A rusty tank can appear decrepit. Looks, in this case, aren’t deceiving. Rust caused by corrosion eats through metal, weakening the structural integrity of a tank. If the exterior is rusty, you can be sure that the interior is even worse as corrosion occurs much more rapidly inside a water tank.
Corrosion is the deterioration of metals like steel due to chemical interactions with the environment. It’s not an overnight process – it occurs over several years. A little rust might be normal but if corrosion is not slowed the effects can be costly to repair and could even potentially lead to a catastrophic failure.
Regular inspections and maintenance are the best ways to prevent or lessen the damaging effects of corrosion. The NFPA recommends that the interiors of steel tanks be inspected every three years if they don’t have cathodic protection and every five years if they do.
Pittsburg Tank & Tower Group Maintenance Division offers two types of inspections. Dry inspections are where the water is drained out of the tank and inspected hands on by a trained professional. ROV inspections are where a remotely operated underwater vehicle is placed inside the still full tank to check the tank’s integrity. These kinds of inspections are generally preferred by owners of fire protection tanks who don’t want their service interrupted.
Pittsburg Tank & Tower offers detailed inspection reports that help identify any issues, whether it be a rusty anchor bolt on the exterior or a heavily corroded ladder on the tank’s interior. The reports also provide targeted solutions for the tank owners and operators to help bring the tank up to code. PTT keeps abreast of the current codes for OSHA, AWWA, the Ten States Standards, NFPA, TCEQ, FM, API and more.
Constructing a new tank with cathodic protection can help minimize corrosion. Cathodic protection can also be added to an existing tank. Pittsburg Tank & Tower offers protection that lasts years via the use of sacrificial anodes. Our passive cathodic protection systems rely on the placement of these sacrificial anodes that act as a proponent of an electrochemical cell that will deteriorate in lieu of the tank structure, thus extending the tank’s life. PTTG also offers “active” or impressed cathodic protection, which uses the same principle as the passive system except the anodes are connected to a DC power source.
A good coat of paint also helps guard against corrosion. Our maintenance division is outfitted with fully-equipped, mobile painting and insulation crews. The highly skilled crews use OSHA approved scaffolding and mobile sandblasting, painting and insulation equipment to give tanks a professional finish.