Home > Tank Inspections > Do your own Potable Water Tank inspection

Do your own Potable Water Tank inspection

In Texas potable water tanks are required to be inspected inside and out each year.  Of course, that is our business and we  are sure we have the best inspection, offering the most information for the lowest cost.  But sometimes no matter how much we offer, or no matter how little we offer it for, the funds may not be available.

In that case follow these steps to safely inspect your own water storage tank to meet state standards.

Inspection Technician on tower

Check the vent screen as it is the most common problem we see day after day.  The chlorine & other treatment chemicals used in potable water are very hard on steel mesh screens, so do not use stainless steel – it may seem like an upgrade, but it won’t last any time at all.

Vent Structure

Next check the level of the sediment on the bottom of the tank floor.  If you don’t have an underwater camera handy, you should drain the tank at least down to the level you can see the sediment on the floor. Make a note of the sediment depth & what it looks like, and make sure there are no insects, birds or other contaminants in the tank.  DO NOT ENTER the tank!  If you need to make entry into the tank you should follow all Confined Space Entry protocols including having at least a three- man trained team.  This is really important!  Chlorine gas can form above the water line in potable water storage tanks that have been treated with chlorine. In addition to that, corrosion on the steel can deplete oxygen levels in the tank making a deadly combination.  Our crews go in on their own air to dive the facility or use a remote camera to make entry we NEVER ENTER THE TANK alone or unprotected.

If you choose to use an underwater camera to get a look inside, make sure it is purchased for, and only used in, potable water.  Cross contamination is a serious issue that you need to be aware of!  Visit our other blog at  www.ronperrin.us for more information on water storage tank contamination.

If you are inspecting a tank or tower with a ladder, be sure to have the fall protection equipment you need to get the job done safely.

View from the top of the ladder

Inspector on tower http://www.ronperrin.com

The proper safety equipment & training is the key to performing a water tower inspection safely.

Proper Safety Gear Must Be Worn

Get a copy of the Texas State Rules  for water tank inspection directly from the TCEQ here:

TCEQ 290.46 go to : Chapter 30,   TAC §290.46(m)(1)(A)

The State Form is also available HERE:

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Tank Inspection Form

Some other states follow AWWA recommendations. Here are the main components that are required to be inspected annually in Texas, and  should be included in any potable water tank inspection.

Foundation: settling, cracks, deterioration

Condition of  Exterior Coating: rust, pitting, corrosion, leaks

Water Level Indicator: operable, cable access opening protected

Overflow Pipe: flap valve cover accessible, operable, sealed

Access Ladder: loose bolts or rungs

Roof: low spots for ponding water, holes along seams, rust

Air Vents: proper design, screened, sealed edges and seams

Cathodic Protection Anode Plates: secured and sealed

Roof Hatch: proper design, locked, hinge bolts secured, gasket

Interior inspections should include:

Condition of  Interior Coating : Check for rust, corrosion, blistering & scaling.

Water Quality Check for:

Insects in the tank both on the surface of the water and on the interior floor.

Floating debris

Sediment levels on the interior floor – (Sediment can be a habitat for bacteria & other contaminants).

Is your tank a Hydro-Pressure Type Tank?

Pressure Type Tank

Check Operational Status: pressure release device, pressure gauge, air-water volume device

In Texas Pressure  Type Tanks that are large enough to have an inspection port are required to be inspected annually.

They are also required to be opened up and have the interiors inspected at least once every five years.

All inspection reports performed in Texas should be kept on file and available for TCEQ review for five years.

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This should help you gat started on your potable water tank inspections.  My 157 page book is another great resource – it includes tank inspection and cleaning methods as well as state rules and common contaminants that are found in our nations water system.  It is available HERE: “Inspecting & Cleaning Potable water storage”

We have the proper training, inspection and safety equipment to safely deliver you the most information for the least cost.

ROV

Video Ray ROV

ROV Controller & Video Recorder

My book is a great reference point for state rules and requirements.

The State of Florida is one of the only states, if not the only one, that requires a Florida

licensed engineer to inspect a water storage tank.  For service in Florida see: http://www.floridatankinspector.com  

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For a price quote to inspect your water storage tank with our custom made remote water tank inspection camera and trained crew call toll free 1-888-481-1768 or use the form:

Visit my Web site at www.ronperrin.com or my other blog at www.ronperrin.us
(c) Ron Perrin 2014


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