Category: bacteria in potable water


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: tankinspections@aol.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

http://www.ronperrincleanwatertankproject.org

We are a newly formed Tax Deductible 501 c3  corporation.

Please help us get this message out to the entire country!  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.

WORMS IN TAP WATER!
Worms are ok in water if you’re fishing, but Thursday morning, the 30th of July, I woke to see a news story about worms in drinking water. I live in Fort Worth but the story was getting wide coverage from CBS Houston. I had to know more about this! I went to work and told Ryan, our director of media & video production, to pack a bag because we were headed to Houston. We went to the heart of the story, Woodland Acres, which is a subdivision in Old River-Winfree about 25 miles east of Baytown, Texas, to see the worms for ourselves. We met several residents who were still had worms coming out of their tap water. Read more on our new page www.WORMSINDRINKINGWATER.COM

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

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

IMG_2372

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!

 

_________________________________________________________________

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]

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

300.000 Gallon

300.000 Gallon

Sediment Being RemovedFrom 300,000 gallon drinking water tower.

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

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

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. [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

The New York Times has A series about the worsening pollution in American waters and regulators’ response.  I found a lot of great information reading this series.

What is in your water?

Working with the Environmental working group the New York Times has published an interactive site to allow you to better understand what is in the water we drink.  Find your utility here New York Times Water Data Web Site. In an Article titled “That Tap Water Is Legal but May Be Unhealthy”  published in the New York Times, December  16, 2009, Charles Duhigg points out

“Only 91 contaminants are regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act, yet more than 60,000 chemicals are used within the United States, according to Environmental Protection Agency estimates. Government and independent scientists have scrutinized thousands of those chemicals in recent decades, and identified hundreds associated with a risk of cancer and other diseases at small concentrations in drinking water, according to an analysis of government records by The New York Times”.

According to Duhigg the reports published by the National Academy of Sciences and many other health reports suggest that millions of Americans become sick each year from drinking contaminated water, with maladies from upset stomachs to cancer and birth defects.

Read the entire article here: That Tap Water Is Legal but May Be Unhealthy

To find our what is in your water click this link: Environmental Working Group & New York Times interactive web page.

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