November 25, 2014

EPA is taking Public Comments until the end of 2014

Posted in EPA Authority, Florida Tank Cleaning, Florida Tank Inspection, Inspecting & Cleaning Potable Water Storage, Potable Water Tank Cleaning, Potable Water Tank Inspection tagged , , , , , , , at 3:50 pm by Ron Perrin

On October 15th 2014 the EPA held a meeting to decide if there should be a rule to require water storage tanks and towers to be cleaned and inspected.

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 water storage thanks 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, grow and become a serious health

10-14-14 Washington D.C. Mall

10-14-14 Washington D.C. Mall

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?

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August 17, 2014

Now we can add a brain-eating amoeba to the list of contaminants that can be in tank sediment

Posted in Inspecting & Cleaning Potable Water Storage, Potable Water Tank Cleaning, Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 12:47 am by Ron Perrin

Removing sediment from the floor of your water tanks and towers may also be removing the habitat that allows bacteria, protozoa and viruses from getting a foothold in your distribution system.   Now we can add a brain-eating amoeba to the list of contaminants that the sediment on the floor of your water storage tank can support.

Number of Case-reports of Primary Amebic Meningoencephalitis Caused by Naegleria fowler

September 16, 2013, NBC News reported: “Deadly brain amoeba infects US tap water for the first time”. The death of a 4-year-old boy near Violet, LA., was linked to the Naegleria fowleri amoeba. The child had been playing on a backyard slip-n-slide that used water from the St. Bernard Parish water system, that was later found to be contaminated with the amoeba. “Tests show it’s present throughout the water supply system in St. Bernard Parish, directly southeast of New Orleans.”

According to the CDC:  “Naegleria fowleri (commonly referred to as the “brain-eating amoeba” or “brain-eating ameba”), is a free-living microscopic ameba, (single-cehttp://www.cdc.gov/parasites/images/naegleria/naegleria-cases-by-state-logo.jpglled living organism). It can cause a rare and devastating infection of the brain called primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). The ameba is commonly found in warm freshwater (e.g. lakes, rivers, and hot springs) and soil. Naegleria fowleri usually infects people when contaminated water enters the body through the nose. Once the ameba enters the nose, it travels to the brain where it causes PAM, which is usually fatal. Infection typically occurs when people go swimming or diving in warm freshwater places, like lakes and rivers. In very rare instances,Naegleria infections may also occur when contaminated water from other sources (such as inadequately chlorinated swimming pool water or heated and contaminated tap water) enters the nose. You cannot get infected from drinking water contaminated with Naegleria.”

 

The CDC also tested nearby DeSoto Parish Waterworks Dist. #1 because it was the near the site of an infection that happened in 2011 from non-potable water (lake or river, etc.). On October 8, 2013, The CDC confirmed the presence of the rare amoeba in five locations in DeSoto Parish Waterworks Dist. #1.

Heat is also a factor, an increase in only ten degrees can double the speed of bacteria growth. As record high temperatures become more common in summer months we see that keeping water distribution tanks free of sediment build up may be more important than ever before. Removing the sediment from your water tank may prevent a disaster before it can ever start.

Number of Case-reports of Primary Amebic Meningoencephalitis by State of Exposure:

Ron Perrin is the owner of Ron Perrin Water Technologies in Fort Worth, Texas. Since 1997 his company has inspected over six thousand water storage tanks and towers in 14 states. Ron may be contacted through his web site at www.ronperrin.com

February 11, 2014

Rare amoeba found in drinking water system

Posted in Potable Water Tank Cleaning, Potable Water Tank Inspection tagged , at 12:46 am by Ron Perrin

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.

More common in Australia NBC news reported that this was the first case in the U.S.

For more see: “Four year old’s Death linked to Rare Amoeba in Water System”

Over time almost all tanks accumulate sediment on the floor. Any amount of sediment can become a habitat for bacteria, protozoa (like Cryptosporidium) and viruses. However, when tests show chlorine depletion, the idea of removing the sediment is usually not thought of. Additional treatment chemicals are usually the first line of defense, quickly becoming chemical warfare and potentially leaving the tank with low, or no, chlorine protection for long periods. American Water Works Association (AWWA) recommends that potable water storage tanks be cleaned every 3 to five years. Few states actually require tanks to be cleaned on a regular basis, and some don’t require it at all.

When a contaminant (bacteria, protozoa or viruses) enters a water storage tank and finds sediment to get a foothold in, chlorine can be quickly depleted while the contaminants grow under the protection of the sediment. Even otherwise harmless bacteria can help to deplete chlorine reserves leaving the tank vulnerable to more dangerous contaminants.

Removing sediment from the floor of potable water storage tanks greatly reduces the chance that any contaminant can get a foothold in the distribution system and grow to become a larger problem.

So why isn’t cleaning potable water storage tanks a common practice? Removing tanks from service to perform cleaning is time consuming and expensive. The smaller the water utility, the more difficult it is to find the budget for preventive maintenance.  There are many contractors that offer Potable Water Dive crews that can remove floor sediment with little or no down time and minimal water loss. Using a qualified potable water dive crew to clean water storage tanks can save the water utility time and water.

Keeping potable water storage tanks free of accumulated sediment is essential for the health of the system and the health of your customers. If you administer a drinking water system, make a plan to schedule cleanings and stick to it.

References:

For more information on Potable Water Divers see:  www.ronperrin.com

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) 

Cryptosporidium Drinking Water Health Advisory  EPA  March 2001