Since 1997 our company has provided contract inspection services to inspect all types of water tanks and towers. The rules that require potable water tank inspections in Texas can be hard to find if you do not know where to look.
TCEQ 290.46(m)(1) is the Texas rule that is found under Title 30, Texas Administrative Code (30 TAC), Chapter 290, Subchapter D: Rules and Regulations for Public Water Systems, which covers the requirements for water treatment plant design, operation, and maintenance for water systems that supply potable water to the citizens of Texas. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ ), formally the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission (TNRCC), is responsible for enforcing these rules in Texas. Title 30, Texas Administrative Code (30 TAC), Chapter 290, Subchapter D (m)(1) is often referred to as TCEQ 290.46(m)(1).
TCEQ 290.46(m)(1) states:
Each of the system’s ground, elevated, and pressure tanks shall be inspected annually by water system personnel or a contracted inspection service.
§290.46(m)(1)(A) Ground and elevated storage tank inspections must determine that the vents are in place and properly screened, the roof hatches closed and locked, flap valves and gasketing provide adequate protection against insects, rodents, and other vermin, the interior and exterior coating systems are continuing to provide adequate protection to all metal surfaces, and the tank remains in a watertight condition. §290.46 Minimum Acceptable Operating Practices TCEQ Publication RG-195 92 Revised June 2012
§290.46(m)(1)(B) Pressure tank inspections must determine that the pressure release device and pressure gauge are working properly, the air-water ratio is being maintained at the proper level, the exterior coating systems are continuing to provide adequate protection to all metal surfaces, and the tank remains in watertight condition. Pressure tanks provided with an inspection port must have the interior surface inspected every five years.
Due to the fact that Pressure tanks only need to have the interior inspected once every five years, there is always a lot of confusion about when ground tanks and water towers need an interior inspection. Some people will just read or only remember the last three words of part B and schedule their inspections every five years. You can read the rule online here: TCEQ 290.46(m)(1).
DO YOU NEED MORE INFORMATION ABOUT TEXAS RULES?
If you have other questions about the rules, contact the TCEQ Public Drinking Water program at 512-239-4691 or by e-mail at <firstname.lastname@example.org>. See: https://www.tceq.texas.gov/assistance/water/pdws
Who enforces these rules?
The State of Texas has primacy over the regulation of public drinking water. This means that the TCEQ writes, adopts, and enforces rules that are at least as stringent as the rules promulgated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Texas rules may be more specific than, or worded differently from the EPA rules, so public water systems should become familiar with the Texas-specific rules.
The TCEQ is responsible for enforcing these rules in Texas. On September 1, 2002, the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission (TNRCC) became the TCEQ. However, the name change did not affect the permits, registrations, or any other paperwork or transactions any water system has had with this commission in the past.
How can I get copies of TCEQ rules, forms, and publications?
Here are ways you can obtain copies of rules, forms, or publications from the TCEQ:
• E-mail your order to the Publications Section at email@example.com. Be sure to provide your name, address, and the title and number of the publication you are requesting.
• Go to the TCEQ website at <www.tceq.texas.gov> and, under the Site Navigation bar, follow the links to “Rules,” “Forms,” or “Publications” to download copies.
• Fax your order to 512-239-4488, or order by phone at 512-239-0028.
• Write to TCEQ Publications, MC 195; PO Box 13087; Austin, TX 78711-3087.
If you don’t find the item you want, the TCEQ Publications Unit will help you find it. Contact them as shown above or by calling 512-239-0028. Try to give the rule, form, or publication number, as well as the title. This information will help the TCEQ get the correct item to you as quickly as possible.
Other rules that apply to public water systems in Texas?
Public water systems should be aware of all the rules pertaining to drinking water that are contained in various parts of the Texas regulations. A public water system must comply with all the applicable requirements. Each rule explains exactly which public water system it applies to. Some examples of additional rules and their locations within the regulations are given below:
• 30 TAC 290 Subchapter D. Rules and regulations for public water systems related to requirements for water treatment plant design, operation and maintenance. If you have questions about Subchapter D contact the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s (TCEQ) public drinking water program at 512-239-4691 or by e-mail at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
• 30 TAC Chapter 291. Rules and regulations for water utilities related to requirements for rates, capacity development, and Certificates of Convenience and Necessity for utilities. Contact the Water Utilities Rates and Districts Section at 512-239-4691 or by e-mail at <email@example.com> if you have questions about these requirements.
• 30 TAC Chapter 293. Requirements for water districts. Contact the Water Utilities Rates and Districts Section at 512-239-4691 or by e-mail at <firstname.lastname@example.org> if you have questions about these requirements.
• 30 TAC Chapter 325. Requirements for certification of water works operators. TCEQ’s Operator Certification Team can answer questions about these requirements at 512-239-6133.
• Title 2, Texas Water Code, Water Administration, Subtitle D, Chapters 32 and 33. Requirements for water well drillers. If you have questions about these regulations, call 1-800-803-9202 or 512-463-8876 or go to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) website at <www.license.state.tx.us/wwd/wwd.htm>.
The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) implements the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Texas regulations for water haulers, water bottlers, water vendors, restaurants, day cares, hospitals and other entities that may own or operate public water systems. The TCEQ highly recommends that business owners and operators review the DSHS rules to determine if those rules apply to them.
We are Here to help! DO YOU NEED A “contracted inspection service?”
TO INSPECT A POTABLE WATER TANK or a Tank Cleaned?
Call us toll free at 888-481-1768 or simply email Robert at email@example.com
(C) Ron Perrin 2021