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IHS Mission & Goals:
Groom Skills,
Gather Evidence and
Generate Knowledge for people's health.

To Improve the Efficacy,
Quality & Equity
of Health Systems.

 

      

 Sanitary inspection of service reservoirs for water safety.

     


Water utilities usually source raw water from surface water bodies such as dams & reservoirs or by directly pumping from rivers. Sometimes groundwater may also be used. In any case, raw water has to be processed and treated before it is ready for distribution to consumers. Adequate volume of treated water has to be safely stored for distribution to consumers. The storage facility for distribution of treated water, called distribution reservoirs are also known as service reservoirs, finished or treated water storage etc. Service reservoirs are located close to consumer areas to maintain effective pressure in distribution lines.

The purpose of sanitary inspection is to check all aspects of a service reservoir (SR) to rule out vulnerabilities and pathways of contamination, if any. The inspections are designed to identify structural and/or operational deficiencies, if any and recommend measures to improve sanitary integrity, and minimise risk of contamination of water stored and distributed from the SR. For example; SRs with unprotected air vents and/or open manholes would be vulnerable to bird droppings. Unprotected side-wall air vents and walk-in access ways may allow birds to nest, which in turn increases vulnerability for bird droppings. Leaks and gaps around inlet, outlet, overflow arrangements can create vulnerabilities for entry of contamination to the distribution system. Defunct inlet/outlet pipes and cul-de-sacs can provide niches for growth biofilms. Close examination of the SR exterior may give clues regarding vulnerabilities for contamination. For example; inadequately drained roofs allowing for accumulation of storm water that pickup contamination from bird the roof surface into the SR interior through cracks, gaps etc. around air vent pipes, manholes, entry/exit of various pipes etc. Cracks, crevices and/or water marks on the SR walls may indicate junctional voids that may eventually allow for entry of contamination. Condition of the surrounding land may indicate some vulnerability. For example, if the surrounding land is not sloping towards the SR instead of sloping outward, storm water would accumulate around the SR structure, which in turn would affect structural and functional integrity of the SR. Similarly, information about the latest and previous cleaning operations, booster chlorination, and time trend analysis of water quality monitoring results for the concerned SR may give some clue about operational vulnerabilities, if any. Water safety surveyors are trained to inspect and gather information about air vents, manholes, inlet-outlet arrangements, state of roof & walls, surroundings, history of cleaning, and chlorination arrangements. Reports are prepared based on their initial inputs and follow-up visits for further clarifications. Each report provides actionable recommendations to address sanitary deficiencies, if any and improve operational integrity of the SR. Sanitary inspection reports should clearly identify and provide feasible and actionable recommendations that can be taken up by operations and maintenance (O&M) personnel without. The protocol for sanitary inspection, and preparation of reports IHS was developed by pilot testing of designed forms and guidelines on several SR and fine-tuned based on experiences from inspection of 73 services reservoirs, as of August, 2021.

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