Recent events in the state of West Virginia have shown that our water supply is in jeopardy of contamination from leaks or overfills of storage and processing tanks (see Fig. 1) at chemical, petroleum, water/wastewater, and similar facilities.
In January 2014, the city of Charleston was affected when a tank containing 4-methylcyclohexane methanol leaked, causing contamination of the Elk River, which provides over 300,000 people with drinking water. Residents were without tap water for at least five days. But it may be months or even years before the total effect of the spill is known.
The company that owned the storage facility where the leak occurred — Freedom Industries — is now facing at least 31 lawsuits, along with state and federal investigations. As a result, the company has filed for bankruptcy.
Insight by Gary O’Donnell
“Leak detection and monitoring of chemical storage tanks is often overlooked. KGO Group Ltd. and Plas-Tanks Industries Inc. are acutely aware of the importance of such monitoring systems and the requirements to ensure that environmental and employee safety is achieved.“