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The Ron Perrin Clean Water Tank Project was granted 501(c)3 status by the IRS in August of 2018. This will allow us to raise funds to promote and explain the need for cleaning water storage tanks and towers. Cleaning tanks and towers is often forgotten as the interior of the tank is simply out of sight and out of mind. Instead, the focus of many water utilities is on adding more chemical disinfectants to meet federal and state guidelines. Bacteria, protozoa, viruses and other microbes can use the sediment at the bottom of storage tanks as a habitat to grow and eventually become a health concern. Going forward, we will be able to apply for grant funding and ask the public for donations. All donations are Tax deductable. “Out-of-Sight Out-of- Mind – What’s in your water?”, is our first film project that will benefit from new funding.

This blog has been sponsored by Ron Perrin for several years to echo the need for our drinking water tanks to be cleaned.  Ron’s simple project has now become an organized mission of education to the water utility industry to correct this often overlooked problem. Please explore our blog and video’s we look forward to your comments and support.

 

By now almost everyone is aware about lead seepage into the drinking water in Flint, MI that lead to a massive public health crisis and prompted President Obama to declare a federal state of emergency there.

The problem began when the city switched its water supply in 2014 from Detroit city water to water from the Flint River. Almost immediately, residents of Flint started complaining about the quality of the water. City and state officials denied for months that there was a serious problem. The GM plant in Flint quickly switched back to Detroit city water because the Flint river water was corroding car parts.

Due to the fact that anti-corrosion additive was not used supply pipes sustained major corrosion and lead was leaching into the water. The city switched back to its original water supply, but it was too late to reverse the damage to the pipes.

On the news we heard about High lead levels found in the blood of children.  This can cause are  “learning disabilities, behavioral problems and mental retardation,” but what went on behind the News stories? What made the City and the Governors office go from stating over and over again “The Water Meets EPA STANDARDS, it is safe to drink” to declaring a state of emergency and spending millions of dollars to switch back to Detroit water?  What happened on the ground is a story you must read. I thought I knew a lot about the Flint crisis, there was a lot more I didn’t know and it is an amazing story to read.  It will inform you on much more than Flint.  This book looks at the relationship between recent water problems and new EPA rules that seem to be happening everywhere.  She also explains the complicated relationship between the EPA, state government and municipal government that can sometimes work together, only to  to fail.  How in Flints case doing the right thing took a back seat to protecting jobs and political careers.

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The unfolding crisis in Flint is captured in Dr. Hanna-Attisha’s new book, “What the Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City”. Here is an excerpt from her book published by CBS News:  https://cbsn.ws/2JU6a3U

You can see the CBS Sunday Morning Cover Story interview here: https://youtu.be/pd2qxi2mF_4 

June, 2018 update.

A potentially deadly brain-eating amoeba has been detected in a Louisiana neighborhood’s drinking water — the third time the terrifying discovery has been madein the same parish since 2015, reports said.

Naegleria fowleri, which causes fatal brain swelling and tissue destruction, was found over the weekend in Terrebonne Parish, deep in the Louisiana bayou about an hour south of New Orleans, WWL-TV reported.

RPWT DIVER

Potable Water Line Air Diver

 

About a year ago on Monday, July 03, 2017- ABC 7 Chicago News reported that Louisiana health officials confirmed the presence of Naegleria fowleri, commonly known as the brain-eating amoeba, in Ouachita Parish’s North Monroe water system and Terrebonne Parish’s Schriever water system in Louisiana during routine testing. Officials reassured residents that drinking tap water is still safe and that taking precautions in pools and showers can reduce their risk of infection.

The Louisiana Department of Health said it notified public health officials and the administrators of the water systems on Thursday June 29, 2017. The health department urged residents to avoid getting water in their noses, which is how the organism can infect the brain. The department also advised the public to run baths, shower taps and hoses for at least five minutes before use to flush the pipes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Naegleria fowleri can cause primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), a brain infection that is almost always fatal. People are particularly at risk for contracting PAM if the amoebas enter through the nose, which can happen when people swim or dive in freshwater contaminated with Naegleria fowleri. In the early stages of PAM, symptoms may be similar to those of bacterial meningitis: a severe headache, fever, nausea and vomiting. Late-stage symptoms include seizures, hallucinations and coma.The Louisiana Department of Health has tested for Naegleria fowleri since 2013, with officials sampling public drinking water systems each summer when temperatures rise. Officials have collected 540 samples to test for this amoeba since 2013. The health department ordered the water systems to switch to the free chlorine disinfection method for 60 days to ensure that any remaining amoebas in the systems are eliminated.

Unfortunately switching to free chlorine is only a bandaid on a larger problem that is not going away any time soon.

Removing sediment from the interior floor of the tank is the only way you can be sure to get rid of this type of contaminant. Many think a “Chlorine Burn” is the answer. Wrong. The “Burn” only works if the tank is clean.

If there is sediment on the floor of the contaminated tank the intruder will still be there under the sediment and grow again after the additional chlorine is gone. The AWWA recommends tanks be cleaned every 3 to 5 years. Still some are never cleaned.

Photo #3 Potable Water Tank Cleaning with Diver (c) Ron Perrin.com 

Why? How much of a reason do you need?

Keeping your tanks clean may prevent you from collecting a wide range of bacteria, protozoa, viruses and even amoebas like this. These microbes use the sediment on the floor of a dirty tank as a habitat to grow, deplete your chlorine reserves and become a real threat to public health.

All public water systems should clean all storage tanks and towers at least every five years. A potable water dive crew is one way to remove the sediment with minimal water loss and usually no disruption in service. After the sediment has been removed chemical treatments are many times more effective.

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Photos: 

#1 File Photo Potable Water Tank Cleaning with Diver (c) Ron Perrin.com 

#2 CDC- Naegleria fowleri (commonly referred to as the “brain-eating amoeba”)

#3  File Photo Potable Water Diver (c) Ron Perrin.com 

File Photo Potable Water Tank Cleaning with Diver (c) Ron Perrin.com 

Why do some utilities NOT clean their water tanks and towers? On the Missouri Department of Natural Resources Water Protection Program fact sheet they state: “Routine inspection, cleaning and maintenance of finished water storage facilities are clearly necessary to protect public health.” Isn’t that just common sense? Some states do not have rules on when you inspect or clean tanks. Water storage tanks and towers are the last stop water makes before it comes to the tap at your home. These tanks need to be inspected inside and out every year. We have been using underwater cameras to get that done since 1997. If our cameras find sediment build-up we can remove it with a potable water dive team. Our services are efficient and affordable but still many communities choose to do nothing at all. Check this video out and let us know what you think.

 

Source: Missouri has no requirement to clean water towers

The EPA is considering requiring ALL POTABLE WATER STORAGE TANKS in the U.S.A. TO BE INSPECTED AND CLEANED.

Ron Perrin Water Technologies Owner

Ron Perrin in Washington D.C. on 10-14-14 to attend EPA meeting

Washington D.C. 10-14-14

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.

10-14-14 Washington D.C. Mall

10-14-14 Washington D.C. Mall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is important!  Please SHARE OUR POLL!

 

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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.

 

  1. Background

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

Page of 4

inspection and cleaning and the need for more or better risk management approaches.

Dated: August 25, 2014.

Eric Burneson,

Acting Director,

Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water.

BILLING CODE 6560-50-P

[FR Doc. 2014-21073 Filed 09/03/2014 at 8:45 am; Publication Date: 09/04/2014]

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.
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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.

Click here for more information including the proposed time line: Regulatory Development and Retrospective Review Tracker

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Sediment being removed from potable water storage tank 2014. (c) Ron Perrin Water Technologies.

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.

For more information on Naegleria fowleri amoeba in drinking water see:

http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/naegleria/public-water-systems.html

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.)

– Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 

http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/naegleria/general.html

Myth vs. Fact: DHH Dispels Rumors about Naegleria Fowleri Aomeba, Drinking Water in Louisiana

http://www.dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/newsroom/detail/2870

End

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. [4]  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. [39] 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.”

Source: http://www.about-ecoli.com/

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.

Read the entire article here.

I am currently looking for new cases of  PUBLIC WATER UTILITY contamination.

If you read about more recent water contamination from E-coli or any other contaminate please let me by adding a comment with a link if possible and I will keep this blog updated.

Thanks,  Ron Perrin

“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.”

MORE

Check out my class:
Potable Water Storage Inspection Techniques
Dates: October 4-5, 2018 Meets: Th and F from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
https://web-ded.uta.edu/wconnect/CourseStatus.awp?&Course=19WTR308001%20&DirectFrom=Schedule100_9679

 

DO YOU HAVE A PHOTO OF BAD TAP WATER? We want to see it! Do you have a story about bad tap water? We want to hear it! We are making a documentary of what is really going on with tap water.

TapWaterInJug

Share your stories or photos with Ron at RonPerrinCSHO@gmail.com on twitter at @RonPerrin1

Like our page and share your comments, photos and stories. See:

https://www.facebook.com/cleanwatertankproject/

 

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.

Clean Water Logo 4.jpg

Our new logo designed by Ryan Bijan. The background photo is a west Texas sunset taken by Bradly Perrin several years ago on the way to a tank inspection or cleaning job. I always liked the photo but had no idea it would eventually become part of a logo like this. At first glance I just liked the color and design. But upon deeper reflection it really has depth and shows what our organization is all about. Our infrastructure is in trouble. Billions of dollars need to be spent in all areas. The nations water storage tanks are only a part of the infrastructure but the sun is truly setting on many of them that have been standing tall for 40, 80, 100 years or more. The sunset background is reflecting the heat of a hot summer day. Heat is another factor, more heat year after year heat records are being broken. Bacteria, protozoa, viruses and other contaminants thrive in heat. Far too many older tanks go year after year without being properly cleaned. That mixed with he lack of funds to repair and replace infrastructure like water towers along with more and more heat is a recipe for disaster. I hope the logo will spark some interest in our project. Our Mission us to educate elected officials and utility managers of the dangers of going year after year without proper inspection and cleaning of water storage tanks and towers.

Source: Missouri has no requirement to clean water towers

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.”

SEE KCEN NEWS STORY

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!

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Photo:  Sediment being removed from the floor of a water storage tank.

 

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