Water treatment towers and storage tanks are high places that require special precautions when entering. While the majority of people who enter these locations for work can be trusted, there are some hazards that make it more important than usual to follow safety procedures.
These locations can get very hot and humid, and can also be filled with harmful chemicals and microorganisms that can cause serious health issues if inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Therefore, the general standard for workplace safety is much higher when entering locations like these.
Make sure you have read and understood the following information about safety when entering a water treatment plant. It will help you understand how to stay safe and protect yourself from harm when entering a water treatment plant. normal installation, maintenance, or even emergency repairs, it is often required to enter into a water treatment tower (degasifier, air stripper, decarbonator, or clear well/ storage tank). When this occurs, full safety protocols should be followed at all times, in accordance with OSHA regulations. A tower or tank B classification is a "Confined Space" location. For more information visit the OSHA combined space regulations page.
In addition, there are other safety risks that an operator or technician can be exposed to while inside these types of closed locations. The risk can come from fumes of hydrogen sulfide (H2S), chlorine from an injection line, or a lack of oxygen O2. A proper confined space permit should be prepared and only technicians with proper training and certifications should enter into these types of confined spaces.
Proper lockout and tag-out protocols should be adhered to at all times to prevent accidental exposure to either chemical, water, or mechanical pumps. Tanks should always be shut down and drained and the air should be sampled prior to entry. A packed tower presents a lot of risks if all of the media has not been safely removed prior to entry. Often large quantities of media will become locked in place from fouling, and entering a tower that has thousands of pounds of media still trapped above can be fatal.
Only properly trained technicians and certified technicians should attempt to service packed towers. For more information or to learn more contact the professionals at DeLoach Industries Inc. at (941) 371-4995.
Receive Your Free Odor Control E-Book
Related Blog: Degasification Tower Design: Square vs. Round?