February 28, 2022

Green Solutions Save Millions For Tank Repairs

Wastewater tank replacements are expensive and bad for the environment.... repair with HJ3's CarbonSeal and save millions of dollars and gallons of water.

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steel tank repair

Revitalize Your Infrastructure: Avoid Costly Wastewater Tank Replacement

Wastewater tank replacement can be an incredibly expensive endeavor, involving demolition, new tank installation, and substantial production losses. An article from the Whittier Daily News sheds light on Ridgeline Energy Services in Santa Fe Springs, CA, as they commence the demolition of 19 tanks at their wastewater treatment plant. Located on the grounds of the former Powerline Oil Co. refinery, the plant has faced numerous odor violations due to wastewater mixing with residual Powerline sludge. Several tanks leaked, permitting the mixing of substances and the release of hydrogen sulfide gas through roof holes, reducing air quality but posing no toxic threat. Weighing 28 tons, these tanks can hold 16,800 gallons of wastewater. The metal from the demolition will be recycled. The solution for addressing odor issues involves the removal and destruction of these wastewater tanks instead of repair.

A Global Challenge

Ridgeline's situation is just one example among many worldwide. Steel tanks can corrode and develop leaks over time. While steel welded plates can temporarily halt leaks, these plates also corrode with time. An effective and sustainable alternative to replacement is Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) solutions, including HJ3's CarbonSeal reinforcement systems. Complete tank replacement incurs millions in material and downtime expenses and has a significant environmental impact, considering, for instance, that it takes 60,000 gallons of water to produce one ton of steel. Replacing Ridgeline's 19 tanks would consume an estimated 32 million gallons of water.

A Success Story: NRG Energy

HJ3's CarbonSeal system offers a compelling solution, saving both money and the environment. An illustrative case is the work with NRG Energy, one of the nation's largest power generation and retail electricity businesses. At one of NRG's subsidiaries, a 2-million-gallon wastewater tank was experiencing leaks. Earlier attempts at repair using steel plates had failed, leading to more issues, with thousands of through holes developing in walls and floors.

The scope of the repair initially involved tank walls, floors, and roof support columns. As surfaces were being prepared and hydro-blasted, 4,300 additional through holes were uncovered, demanding further reinforcement. Steel plates were used to cover these holes, preventing further leakage. Then, HJ3's CarbonSeal carbon fiber reinforcement system was applied to tank walls, floors, and support beams, with special preparation to address extensive corrosion. The surfaces underwent sandblasting, cleaning, hole inspection, testing, and priming to prevent flash rusting. After these steps, they were primed with HJ3's primer, and high modulus paste was applied to the reinforcement area. HJ3's CarbonSeal carbon fiber reinforcement system was finally applied to the walls, floor, and support columns, safeguarded with a chemical-resistant topcoat.

A Sustainable Solution

By repairing, rather than replacing NRG's wastewater tank, HJ3's CarbonSeal system is poised to extend the tank's life by another 30 years. Replacement would have incurred substantial costs for the plant and the environment. Utilizing HJ3's CarbonSeal repair system resulted in remarkable savings, including a 90% reduction in kWh consumption, 96% less CO2 emissions, and a conservation of 60 million gallons of water. Compared to replacement, NRG saved over $3 million or 75%. Whether you have a wastewater tank or seek sustainable repair solutions, reach out to our project managers today at hj3pm@hj3.com.

carbon fiber steel tank repair

steel tank repair


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