The interior of a water storage tank is one of the most important parts of water distribution as the tank holds treated potable water for end-users within the system. Organic and inorganic residues can collect on surfaces inside water storage tanks and can lead to taste and odor issues, problems with regulatory compliance and can cause other complications within the distribution system.
Not all water tanks or water systems are the same and choosing the best type of interior water tank inspection can be difficult based on your systems unique needs and the amount of time the tank can be offline.
This article will explain the four different water storage tank inspection options along with the advantages and disadvantages of each. Water storage tank inspections should be conducted on a yearly basis. The goal of the inspection is to monitor the interior steel and coatings to minimize downtime and maximize water quality. All water tank inspections should be done in compliance with all American Water Works Association and Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards.
The American Water Works Association recommends: “Tanks should be washed out and inspected at least once every 3 years, and where water supplies have sediment problems, annual washouts are recommended.”
When conducting a water tank interior inspection, one of the following four inspection types should be chosen based on your systems unique needs to determine the interior condition of the water storage tank to properly plan for long-term maintenance of the asset:
A visual inspection is the simplest form of inspection that can be performed on a water storage tank. This type of inspection is as easy as climbing or accessing the water storage tanks manway, opening it and recording what is seen. Capturing pictures of the roof, walls, and bottom of the tank are recommended to document the tanks structural material and the coating systems performance.
*Maguire Iron does not provide dive inspections
A remote operated vehicle inspection is performed when an unmanned submersible is placed in a water tank while it is full of water. The ROV is then flown in the water capturing pictures and video of the walls and bottom of the tank to document the tanks structural material and the coating systems performance.
A dive inspection is performed when a diver dives in a water storage tank while it is full of water. The diver captures pictures of the roof, walls and bottom of the tank to document the tanks structural material and the coating systems performance.
A washout inspection is performed when a water storage tank is drained and an individual or crew enters the tank to conduct the inspection. The individual or crew captures pictures of the roof, walls, bottom and all other structures inside of the tank to document the tanks structural material and the coating systems performance.
The crew can then power wash all surfaces of the interior of the tank to remove any sediment and organic materials.
Safe potable water delivery is the number one purpose of a water storage tank. Proper interior inspections will help you document and determine the condition of your water storage tank to help you properly plan for long-term maintenance. Inspections on the water tank need to be done every year for maintaining the sanitary, safety, structural and coatings. So setting a schedule and then determining when and what type of inspection you require and in what years helps monitor the tank condition.
At Maguire Iron, we provide a full range of interior inspection services including:
We also offer maintenance plans tailored to your water tanks specific needs and budget. Call us today at 605-334-9749 to schedule an appointment with one of our water tower experts to determine your tanks interior condition and the best way to manage one of your most important pieces of infrastructure.