A failure to plan is a plan to fail. When a water storage tank emergency happens, it’s a major disruption to your community. Don’t assume you know it all – another set of eyes can help point out the little things that may go awry. Preparing is the key to minimizing the worst-case scenario. A good strategy consists of having your team well prepared.
Do a walkthrough of what role each person would take in case of the emergency.
Utilizing your professionals will save you time and get your system up and operating faster. Always inform state agencies when necessary. At times you may need to contact your community’s insurance company.
A chain of command and phone numbers of key personnel is crucial, so that in the case of an emergency everyone can be informed immediately. Identify the expectations of each individual. Some key people on the list may include mayor, administrator, crew, city personnel, RWA or AWWA, associates, neighboring communities, engineer, specialist, and contractor(s). Keep this posted for everyone to see.
Different emergencies are cause for different plans and personnel. All emergencies should be well documented, from the time the call comes in until it’s back to normal operations. Good documentation will be easy to explain to others during any debriefing. This can be very helpful if there is an insurance claim or addressing city officials.
Examples of Emergencies
A frozen tank is one of the biggest emergencies a community can face. When temperatures dip below freezing, tanks can be at risk for freezing over, especially if they have poor insulation and low turnover.
If your tank freezes over, the first step is to open it up to inspect the situation. The solution depends on whether it is the reservoir or the pipe that have frozen over.
There are a few things one can do to avoid a frozen tank. Make sure the insulation on the building, piping, and vault are in excellent condition. Installing a mixer and high turnover can help mitigate ice formation in the winter. Proper engineering and setting your tank levels for winter and summer operations accordingly will also aid in preventing a tank from freezing over.
A leak can vary in levels of urgency. They are often caused by damaged parts, such as a gasket, or corrosion in the inlet pipe.
If you notice a leak, your initial move should be identifying the size and source of it. From there, it is imperative to find what it affects, such as equipment nearby, and if possible drain the tank to fix the leak.
In order to avoid a leak, it is critical to keep up routine maintenance. Regular evaluations are part of this and can help recognize potential failures before they happen.
Need help putting together an emergency plan? Our team at KLM Engineering is ready to help you. We will work with you to put together a customized plan for your community’s unique needs to ensure you’re ready for whatever life throws at you. Give us a call at 651-773-5111 to get started today!