Matching Site, Material, and Demand
As anyone working in the water industry knows, various industry-specific agencies have established standards associated with water storage. NSF (formerly known as the National Sanitation Foundation) 64 is commonly cited by fiberglass tank manufacturers to verify that their tanks are suitable for potable water storage.
“The most important element of the equation is the quality of the storage tank,” says David Heiman, Director of Marketing at Containment Solutions. “Tank manufacturers utilize NSF approved materials to construct a tank which meets its standards, and in the case of fiberglass tanks the material is resin. This NSF-approved resin forms the water contact surface, and when it cures with the rest of the glass-and-laminate mix, it hardens as one homogenous tank laminate.”
This being said, Tom Tietjen at Xerxes points out that its factories are NSF-inspected, and its NSF 64 certification applies to the entire tank, materials, and construction, not just the interior surface.
Wrapped concert water tank manufacturers will remind you that American Waterworks Association standard D110 sets the bar for prestressed wrapped concrete tank construction (D-115 applies to the kind of post-tensioned tanks in use at Denver Water) and that they are also regulated by the American Concrete Institute. An engineer designing a concrete underground tank may tell you it meets H20 loading standards, H standing for highway and 20 meaning you could drive a 20-ton truck over the buried structure. Because compliance with all of these standards is voluntary and the organizations that draft them have no enforcement authority, how a standard actually affects the productivity or serviceability of a proposed installation can be difficult to sort out, especially because the standards effectively pit one kind of technology against another. An industry professional is the best source for helping mangers determine what a given standard may mean in terms of future maintenance or possible risks.