Since 2017, Ventia has been providing water tank inspection and maintenance services for our client Yarra Valley Water. This capital works program is in addition to the fault and emergency services Ventia provides on the client's water and wastewater assets across Melbourne.
Throughout the year, an on-site specialist crew inspects tanks or service reservoirs. Tanks are an essential part of the water delivery network and are primarily used for water storage and providing adequate water pressure to residents and businesses.
Inspections are necessary to maintain and control the water quality delivered to Yarra Valley Water customers and to ensure integrity of the asset. To maintain water quality, the tanks must be sealed to ensure no foreign matter infiltrates them.
Inspections are either online or offline. Online inspections occur while the tanks are operational, whereas offline tanks are taken out of service temporarily, so they can be inspected internally.
Ventia works in close partnership with Yarra Valley Water to ensure works are carried out as efficiently as possible. As Ventia's Project Engineer, Nathan Haupt, explains, "We are at the frontline in terms of delivering an essential service to the customer. It is crucial we follow strict procedures to eliminate the risk of contamination. There is no room for error when it comes to people's drinking water quality".
The use of technology is central to tank inspections. Equipment such as remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and cameras are utilised in conjunction with light detection technology to identify light and water ingress into tanks, highlighting locations a tank may be compromised.
Offline inspections allow our crews to enter the tank and perform thorough internal condition inspection such as floor scans and carry out major maintenance on the structure if required.
Both forms of inspection bring challenges. "Every day has its challenges. Accessing tanks involves high risk activities, whether our crews are working at height or in confined spaces, and so these areas are our focus when it comes to safety," says Nathan.
Upon completion of inspection and maintenance, a formal report is prepared for Yarra Valley Water. Based on the findings in the report, inspectors recommend a maintenance schedule that will ensure the tank remains in serviceable condition.