September 14, 2021 – No one should be asked to drink dirty water. But that is just what happens every day when many of this country’s water tanks and towers go year after year without cleaning. Why is this important?
Municipal water tanks and towers are the last stop water makes before being served at the tap in your kitchen. Over time sediment builds up in almost all water systems. Sediment on the interior floor of the storage tank can be a breeding ground for bacteria, protozoa, viruses, and a host of other contaminants. Keeping tanks clean is very important, but before you can fix a problem you must know it exists.
Water tank inspections are essential to properly manage any municipal water system. In some tanks, this soft sedimentation becomes a safe habitat where contaminants can grow protected from chlorine and other treatment chemicals. As billions of bacteria form in the sediment, treatment chemicals can be depleted, causing utilities to use more and more chemicals until they reach, or exceed, legal limits.
The CDC reports that the top five causes for drinking water contamination outbreaks are: Giardia, Legionella, Norovirus, Shigella, and Campylobacter. All may use sediment to get a foothold in a water system. Removing the sediment also removes the contaminants that may be hiding in it.
Too often water tank inspections fail to include the underwater conditions. Utilities do not want to disrupt service for the sake of performing an interior inspection. Since 1997 Ron Perrin Water Technologies, Inc. has used underwater cameras to inspect water storage tanks and towers while they remain in-service. With an underwater camera and lighting system, the water utility managers get a first-hand look at what is going on inside their water tanks. If sediment is found on the bottom of the tank the utility can make plans to have it cleaned. Traditionally, cleaning a tank requires it to be removed from service for days if not weeks.
For years we have used a potable water dive crew to clean water storage tanks and towers. The diver is sealed in his own environment wearing a dry suit and a diving helmet. No part of the diver’s body touches the water. Before entering the tank they are washed down with a chlorine solution to meet State and Federal standards.The diver is then free to move throughout the tank to perform an inspection or to clean the tank.
You can get more information and see a video of a diver cleaning a water tower on our website at www.ronperrin.com.
About Ron Perrin
Founder and President of Ron Perrin Water Technologies Inc. Ron is also an instructor at the Environmental Training Institute at UT Arlington, Texas and he’s also on the Educational Advisory Board at The Ocean Corporation in Houston: