels on a regular basis.
The CDC web page on Naegleria fowleri has a link to “Amoeba Response Guidelines” from Australia. It turns out that Australia has had more experience with Naegleria fowleri than anyone. During the 1970s and ‘80s Australia had multiple deaths linked to swimming or having nasal exposure linked to contaminated drinking water.
More commonly linked to swimming, in the U.S. between 1963 and 2012 there were 128 known cases according to the CDC. Most of the cases were in Texas and Florida, having 31 and 33 respectively. In addition to the four-year-old, in 2013 a 12 year-old boy in LeBelle, Florida died about three weeks after contracting the infection, and a 12 year- old girl was infected near Benton, Arkansas in July. She survived and was released from the hospital on September 11th, 2013.
NOTE: You cannot be infected with Naegleria fowleri by drinking contaminated water. In very rare instances, Naegleria infections may also occur when contaminated water from other sources (such as inadequately chlorinated swimming pool water or contaminated tap water) enters the nose. (For example: when people submerge their heads or cleanse their noses during religious practices, and when people irrigate their sinuses (nose) using contaminated tap water.)
We are in the business of Inspecting and Cleaning potable water storage tanks and towers. Saving potable water is the center point of our underwater tank inspections and in-service diver cleanings. In this paper the EPA has drawn attention to how valuable our water supply really is as an essential part of our economy.
This is a must read for anyone who is in the business of water distribution. In fact, by the time you’re done with it you may agree this is a must read for everyone.
This report raises awareness of water’s importance to our national economic welfare. The report highlights the economic importance of water and at the same time how hard that fact is to measure. The report establishes some extraordinary facts . For example, “The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) estimates that in 2005, water withdrawals from groundwater and surface water in the United States totaled approximately 410 billion gallons per day (BGD) (USGS, 2009).1 USGS reports withdrawals for eight water use categories: public supply; domestic self-supply; irrigation; livestock; aquaculture; industrial; mining (including oil and gas extraction); and thermoelectric power. Exhibit 1 shows the distribution of withdrawals in 2005 by category”.
Please share this post, or at least the link to: “The Importance of Water to the U.S. Economy”. The truth is that the EPA is very good at writing papers, but not so good at getting them read. This is a significantly important work that should become a sounding board for the entire country.
Published 7-17-2010, I highlighted the relevant parts of the Federal Register post from July 2010.
The EPA is currently doing a study on the cost or requiring all potable water tanks and towers in the U.S. to be inspected and cleaned.
On May 22, 2013 we were contacted by The Cadmus Group and ask to participate in a survey on water tank inspection and cleaning.
I have made an inquiry to he Cadmus Group as to the progress of the survey, I am currently waiting for a reply. You can explore my former post from 2010 (linked above) to get a good idea of how this came about and why the EPA thinks there is a need for a national rule.
Sediment Being Removed From 300,000 gallon drinking water tower.
The water storage tanks and towers you see around your city or town are the last stop for drinking water on its way to your tap. By the time the water enters the storage tank it has been processed through filter media or other forms of treatment to meet EPA standards. Over years of service, sediment builds up in water storage tanks and towers. One particle at a time, from a half to three inches is a common amount of build up over several years. This sediment that gathers on the bottom of the tank floor is seldom thought about. Out of sight and out of mind, it lays undisturbed becoming a welcoming habitat for bacteria, protozoa and even viruses. . .
Sediment under Microscope
A close up of the sediment under a 4x microscope did not reveal any moving contaminates, but still, nothing you would want to drink. . . . .
Sediment water under a 40X microscope
. . . However, under a 40x microscope we could see the movement of microorganisms. Removing the sediment from the floor of the tank removed the habitat that these microbes were able to live in. Now chlorine will keep the drinking water fresh and pure, free from bacteria and other living contaminants. . . . . This is raw video of what we found with our 40X electronic microscope. For more information on water tank cleaning visit my commercial web site at http://www.ronperrin.com One of our divers thought he had something important to say from the top of a water storage tank we were cleaning. He made this video and put it online. A little rough, a little crude, but he makes a good point. If you would like a quote on cleaning or inspecting a water storage tank or tower please call us toll free at 888-481-1768. Check us out on FACEBOOK and LINKED IN and share this site with your friends!
Do you need a Potable water tank or tower inspected?
Our inspection methods offer the most information for the least cost, all of our inspection methods include an underwater DVD allowing you to see what is in your storage tanks. Remote video camera, ROV or potable water diver we have a method for every budget.
Call us toll free at 888-481-1768 or simply fill out the form below:
With countless billions of bacteria in the world certain strains of E. coli are among the worst threats to public water supplies.
In general the term “E. coli” refers to a group of bacteria that were discovered in 1885 by Dr. Theodor Escherich. Originally the bacteria was called “Bacterium coli” and found responsible for diarrhea in infants. Snce then over 700 sterotypes of E. coli have been discovered. Most forms do not cause disease in humans and some are even beneficial.
About.com has a very informative web site on “E. coli” they reported the following:
“The E. coli that are responsible for the numerous reports of contaminated foods and beverages are those that produce Shiga toxin, so called because the toxin is virtually identical to that produced byShigella dysenteria type 1.  The best-known and also most notorious E. coli bacteria that produce Shiga toxin is E. coliO157:H7. [1, 4] Shiga toxin–producing E. coli (STEC) cause approximately 100,000 illnesses, 3,000 hospitalizations, and 90 deaths annually in the United States. [39, 54] Most reported STEC infections in the United States are caused by E. coli O157:H7, with an estimated 73,000 cases occurring each year.  A study published in 2005 estimated the annual cost of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses to be $405 million (in 2003 dollars), which included $370 million for premature deaths, $30 million for medical care, and $5 million for lost productivity.”
I have found a few post from 2009 Officials in Hollis, Oklahoma were distributing bottled water after positive tests in the public water system. Baytown, Texas and Janesville, Wisconsin were also put on boiled water orders after positive test for E. coli.
More recently the city of Kingston, Ga. found out a drinking well contaminated with E. coli is the cause of residents in the area getting sick, according to CBS Atlanta News, Jan 22, 2013.
“We’ve always had problems,” resident Amanda Silvers said.
Silver recently found out from a friend that the city’s water was contaminated and has since stopped washing her dishes.
She is also only drinking bottled water, noted the article.
“It kind of makes you queasy at your stomach, like ugh, it’s just a disgusting thought,” Silvers said.
Bernice Gentry, another area resident, has been stocking up on paper plates and bottled water as well.
“I thought, ‘Oh gosh, that’s why we’ve all been sick since way before Christmas,’” Gentry said.
A countless number of biological contaminants can use the sediment in the floor of water tanks and towers to get a foot hold in a municipal drinking water system and grow into a real health concern. Why should we care what is on the bottom of a water storage tank?
We drink off the bottom of water storage tanks! Of course like many things the adverse health effects are unequally distributed to poor communities where drinking store bought bottled water is not a given, It is also these communities who have underfunded water systems that suffer from lack of maintenance.
Many utility systems that can afford inspection and cleaning of their systems simply do not allocate the funds for it because there are no regulations requiring them to do so.
See potable water storage tank inspection and cleaning on this video.
This video shows how professional companies like “RON PERRIN WATER TECHNOLOGIES” using cutting edge equipment can make quick work out of inspecting and cleaning the most difficult water storage facilities. The inspections can be performed with zero water loss or disruption in service. Potable water divers can clean the floor of the facilities with minimal water loss providing a healthier storage area for municipal drinking water. This makes a huge difference, a clean storage tank reduces the amount of treatment chemicals needed to meet current sanitary regulations.
Do you think the EPA should require Potable Water Storage tanks and towers to be cleaned?
“At least 74 million Americans in 42 states drink chromium-polluted tap water, much of it likely in the cancer-causing hexavalent form.”
EPA Issues Guidance for Chromium-6 in Drinking Water
By Patrick Crow, Washington Correspondent
The Environmental Protection Agency has issued guidance recommending how public water systems might enhance monitoring and sampling programs specifically for hexavalent chromium. The recommendations are in response to emerging scientific evidence that chromium-6 could pose health concerns if consumed over long periods of time.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) lit a political firestorm in December when it reported that the toxic metal hexavalent chromium was present in the tap water of 31 of 35 U.S. cities tested.
EWG said samples from 25 cities contained the cancer-causing metal at concentrations above the 0.06 parts per billion maximum proposed by California regulators. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has concluded that hexavalent chromium (also known as chromium-6) is a likely carcinogen.
EWG said, “At least 74 million Americans in 42 states drink chromium-polluted tap water, much of it likely in the cancer-causing hexavalent form. Given the scope of exposure and the magnitude of the potential risk, EWG believes the EPA should move expeditiously to establish a legal limit for chromium-6 and require public water suppliers to test for it.”
You would think if an inspection of a water storage tank or tower shows a lot of nasty looking sediment in the floor, the tank would be cleaned. But that is often not the case. Our company performs water tank inspections with a custom made underwater video camera that enters the tank records the interior roof conditions and then makes its way to the floor of the tank. The camera sends its video signal to the topside operator who records it on an HD recorder.
When our camera comes back with several inches of soft ugly sediment in the floor of a water storage tank or tower most people would assume that the utility manager would make sure that tank gets cleaned out ASAP. The fact is most try, if it is a water tower the choice of doing it “In House” may not exist for many small utilities. Water utility workers are just not trained or equipped to work 150 feet off the ground. So the operator or utility manager request funds to get the tank cleaned.
Here is where the problem comes in, the city manager, city council or board of directors decide that spending money to clean the inside of a water storage tank or tower may not be a good use of the funds, often they refuse to look at the inspection video.
While some utilities have good management, more and more are ignoring needed maintenance procedures because of shrinking budgets and bad priorities. After all what is the most important priority for a water utility anyway? We have several customers who hire us every year to inspect their water storage tanks & towers and every year we tell them their facilities need to be cleaned.
They tell us that they ask for the funds but are turned down for various reasons year after year. In Texas, a rule in the Texas Administrative code 290.46 requires water utility operators to inspect their tanks & towers each year. Many of our customers tell us because of that rule they can get funds to preform the tank inspection, but no requirements to clean the tank means its just not important. I approach administrators as a contractor and they see me as a guy looking for work and somehow trying to trick them into looking at the inspection video. This should not be a sales job. Sediment Builds up in water storage tanks & towers over time, it has already gone through the water treatment plant, its as clean as it is going to get. The water goes from that water storage tank to your tap. If the tank or tower is full of sediment bacteria, protazoa and even viruses can find a safe harbor where they get a foothold in the water system and grow. Removing the sediment from the floor of the tank removes the habitat that contaminates can hide and thrive it. Florida has one of the best rules in the country requiring that water storage tanks & towers be cleaned at least once every five years. The American Water Works Association recommends that water tanks be cleaned every three to five years or as needed. How long would you use a water glass in your house without washing it? The City of Arlington Texas was recently ranked the # 1 water in the country. I happen to know they clean their water storage tanks every year.
Nationally, there are approximately 170,000 public water systems (PWS). These public water systems range in size from large metropolitan areas to rest stops and campgrounds, provided that they meet the public water system definition. The definition of a public water system is a system for the provision to the public of water for human consumption through pipes or other constructed conveyances, if such system has at least 15 service connections or regularly serves at least 25 individuals. Nationally, 22% of the public water systems (approximately 37,000 pws) had violations of the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations in calendar year 1999. I recently read an estimate that there were more than 400,000 water storage tanks and towers in the U.S. The majority of them probable need to be inspected, cleaned or both right now.
Isn’t it time we demand clean water for everyone? Isn’t it reasonable to demand that all water storage tanks & towers be cleaned at least once every five years? What good is a multi million dollar water treatment plant if the clean pure water is pumped into a forty year old water tower that has never been cleaned? It is just basic housekeeping, floors need to be cleaned from time to time water storage facilities are no different. The difference is without a law, a rule a code too many of us are drinking from water tanks that rarely if ever get cleaned. I think water tank inspections and cleanings should be part of the the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations. If we had some basic housekeeping in the rules, it may well be that the overall water quality violations greatly decrease because contaminates will routinely be removed from water systems before they become a threat.
A reference mauual for Water Utility Managers & Directors.
Are you a water utility manager having trouble funding the tank inspections & cleanings you need? This book is for you!
Over time sediment builds up in all water storage tanks. This book shows you what it looks like when it is removed from water storage tanks and towers. If a picture is worth a thousand words these full color photos give you a thousand reasons why potable water storage tanks should be inspected and cleaned on a regular basis. Chapters cover, state rules, contamination found in potable water, inspection methods and cleaning methods.
Bacteria, protazoa and even viruses can find the sediment in the floor of a water storage tank an inviting habitat. The sediment can allow many microbiological contaminates to get a foothold in your system, grow and create a larger problem. The EPA has determined that microbiological growth in distribution systems is a threat to public health.
If you cant get your supervisors, directors or council members to look at this web site, now you can order the book and put it in their hands.
These photos make the case- Inspecting & Cleaning Public water supplies should be a top priority.
Do you offer products or services to the Water Utility industry?
Would you like to reach new customers and help with our mission?
Ron Perrin Clean Water Tank Project, Inc. is a 501 (c) 3 by the Internal Revenue Service and has been Incorporated by the Texas Secretary of State as a Nonprofit Corporation. The Foundation Group, Inc. was a big help in getting everything done right. This will greatly help our efforts to raise funds for education and promotion of safe water system practices. The purpose of our org is to highlight the need for clean public water storage tanks. This blog is now officially the property of Ron Perrin Clean Water Tank Project, Inc.
WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT!
Our Mission: To promote the safe inspection & cleaning of water storage tanks and towers with: 1) Publications, 2) Video projects 3) Safety training. 4) Support research to explain the dangers hidden in tank sediment and the need to remove it from tanks.
The Need for training is great! Just this week we found tanks that have never been cleaned! Tanks in many smaller system simply fall through the cracks, going year after year – Out of Sight, Out of Mind, there is just not enough education on this subject.
Advertising on our page will show support to our mission and offer a direct link to YOUR COMPANY PAGE. Cost of ad depends on page placement. To date Ron Perrin and his company Ron Perrin Water Technologies has been the sole support to this organization.
We are looking forward to have a verity of vendors and even competitors embrace our mission as a mission we have in common “To promote the safe inspection & cleaning of water storage tanks and towers”. Not only will we link purchased ad space to your page we will also give you, your company or organization full credit for any photos or video used on this web site. We are also looking for contributors to our film “Out of Sight, Out of mind” due out latter this year. Would you like to help? Simply click this link: DONATE NOW!
This site is supported by Ron Perrin. Since 1997 my company Ron Perrin Water Technologies has been a leader in underwater inspection and cleaning for the water utility industry. We offer underwater inspection and cleaning services to municipal water utilities so they do not need to drain water tanks or towers to inspect or clean them. Our city drinking water comes from surface waters (lakes, rivers or streams) or ground water (well water). After the water is treated it is sent to the water storage tanks & towers where it waits to be used at your tap. Over time sediment builds up in these tanks the sediment can be a safe habitat for bacteria protozoa and even viruses.
Our cleaning service is performed by Commercial Divers(also called line air because they are breathing surface supplied air on an umbilical line). They wear dry suits that completely seal them in their own environment. The diver is then washed down with a chlorine solution before entering the water supply.
Once inside the water tank or tower our diver can quickly remove the accumulated sediment from the interior floor of the tank. Removing the habitat that can hide bacteria and other contamnants makes the water safer to drink and safes the utility money by reducing chlorine cost. because the contaminants are no longer growing and depleting the chlorine reserves.
A report released this week stated 193 water systems were in violation of federal safe drinking-water regulations. Almost half were in Kansas, Texas and Puerto Rico.
The report points out that small water systems violate safe drinking-water standards more often than large ones and are less likely, “to have the technical capacity required to properly monitor their water for contaminants, make timely repairs or replace faulty materials.”
If you manage a small water system hire a professional contractor to perform an annual storage tank inspection. Know what is going on inside the tanks. If your tanks have never been cleaned it may be a better idea to clean them before doing a inspection.
In our business we see tanks every week that have never been cleaned.
The basic housekeeping of cleaning water storage tanks removes contaminants from the drinking-water distribution systems. After we clean tanks our customers consistently tell us they use less chlorine. Chlorine simply works better in a clean tank, it produces less byproducts and it allows you to meet safe drinking-water regulations more easily.
Currently the EPA has no rules requiring tanks to be inspected or cleaned.
If you think the EPA should require water storage tanks to be inspected or cleaned please scroll down and take the poll on this page!
Photo: Sediment being removed from the floor of a water storage tank.
This is not exactly water related but I have just used http://brandyourself.com?sh=75 to help this link show up higher in search results: http://ronperrin.brandyourself.com/Social+Stream. If this helps people connect with my message I am sure it is worth a few lines on my blog. Ron Perrin may not be as common as John Smith but there are several around the world. I originally named my company “Ron Perrin Water Technologies” to let water utility managers know I was no longer with “U.S. Underwater Services”. What I did not know was that advertising my name would bump me into so many people around the world also named Ron Perrin.
This blog “The Clean Water Tank Drinking Water Project” is basically my passion project. After getting involved in using divers to perform water storage tank inspection and cleaning I soon found storage tanks are an overlooked and underserved part of our water systems. Sediment gathers in the bottom of tanks and towers. Over time a few inches can support a wide variety of bacteria, protozoa like cryptosporidium and even viruses. This blog was set up to be an educational tool allowing water utility managers and the public they serve to understand the importance of water tank and tower inspection and cleaning programs.
Ron Perrin will be the instructor for WTR 308 Potable Water Storage Inspection Techniques.
The dates have been announced in the Environmental Training Institute summer catalog.
The Environmental Training Institute at UT Arlington has developed a 16 hour course designed to help water utility workers properly inspect potable water storage tanks and towers. This class is also recommended for utility owners and managers who may be assigning or contracting someone to inspect their storage facilities.
The course will cover safety and liability issues such as confined space entry, fall protection and general personal protection equipment that will be needed. What to look for and how to document your findings will be a center point of the class. Students
will learn the different types of contaminants that can use tank sediment as a habitat, grow and become a
public health problem.
Many different inspection methods will be covered from taking the tanks completely out of service, to leaving them full of water and using an underwater camera or contracting a commercial diving company to perform the work.
To register contact: The Environmental Training Institute (ETI) at UT Arlington. uta.edu/ded
2016 Course dates:
5-10-16 to 5-11-16 South Houston
6-9-16 to 6-10-16 Arlington, Tx
The class is now listed in the Environmental Training Institute Summer Catalog and online at:
Visit our Tank Diver blog for more information on Potable Water Diving
Florida Tank Inspection
Underwater Inspection Camera
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RPWT FREE QUOTE FORM
Call us today for a proposal to inspect or clean your potable water storage tank or tower.
or send us your contact information along with tanks sizes and types to firstname.lastname@example.org or
Call us toll free at 888-481-1768 or if you need an inspection quote simply fill out the form below: