Press Releases

Maintaining an Underground Potable Water Tank

Underground potable water tanks can be a cost-effective way to store healthy drinking water, but only if they are maintained properly. To reduce operating costs and conserve water, tanks must be inspected, cleaned, and maintained regularly. Documentation must be accurate, consistent, easy to analyze, current, and accessible to be a useful tool in deciding priorities and establishing a plan. Water quality and distribution monitored closely reduces the risk of contamination and water loss, and repairs made promptly will reduce property damage, liability, and possibly insurance.

Detecting and repairing leaks may be the most cost-effective way to conserve water in an underground water tank. Unnoticed leaks are costly occurrences in underground water tanks, and many may only be found when they become visible at the surface, or when a collapse occurs. However, leaks detected and repaired early may only incur minor costs.
Crack in concrete 1

Credit: Pittsburg Tank and Tower
Crack in concrete

The best way to make sure leaks do not go unnoticed is to get the tank inspected regularly and monitor the distribution carefully. If the system has experienced a noticeable drop in water pressure, a sudden occurrence with rust or air in the water supply, an unexplained sudden increase in water use, or water loss greater than 10%, then a leak may be suspected and priority attention is required. Structural damage can also cause leaks, and if the location of the underground tank has recently experienced an earthquake, then it should be inspected immediately to insure no structural damage or leaks have occurred.
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Sludge buildup
During the inspection, information and documentation needed to establish priorities should be gathered, and a full-bound written inspection report that includes a detailed evaluation, photographs, and recommendations of needed repairs, code updates, and a detailed cost estimate for each item should be included in the inspection. Signs of underground leaks should be noted, and inspectors should look for ponding water, discolored areas in the grass, cracks, and uneven structures. All aspects of the tank should be inspected for structural, safety, and coating conditions in accordance with NFPA, AWWA, OSHA, and EPA standards. The walls and floor are visually inspected for cracks or failures.
Roots growing into tank 3

Credit: Pittsburg Tank and Tower
Roots growing into tank

Underground water tank inspections can also be performed with a robot, which eliminates the need to drain the tank and does not require lock out/tag out procedures or confined space permits, because no one enters the tank. However, to perform a robotic inspection the underground tank must be equipped with a manway at least 24 inches wide.

After an inspection has been performed and the condition of the tank has been determined, the issues found must then be addressed. Structural repairs and leaks are priority and should be repaired on an emergency basis. A tank with structural repairs could collapse under certain conditions and lives could be at risk, but structural damage is not the only risk associated with leaks.

Leaks can also result in water contamination. If water is leaking from an underground tank, then contaminated groundwater can also seep into the tank. Many water system operators realize the risks for contaminated water, but pathogenic microorganisms that create water-borne diseases are still sometimes found in public water systems. Pathogenic microorganisms are in human and animal feces, and they invade the body when water contaminated with them is consumed. An infection is often created by the bacteria, virus, fungi, or protozoa. These infections can spread rapidly, and sometimes even create an epidemic. Water is treated and tested for microorganisms during the water treatment process. But, if the clean and healthy water is stored in a contaminated water tank, then all the water becomes contaminated, and people’s lives may be put at risk.
Sludge buildup 4

Credit: Pittsburg Tank and Tower
Sludge buildup

Deaths and illnesses occur daily from unhealthy water, and water operators can lose their license to operate a water system if unhealthy water is found in their system. The best way to prevent the spread of infection and diseases linked to drinking water is to have these tanks inspected, cleaned, and disinfected regularly to prevent the growth of pathogenic microorganisms and other contaminants. Excess amounts of sedimentation can also cause sanitation problems. Cloudy or dirty water could indicate a sanitation problem and should be cleaned.

American Water Works Association (AWWA) states that, “Tanks should be washed out and inspected at least once every three years, and where water supplies have sediment problems, annual washouts are recommended” (AWWA M42-88). Cleaning underground tanks are much easier to perform now and do not require the system to be shut down or drained. Thanks to modern technology, underground water tanks can also be cleaned with robots.

By Erika Henderson On February 19, 2015 @ 10:36 am In Water Storage

California Water Board Adopts Stormwater Strategy

On Jan. 6, the California State Water Resources Control Board adopted a strategy that advances stormwater management statewide. The new strategy views stormwater as a resource for present and future water supply needs.

Unmanaged stormwater runoff presents a threat to human life and property, and it is a significant source of water quality pollution. However, California’s stormwater strategy promotes the value of stormwater for multiple benefits, including groundwater replenishment and habitat improvement.

“The drought, and the specter of more frequent droughts due to climate change, requires us to dramatically rethink how we manage stormwater in California,” said State Water Board Chair Felicia Marcus. “Stormwater should no longer be viewed as a nuisance, but instead embraced as an immediate and future water resource.”

Proper planning for stormwater harvesting will enable communities to improve local flood control and water quality while recharging groundwater and ensuring a more reliable water supply, Marcus said. Simultaneously, this infrastructure can contribute to urban greening to the benefit of Californians.

The strategy comes from the California Water Action Plan, released in January 2014. This plan calls for multibenefit stormwater management solutions and more efficient permitting programs. The California Water Boards support local partnerships and collaboration to identify effective ways to further integrate watershed management, multiple-benefit solutions, and source control for stormwater management efficiency and effectiveness.

California’s stormwater strategy identifies goals, objectives, and actions for the State Water Board and Regional Water Boards to continue to improve the regulation, management, and use of California’s stormwater resources.

NDS Signs a Distribution Deal With Triton Stormwater Solutions To Add Stormwater Chambers To Its S5 Sustainable Stormwater Solution

NDS, Inc., the nation’s leading provider of stormwater management solutions for both residential and commercial applications, today announced a new distribution partnership with Triton Stormwater Solutions (TritonSWS) that allows NDS to add three lines of Triton’s stormwater chamber products to NDS’s S5 Sustainable Stormwater Solution. NDS will be a preferred provider of the TritonSWS chambers across most of the U.S.

S5 is a new, innovative, professional stormwater management system that utilizes NDS components, such as catch basins, channel drains and Flo-Wells. A highly flexible and scalable single-source solution, S5 can be configured to meet a wide variety of residential and commercial applications. It is engineered for high performance and meets today’s regulations for on-site stormwater management.

“Triton’s stormwater chambers are a great addition to our already extensive line of stormwater products that are easy to install, easy to specify and deliver high performance results,” said Mike Gummeson, president, NDS. “This adds to our S5 system and gives specifiers, civil engineers and landscape architects even more options and greater flexibility in planning and installing their stormwater solutions.”

Triton’s unique, underground chambers provide a lower-cost alternative to drainage pipes for conveyance and cumbersome concrete structures. The TritonSWS product line eliminates the need for restrictive holding ponds that require use of valuable land area and offers the added benefits of groundwater recharge and water quality enhancement with a service life of over 50 years. Triton’s S29 (42.8 cubic feet storage), C10 (17.6 cubic feet storage) and M6 (11.5 cubic feet storage) chambers will now be part of the S5 solution.

“We here at Triton Stormwater Solutions are very excited to be teaming up with NDS,” said Joe Miskovich, inventor, founder and president, Triton Stormwater Solutions. “This relationship will provide the end user a much greater value proposition, more flexibility in solving drainage problems, greater ease in meeting stormwater regulations, and greater access to superior products in both the commercial and residential markets. The first class customer service provided by both NDS and TritonSWS –
coupled with extensive product lines – will afford any customer the desired solutions to their water-related problems.”

Specifically, Triton’s chambers, when compared to competitors, are –

Lighter: 46 percent lighter per cubic foot of storage
Greener: Manufactured using an eco-friendly, carbon-neutral, soy-based structural composite material
Larger: Up to 46 percent larger per linear foot than comparable products
Cost-effective: Less expensive to ship, takes less time to install and can be doubled stacked to maximize storage in a small footprint
Stronger: Third-party tests validated withstanding a rear axle load of 48kps (48,000 pounds) with little to no deformation without pavement
Easier to Install: Lightweight design allows for one-person installation

The NDS S5 system delivers five key sustainable benefits for both commercial and residential projects:

1. Improved conservation: Conserves stormwater on-site through filtration, detention and infiltration to counter the effects of drought, pollution and storms that threaten the quality and quantity of clean water
2. Better management: Manages rainfall on-site by maintaining pre-development hydrology as closely as possible and reducing downstream impact by using smaller, decentralized controls for filtration, detention and infiltration
3. Enhanced flexibility: Empowers designers to adapt the system footprint to the specific environmental conditions of an application site
4. Superior mitigation: Filters debris and other suspended solids, preventing negative downstream impacts through detention and infiltration components that reduce peak overflows
5. Greater replenishment: Promotes subsurface recharge to balance groundwater withdrawal

To learn more about the NDS S5 Sustainable Stormwater Solution system, visit; follow on Twitter @NDS_pro. For more information about Triton Stormwater Solutions, visit; follow on Twitter @TritonSWS.

About NDS, Inc.:
NDS, Inc. is a leader in stormwater management for both residential and commercial markets. Since 1972, NDS has served as a primary source for stormwater management, efficient landscape irrigation and water flow management products and solutions. Headquartered in Woodland Hills, California, NDS is a proud member of the NORMA Group, a global market leader in engineered joining technology. For more information about NDS, visit

About Triton Stormwater Solutions:
Triton Stormwater Solutions, based in Brighton, Michigan, supplies the next generation of stormwater chamber management systems. Greater capacity, ease of chamber installation and superior strength make Triton Stormwater Solutions the professionals’ choice. Triton’s chambers outperform the competition in every major matrix. For more information about Triton, visit

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Triton Stormwater Solutions, LLC
7600 Grand River Rd, Suite 195
Brighton, Michigan 48114
Phone: (810) 222-7652 - Fax: (810) 222-1769