Leak Monitoring and Control for Chemical Tanks

Storage tanks containing dangerous chemicals require multiple levels of instrumentation, controllers and software that can monitor the contents of a vessel and provide an alarm in the event of a leak or overfill event.

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.

Read full article: Keeping Chemicals in the Tank: Instrumentation, Monitoring and Control Solutions for Leaking of Overfilled Tanks

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.“

2 thoughts on “Leak Monitoring and Control for Chemical Tanks”

  1. Safety is absolutely the most critical factor in any project. When dealing with hazardous material, all associated risks must be identified and addressed with mitigation strategies. Redundant monitoring, isolating, periodic component testing, tamper-proofing and designing for environmental conditions are only a few ways to ensure safety. The value of human life cannot be equated with cost savings. Great article.

  2. I’ve read too many stories in the news this past year about leaks contaminating rivers, streams, lakes, and ground water. I hope articles like these bring as much publicity to these events needed to put stricter fines and punishments in place for companies responsible for these breaches!

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