Many industries require liquid storage, which is accomplished through the use of either aboveground or underground storage tanks. Some have underground storage tanks ranging in size from 6,000 to 10,000 gallons. Aboveground storage tanks can be as large as 300 feet in diameter and can hold 500,000 to 12 million gallons.
Industrial tanks are used for liquid storage in a variety of industries, both above and below ground. It is necessary to inspect and clean these tanks on a regular basis to ensure the proper protection against corrosion and other forms of deterioration.
You can improve your facility’s safety standards by keeping tanks clean. These tanks can hold a wide range of chemicals and materials, including acids, petroleum, paint, food, and nearly anything else you can think of. Sludge accumulates in the tank’s bottom over time, and the materials themselves eat away at the tank’s interior. Regular cleaning and inspections allow you to reduce the amount of time and money you’d have to devote to unscheduled maintenance and repairs.
When Should You Clean Your Storage Tank?
- – Internal Inspections – When it’s time for an internal inspection, your tank must be removed from service, cleaned, and ready for an inspector to enter.
- – Changing Products – A full tank cleaning may be required if you intend to store a different product in your tank. When converting from an unrefined to a refined product, such as crude oil to gasoline, all residue and impurities must be removed.
- – Tank Issues – If your tank experiences a mechanical failure, you will most likely be unable to repair it while it is in service. Depending on the issue, you may need to empty your tank, clean it, and make it vapor-free before making the necessary repairs. The ultimate goal of tank cleaning is usually to provide a safe environment for whoever comes after you, whether it’s an inspector or a mechanical repair company.
How Do You Clean a Storage Tank?
- – Electrical lockout/tagout connections on pumps, mixers, and other mechanical equipment.
- – Drain the lines, remove the valves, and install appropriately sized blind flanges on tank nozzles and pipeline flanges to isolate the tank from the system.
- – Using a vacuum truck or other pumping device, remove the remaining product from the tank.
- – Vent the tank mechanically and perform gas freeing to remove dangerous vapors, ideally to a lower explosive limit (LEL) of 10 or less.
- – Enter a confined space (to clean the tank’s interior).
- – Remove final product puddles via vacuum truck by squeegeeing the tank floor.
- – Powerwash the floor, walls, and underneath the side of the floating roof of the tank.