Trouble in store?

Water storage on a big scale is vital for industrial consumers, whether they are factory owners, farmers or utility suppliers. The Association of Tank and Cistern Manufacturers has recently become one of the CIPHE’s Industrial Associate Supporter Members.

Former Association chairman Ian McCrone explains all that you need to know to be up to date on methods of determining the relative air gap values for multiple inlets feeding cisterns and tanks compliant with UK Water Regulations:

The current BS EN 14622 and 14623 Standards explained below are what you must comply with if you are inspecting, installing or repairing water storage units.

A cistern or tank used for potable water storage within England and Wales requires compliance with the requirements of Schedule 2, Section 16 of the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999.

Similar regulations also apply in Scotland and Northern Ireland. A water tank installed in commercial, industrial and institutional buildings for potable water provision requires the owner, within his duty of care obligations to users of these establishments, to conduct an annual inspection of the tank to provide assurance that the water stored is at the required wholesome quality.

Water samples must be taken and the condition of the tank structure noted. Should any significant level of debris be observed internally and/or water quality be less than the level required, it is recommended the vessel be drained, internal surfaces washed down, the tank re-sterilised and the water quality rechecked before returning it to service.

During inspection the following are some of the critical observations required:

1. Are there any damp or wet patches around the tank base?

2. Are any tank connections leaking?

3. Is the tank support base adequate? i.e. flat, level and unyielding to <1/500 of its length, breadth or span?

4. What is the condition of the tank’s inner and outer surfaces?

5. Are the sidewalls showing signs of bulging or undue distortion?

6. Is the inside of the tank clean and the base free from debris or silt?

7. For sectional tanks, a check should be made on panel bolt tightness.

8. Is the tank insulation appropriate for the duty?

9. Has the tank got a fixed or closed fitting lid or cover?

10. Has the appropriate and required anti-siphon air gap between the inlet supply and the tank’s critical water level been provided?

11. Is the inlet control (float valve) capable of closing off drop-tight?

12. Are the screened overflow pipe fittings of the appropriate size and located appropriately to provide the required protection and are respective screens fitted, clean and unobstructed?

Modern-day cisterns and tanks are unlikely to suffer from the structural defects listed 1. to 5. but tanks of some vintage could require considered attention. Irrespective, a check should always be made regarding the main regulatory requirements listed from 6. to 12. to provide the necessary assurance on tank design and water quality.

And it’s not just assessments where the ATCM can assist. To help with the design and manufacture of units to prevent pollution from backflow of potable water, it has developed an Air Gap Calculator to ensure you get the measurements right first time. You can find it at:

Compliance: what you need to know

If you are working with a supplier or installer that is an ATCM member, this is what you need to know about the compliance rules they must meet:

To provide assurance that tank and cistern products manufactured or marketed by ATCM member companies comply with the performance and quality standards of the relevant British and European Standards related to product design, operating performance and workshop practice and that the production processes adopted are third party accredited ensuring the products produced are consistently of high quality.

An ATCM member company is required:

1. To be knowledgeable of and compliant with the UK Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999 and the requirements of BS 6700: 2005 as it affects the application of tanks and cisterns installed within a water supply system.

2. To design and manufacture tank and cistern products to UK or European standards as set out in BS4213: 2004, BS EN 12573: 2000, BS 1564: 1975, BS EN 13280: 2000 or BS EN 12845 / LPC 1276 and to provide installation and maintenance guidance and / or services as appropriate.

3. To have their tank and cistern products third party accredited to UK Water Supply Regulation requirements by WRAS (Water Regulation Advisory Scheme) or a test centre accredited by UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) to conduct this assessment.

4. To adopt, implement and comply with the requirements of Health and Safety statutory legislation related to workshop practice and management.

5. To operate a third-party accredited Quality Assurance Scheme to ISO 9001 or 9002 standard.

Meet the IA

The Association of Tanks and Cistern Manufacturers was created in 1993 to promote the design and manufacture of water storage and other tank products of the highest quality.

It now covers the full scope of manufacturing techniques and technology adopted by the water, building and chemicals industry. The ATCM is available to act as an Ombudsman on matters of technical concern.

Find out more by visiting:

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