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Steps for Cleaning Above-Ground Petroleum Tanks

Across numerous industrial fields, the need for specialized cleaning services has never been higher. No matter your industry, proper tank cleaning – especially for above-ground tanks – can play a huge role in your efficiency and sustainability.

At Enviro Care, we’re here to provide tank cleaning solutions for all industrial needs, including for above-ground storage tanks for petroleum and other substances. How might our team go about assessing and completing a large-scale petroleum tank cleanup? Here are some of the basic steps we’d observe.

Job Walk and Assessment

Before we get started on any major work or setup, we will conduct a job walk across the site. During this assessment, we’ll look at potential safety hazards like power lines, standing water, soft earth due to precipitation, and others. We’ll also gauge the ease of entry into the tank, plus identify the number and size of manways present.

Equipment and Setup

On the first day of the project, our crew members will begin transporting the proper equipment to the job site. Our project manager and site supervisor will meet with you or other company reps to go over the requirements of the job, noting any major changes since the initial assessment.

If there are no significant changes here, the site supervisor will ensure all work permits have been obtained. From here, they will conduct a pre-job safety meeting and go over the scope of the job with the entire crew. And finally, equipment will begin to be positioned in the proper areas.

Entry and Early Goals

Once the equipment is in place, crew members will make their initial entry and begin to remove all the sludge and product they can from the bottom of the tank. They utilize rubber squeegees, which help push the product to a designated collection point that’s decided on ahead of time.

Why rubber squeegees, you ask? Well, because they are gentle and don’t risk scratching or otherwise damaging tank coatings. From here, all products will be vacuumed into a liquid ring truck, then transferred into a designated storage tank using either a vacuum or a transfer pump.

Wash and Residue Removal

Once the product has been removed fully from the tank, it’s time to prepare the floor for the steam wash. The crew will use diesel to break up any oil residue still left over – this diesel will be left overnight if time permits.

In addition, crew members have to clean any harder oil substances from the interior tank shell. They usually use steel scrapers here, but only on sections not coated with epoxy. Finally, a steam washer will be used to power-wash the tank floor.

Final Result

When the job is done properly, all-white epoxy coatings inside your tank will be a clean, glossy white that can be shown in light easily. We won’t leave the job site until this is accomplished.

For more on the process of cleaning an above-ground petroleum tank, or to learn about any of our hazardous waste removal or transportation services, speak to the staff at Enviro Care today.