Storage Tank Containment by the River

September 28, 2010

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A painting contractor’s storage tank painting nightmare has to deal with aging tanks plagued with damage and corrosion, and located near rivers or other sources of clean water. Coatings and potable water just don’t go together, and mixing them up can be a formula for a disastrous water contamination. Moreover, old tanks often contain lead in their coatings.

The best way to deal with this barrage of issues is to address them one at a time. For lead abatement, storage tank painting contractors should conduct lead testing to first confirm the presence and levels of lead in the coatings. Even with trace amounts of lead, the crew has to enforce the most stringent lead-sensitive procedures to prevent even minute amounts from reaching the river. The crew should be trained in lead remediation activities, including personal blood level monitoring, wearing of personal protective equipments, proper changing and cleaning procedures, among others.

For old coatings removal prior to actual storage tank painting, containment has to be installed to prevent old coatings and debris from spreading out of the work area and into the nearby water source. If the terrain is uneven, total containment cannot be achieved. In such cases, the storage tank painting contractor has to make do with partial containment. The crew has to do paint removal with the use of a movable containment mechanism, often using canvas and scaffoldings that cover the area where surface cleaning and paint removal will be done. Paint removal is made in sections, which can be tedious and slow going, but nevertheless gets the job done.

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