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Posted: Tuesday 12th January 2016

Evidence seems to be confirming that climate change is increasing the frequency of storm events along with higher levels of rainfall, as seen in recent months in the UK. As a consequence of this overfill storm tanks have been under severe pressure to cope with higher volumes of water and therefore it is has become increasingly important to keep these tanks free from debris, especially when significant rainfall exacerbates the problem. Poorly cleaned tanks can increase the risk of pump failure which can result in flooding. Typically, storm overfill tanks are cleaned manually where someone with a pressure washer enters the tank to perform regular cleaning as part of an ongoing maintenance regime. However, this is a labour intensive process and also raises issues regarding health and safety.

A few years ago Spray Nozzle specialists BETE Ltd developed an automated storm tank and screen cleaning system incorporating their HydroWhirl Storm Blaster which has been successfully deployed at multiple sites with 3 of the UKs major water companies. The Storm Blaster is helping these companies meet their Environment Agency targets for clean tanks and reducing odour pollution.

The Storm Tank Blaster can be configured to deliver high-impact cleaning to between 80 and 180 downward spray pattern. This, and the combination of its twin head, 8 nozzle design, results in powerful cleaning to storm tanks up to 20 metres in diameter with a cleaning cycle of under 10 minutes. The 4 nozzle variant can clean tanks up to 30 metres in diameter with cycle times as low as 15 minutes while the standard 2 nozzle model can clean even larger tanks, all be it with an increased cleaning time of about 30 minutes.

Over time the system has been improved and enhanced which means that the standard product features have been increased providing users with important additional benefits.

For example, a modification now deflects all drive water downwards into the tank to prevent any up spray. This improvement allays any concerns regarding open tank cleaning applications where some fluids may become aerosolised bringing the potential of pathogen risks.

There is also a new 170 down option, again an improvement for open tank cleaning as the original 180 down models were sometimes found to skim some fluid over the top of the tank at the high point of their cycle. Sealed gear boxes are now fitted as standard which eliminates the potential for them becoming clogged, even though supposedly potable water was used. Non-sealed machines will run fine with a clean water supply but practical experience has revealed that in the reality of the storm tank environment, even potable water supplies may become contaminated with debris or silt which can result in machines becoming jammed. Therefore the solution is to only fit a sealed gearbox which provides users with the assurance that the system is designed to handle a high particle content.

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