CLEANING STORAGE TANKS: DIFFICULTIES AND COMPLEXITIES

Maintaining storage tanks is not just a matter of cleanliness and safety. It is for preserving the integrity of their contents and ensuring uninterrupted operations. Tank failures due to neglect can lead to environmental hazards, costly downtime, and regulatory violations. 

This article highlights the common challenges related to storage tank cleaning, as well as the methods that skilled experts can employ to safely and efficiently clean industrial tanks. Visit this blog to learn more about the benefits of a tank maintenance program.

Correct tank maintenance and cleaning will help you avoid:

     

      • – Internal Moisture Build-up: This can cause your tank to corrode from the inside out over time, resulting in tank damage and seepage. Moisture can also be harmful to the contents of your tank and cause a variety of issues.

      • – Sludge: Solids that enter the tank eventually degrade, settle to the bottom, and become sludge. If not cleaned on a regular basis, this can have an impact on the quality of the contents in the tank and lead to clogged pipes. Sludge can also clog filters and prevent solids from passing through, affecting the operation of plants, vehicles, and boilers.

      • – Microbial Contamination: When there is moisture in the tank, these bacteria grow. In these conditions, growing organisms thrive, causing contamination, blockages, and filter damage.

    – Tank Cleaning: Safety Hazards and Challenges

    Cleaning the inside of an industrial tank poses a number of hazards and safety concerns.  

    The following are examples of common hazards:

    Fire & Explosion

     

    When a tank contains fuel or a flammable liquid, in addition to the air that will undoubtedly be present during the cleaning process, you have two of the three elements required for a fire or explosion. The third component is an ignition source, which can take many forms, such as static electricity, electrical equipment, hot surfaces, and exothermic reactions (iron sulfide). Because fuel and air are frequently unavoidable, the only way to avoid an explosion is to completely eliminate the risk of ignition.

    Chemical Hazards

     

    Inside tanks, there are many toxic chemicals that can be encountered during cleaning. Dangers arise when they come into contact with skin, are inhaled, or are accidentally consumed. Depending on the chemical, side effects can occur immediately or gradually, and they can be short-term or long-term.

    Oxygen Deficiency

     

    Oxygen levels can fall well below the recommended level of 20%. Before entering, this must be tested and a breathing apparatus must be worn. The oxygen level in a high-risk tank must be monitored throughout the cleaning process.

    Physical Hazards

     

    If an experienced practitioner does not conduct an accurate risk assessment, problems such as objects falling, tripping, a slippery surface, head injuries, and so on can occur. These risks are generally exacerbated when there is a risk of fire, as artificial lighting must be kept to a minimum.

    Microbiological

     

    When there is water or sludge in the bottom of a tank, allergic reactions and infections from contact or inhalation are very likely.

    Emissions

     

    The toxicity of the chemical inside can make emissions to both air and water dangerous. Gases and flammable liquids released into the atmosphere, as well as any emissions to water or the ground, pose a significant environmental risk. In this situation, regulations must be strictly followed.

    Cleaning and Maintaining Industrial Tanks

     

    All tanks will accumulate sludge, debris, contaminants, and water over time. Regular cleaning is critical, and all businesses with storage tanks should have an adequate maintenance plan in place. Due to the inherent dangers of the task, tank cleaning and maintenance crews are fully qualified and highly trained experts.

    Methods used to clean the tank will vary depending on the unique circumstances of each tank and may include:

       

        1. – Non-Entry Tank Cleaning. The typical procedure entails emptying the tank and lowering the cleaning equipment. This equipment is then used to pressure wash or use expanding foam to remove all chemicals and contaminants from the tank. Remote cameras can be used to keep track of progress.

        1. – Manned Entry Tank Cleaning. In some cases, manned entry into the tank is required. To reduce risk, this cleaning method must be carried out by experienced confined space entry crews. To ensure that the tank is adequately cleaned, the crew will physically scrub the contaminants from its surface.

        1. – Fuel Filtration/Fuel Polishing. Water and contaminants are filtered out while the fuel is left in the tank. To ensure accuracy, fuel is circulated around the tank, and remote video cameras and fiber optics are used.

        1.  -Multipoint Pumping (Water). The accumulated water in a tank is pumped out through all available access points. Flexible suction tubes can be used to remove water and contaminants from the bottom of a tank, ensuring that it is properly emptied. The tank’s waste is then disposed of in a licensed facility.

      Choose Raven Tanks for cleaning storage tanks because we offer:

         

          • – Expertise. Our team boasts extensive experience, having successfully navigated the intricacies and challenges of tank cleaning across various industries and applications. You can trust us to bring a wealth of knowledge to your project.

          • – Advanced Technology. We invest in cutting-edge equipment and technology to ensure the most efficient and thorough cleaning processes. This commitment to innovation guarantees that your tanks receive state-of-the-art treatment.

          • – Safety. Safety is our utmost priority. We adhere to stringent safety protocols to create a risk-free environment during every stage of the cleaning process. Your well-being and the safety of your operations are paramount to us.

          • – Custom Solutions. No two tank cleaning needs are exactly alike. That’s why we offer tailored services designed to meet your specific requirements. Our solutions are flexible and adaptable to accommodate the unique demands of your project.

          • – Eco-Friendly Practices. We are dedicated to eco-friendly cleaning solutions and sustainability. Our methods are environmentally responsible, minimizing any negative impact on the surroundings. We prioritize the well-being of our planet.

          • – Regulatory Compliance. We take regulatory compliance seriously. Our services are designed to ensure that your tanks consistently meet industry regulations and standards, helping you avoid potential compliance issues.

          • – Minimal Downtime. We understand the importance of uninterrupted operations. Our efficient cleaning methods are designed to minimize downtime, allowing you to maintain productivity and meet your operational goals.

          • – Cost-Effective. We offer competitive pricing without compromising on the quality of service. Our aim is to provide you with exceptional value, ensuring that you receive top-notch tank cleaning services within your budget.

        Raven Tanks offers safe and legal tank cleaning services, focusing on limited space entrances, and customizing maintenance programs to meet individual tank requirements.

        Call us right away at 1800 907 834 or via email at [email protected] for a free consultation and quote.

         

        Tank & Liner Manufacturers Australia

        Are you in need of an industrial water storage solution? We are the leading liquid storage tank & liner manufacturers in Australia, with more than 20 professional years of service behind us.

        Having your liquid storage system perform optimally is essential in any industry. Therefore your choice of liquid and water tank manufacturers and maintenance specialist  is paramount to the success of your project & ongoing asset integrity. We offer a wide variety of design, manufacturing, inspection, and maintenance services.

        INDUSTRIAL TANKS, GRP TANKS, AND FIRE WATER TANKS

        TANK LINERS & BLADDERS

        MAINTENANCE, REPAIRS AND INSPECTIONS

        Raven Tanks acknowledges Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and especially the land on which we reside and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; and to Elders past and present.