There are many factors to consider when choosing a contractor to inspect or clean a potable water storage tank or tower. For now, let’s forget about all the specifications and remember the basics. Of course you want an experienced contractor who will deliver the anticipated results with no surprises. Proper insurance is often the starting place. The contractor should have his insurance agent provide you with a Certificate of Insurance that has three different policy numbers. General Liability, Commercial Auto (to protect your property), and Workers Compensation (to make sure you are not on the hook if anything bad does happen). Unfortunately there are contractors who will purchase workers compensation insurance for their office workers then send divers out to your job site who are paid from a different company. The remedy; Demand that the certificate of insurance has diving services listed as being covered.
Of course Safety is extremely important. You need a contractor who has a properly trained crew and a safety manager that insures things are done to OSHA standards. When you hire a diving contractor, the divers should have commercial certifications. They should also have confined space and fall protection training.
Now specifications: All inspection contractors are not the same. Specifying a video inspection could get you a video as the inspector walks around the outside of the tank, or a drone flying over the tank. A tank inspection is not complete unless it is inside and out. The exterior should document all AWWA inspection points. Interior inspections should cover the inside roof. The inside roof and other areas above the water line are often the most corroded areas in the tank. These areas should be documented annually. It is important that the inspector is able to see and document the floor of the facility. The inspection of the interior tank floor should be able to estimate tank sediment depths. There are a few ways to accomplish this: 1) You can drain the tank and perform a traditional inspection, 2) You can use an underwater camera to inspect the facility while it remains in service, 3) Hire a contractor to perform ROV or Potable Water Diver Inspection.
Once you settle on a contractor who meets all your specifications on paper, be sure to watch what he does on your job-site. Before climbing on your tanks, workers should don fall protection equipment. It takes 18 feet for most fall arrest systems to deploy. Some type of fall arrest system should be worn on tanks over 18 feet tall unless the facility has proper cages and stand offs on the ladder and a safety rail on the top of the tank most do not. If a contractor crew starts to climb and they do not have proper fall protection equipment with a fall arrest lanyard, simply ask them to get down and get out!
Budget is another important factor, but with technology getting cheaper every day you’re sure to find a contractor that checks all the boxes. This brings us to our services.
Ron Perrin Water Technologies, Inc., has been serving the water utility industry since 1997. We added the Inc. to our name in 2020. We have the proper insurance that covers diving services. Our divers are commercially trained at recognized Diving Academies like The Ocean Corporation in Houston Texas. I not only recruit divers from The Ocean Corporation I serve on the Educational Advisory Board.
In addition to hiring fully trained divers we require OSHA approved confined space and fall protection training before our new hires work their first day. We are constantly training our employees. Coming from a police background I understand the value of in-service training. I earned a CSHO (Certified Safety and Health Professional) and a SHEP (Safety and Health Environmental Professional) from, he OSHA Education Center at The University of Texas at Arlington. In 2014 I developed a Water Tank Inspection Course for the Environmental Training Institute also at UT Arlington. RPWT, Inc. services are competitively priced. To get more information about our services visit www.watertankinspection.com or call 817-377-4899 for a free inspection or cleaning proposal.
We hope you will subscribe to see all future episodes of Tap-Talk. This video is an overview of our company covering 2017 to 2020. If you like our video be sure to Click “like it” and leave a comment, Thanks Ron Perrin, SHEP, President RPWT, Inc.