HOW REGULAR MAINTENANCE WOULD HAVE PREVENTED WATER TANK FAILURES

PREVENT WATER TANK FAILURES – The storage tank is a critical piece of static equipment in the oil and gas industry for storing fluids. Despite their widespread use and the existence of codes and standards governing their design, failures can still happen. These failures not only lead to significant disruptions but also result in costly repairs. Good thing, many of these storage tank failures can be prevented through consistent and diligent maintenance practices.

Let us delve into the causes behind storage tank failures and the preventive measures that can be taken.

Common Water Tank Problems and How to Fix Them:


1. Accumulation of sand and sediments

This is one of the most common problems with all types of rainwater tanks. A layer of stockpiled solids forms at the bottom and walls of the tank and must be removed on a regular basis. In some cases, sediment accumulation can be reduced by installing a filter on the tank’s inlet. However, for those who consider this an expensive and inconvenient solution, draining and rinsing the stainless steel tank every few years will suffice.

2. Algae growth

This occurs when the tank’s material does not block the sunlight or when the lid has been lost or removed from the unit. The most reliable way to prevent algae formation is to limit your supply’s exposure to sunlight. Consider locating your unit in an area with adequate shade. It is also advised to select an opaque plastic water storage tank because its material prevents light from entering the unit.

3. Bent or broken pipes

Leaks around tank fittings are as common as bent or broken pipes connecting to the fill or discharge ports. It occurs when piping at the polyester water tank is not connected with a suitable flexible connector. While the tank connections are practically indestructible, they are not intended to withstand constant, high-stress conditions. The best solution to this problem is to avoid cutting corners during installation in order to save a few dollars. Check that your unit has flexible connectors at all of its connection points.

4. Tank tipping

Take care to direct any water runoff from rains or tank overflow away from the tank base area so that erosion does not undermine the unit’s foundation. Doing this work from the start will save a lot of time and money later on, as well as prevent damage to the tank or piping from tilting.

Pro Tip: Regular inspection of your water tank is cost-effective and prevents unexpected issues, so it’s essential to schedule minor repairs to a damaged tank.

Other Common Causes of Storage Tank Failures

Various studies conclude that majority of the storage tank failures are due to any one or combination of the following causes:

  • – Corrosion: Most Common cause of storage tank failures
  • – Improper Construction
  • – Poor Maintenance
  • – Incompatibility of fluid with the tank wall
  • – Dispensing problems
  • – Lack of Physical Safety i.e., Internal/External forces or events (Flood, fire, impact, etc.)
  • – Excessive Pressure due to overfilling of Storage Tanks
  • – Age/UV-related issues with non-metallic tanks
  • – Failure of Pressure Vacuum Relief Valve
  • – Seismic design failure
  • – Scada failure
  • – Overturning because of Wind girder
  • – Sabotage
  • – Operational Errors on Human Interference
  • – Violent weather changes

– Types of Storage Tank Failures


Storage tank failure modes can again be divided into various types such as:

  • – Failures based on Pumping,
  • – Based on the Material,
  • – Based on service,
  • – Mechanical, civil, or electric failure, etc.

You will get many references for storage tank failures over the net caused by corrosion, improper construction, poor maintenance, etc. We will explain a few storage tank failure examples based on Mechanical Failure.

Prevention of Storage Tank failures

Failure of Storage Tank systems can be reduced by the following methods:

The emergency vent system must protect all tankages.

  • All tanks must be inspected on a regular basis.

  • Contingency reserves should be considered in the design of the firewall and bund wall.
  • Roofs that are self-supporting or have external roof supports
  • Tank thickness must be properly designed.
  • To reduce corrosion, proper metallurgy of the used compatible material is required.
  • Raven Tanks performs routine maintenance

The important role of preventative care in ensuring water tank longevity and reliability

1. Inspection and Cleaning

  • Routine Visual Inspections: Regular visual inspections of water tanks can detect early signs of corrosion, cracks, or structural issues, preventing problems from escalating.
  • Cleaning: Regular tank cleaning prevents sediment buildup, reduces capacity and water quality issues, and extends the tank’s lifespan by removing debris and biological growth.

2. Corrosion Control

  • Coating Maintenance: Water tank coatings protect against corrosion. Periodic inspections and touch-ups can prevent rust from compromising the tank’s structural integrity.

  • Cathodic Protection: Installing cathodic protection systems can help prevent corrosion by diverting electrical currents away from the tank’s metal components.

3. Valve and Fixture Maintenance

  • Regular Valve Checks: Valves control water flow in and out of the tank. Routine inspection and maintenance ensure they operate correctly, reducing the risk of leaks and overflows.
  • Fixture Maintenance: Ensuring that fixtures like overflows and pressure relief valves are in good working order can prevent sudden failures and costly repairs.

4. Water Quality Monitoring

  • Regular Water Testing: Monitoring water quality helps identify contamination, scaling, and microbial growth, ensuring timely resolution to maintain water quality and prevent tank damage.

5. Structural Integrity

  • Periodic Structural Assessments: Engaging structural engineers for periodic assessments ensures that the tank’s foundation, supports, and overall structure remain sound over time.

6. Seismic Considerations

  • Seismic Retrofitting: In earthquake-prone areas, retrofitting water tanks with seismic reinforcement measures can prevent catastrophic failures during tremors.

7. Emergency Preparedness

  • Establishing Emergency Protocols: Creating emergency response plans and training staff can significantly reduce damage and downtime in the event of a failure.

Top-notch Service In Your Area!

Raven Tanks provides cost-effective, environmentally friendly water storage tank inspections, ensuring reliability and safety. Contact us for a free consultation and quote.

We offer tried and tested services in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Dalby, Darwin and Geelong.

Our friendly and experienced customer service team is here to help you!To avoid failure, call Raven Tanks at 1800 907 834 or email at [email protected]– C

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