Today our guest contributor Tatsuya Nakagawa of Castagra Products examines some of the many different types of storage tanks and several ways to clean and inspect them. We look at the different steps in various methods available for storage tank inspection and maintenance:
1) Drain the Tank
In many cases, draining a storage tank is seen as a primary way to empty the tank for cleaning and inspection. By opening either the outlet or washout valve and draining out remaining liquid, the tank may then need to be tipped to drain the remaining water depending on the design of the tank – some can be tipped while others should be dismantled.
2) Scrub the Tank
Using detergent and some good, old-fashioned elbow grease, you can proceed to clean all internal surfaces of the tank with a stiff brush. If you want something a little easier, a pressure jet is likely preferable – especially if the tank has contained volatile substances like oil or organic liquids like milk.
3) Disinfect the Tank
In a water tank, chlorine is the preferred method of disinfecting the storage tank, followed by the careful disposal of waste liquids.
4) Camera Inspection
Because all water tanks accumulate sediment over time, it’s important to maintain your storage tank no matter the contents. Many water utilities don’t know the amount of sediment in their tanks because they have never used an inspection crew with underwater cameras to check it out (see right). This is a very viable option that is heads above adding more treatment chemicals.
5) High Pressure Jet Cleaning
High pressure jet cleaning is a great option for fuel tanks (see right). In some cases, the fuel is used as a cleaning agent, powering the fluid-driven jet in a 360-degree pattern while scouring the tank clean.
6) Robotic Cleaning
There are many storage tank cleaning robots on the market today (see below for examples). The advantage of using robotic cleaning includes the fact that an individual does not typically need to enter the tank, which creates a safer environment. Also, the tank can remain in service during robotic cleaning, which allows the process to be less invasive and cause less downtime (if any).
Guest Contributor: Tatsuya Nakagawa is the VP of Marketing and co-founder of Castagra Products, a storage tank coatings manufacturing company that is highly acclaimed for its cold weather tank coating applications and its durable frac tank coatings. Castagra is used by the world’s top oil and gas field services companies.